Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 47

obesity, cardiovascular disease and
cancer.
In pets and other animals (rats
and mice), there are indications that
avoiding high-glycemic foods might
also be beneficial for managing
diabetes. This seems quite logical.
There may also be a link, albeit not
yet a direct one, between the glycemic
index and obesity, performance and
other degenerative diseases associated with aging in the pet. However,
there does not appear to be any direct
relationship proposed in the literature
to suggest a benefit for managing the

using the cat as a subject. Since the
machinery to manage glucose operates with much different thresholds in
the cat, it almost goes without saying
data are needed for this species before
any inference is made to a glycemic
index.
NOT ONLY IS THERE scant data using
pets in the evaluation, but also food
form, composition and production
processes are known to alter the
glycemic index. For example, the
glycemic index can differ depending
on the content of soluble sugars,

Food form, composition and
production processes are known to
alter the glycemic index.
dietary glycemic index in normally
healthy dogs or cats.
Currently there are complete reference tables of glycemic index values
for human foods. It is not really clear
whether these data are applicable to
other species. Only one recent paper
exploring glycemic index in dogs has
been published in the readily available literature. In this work, Adolphe
et al. (2012) evaluated the glycemic
index of four starch sources in dogs.
Their methods deviated slightly from
the parameters described for humans
regarding the dose of carbohydrate
and duration of testing, but the
general premise was consistent with
commonly accepted practices. They
reported the glycemic index for rice,
barley, corn and peas as 55, 51, 47
and 29, respectively. This compares
to 64, 25, 69 and 22, respectively, for
these ingredients fed to human test
subjects, as summarized in a review
paper by Foster-Powell et al. (2002).
So, with a very small sample
size, there are some data that seem
to agree and some that do not. This
would indicate that additional work
is needed for the dog. No data were
found for glycemic index values

PetfoodIndustry

December 2013

type of starch (e.g., amylose or
amylopectin), content of resistant
starch, gelatinization or cook of the
starch, presence of gelling agents,
soluble fiber content and particle size
of the meal, to name just a few.
This notion of selecting ingredients to use in petfoods based on their
glycemic index is quite intriguing
and certainly appeals to the notion
of having some elegant rating system
to promote products. However, we
don't have much direct information
regarding its interpretation in pet
diets, and using data from human
food studies doesn't appear to be very
reliable for the dog and is unknown
for the cat. The technique can be
applied to mixed meals but is really
targeted to evaluating starches. Plus,
there does not seem to be a great deal
of evidence suggesting any relevance
for the benefit of a normal healthy
pet. So for now, it appears to be an
interesting research technique rather
than a tool to support product design
or claims.
■



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petfood Industry - December 2013

Contents
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - Cover1
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - Cover2
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - Contents
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 2
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 3
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 4
Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 5
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