The Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University in Ontario, Canada has successfully refined a methodology to allow for a HUMAN TASTE PANEL to profile the flavor and texture of cat food products (CFP) and their component parts.

Using these techniques, 18 flavor attributes and four texture dimensions were generated to describe the sensations elicited by 13 commercial pet food samples.

The flavor attributes included:

  • sweet
  • sour/acid
  • tuna
  • herbal
  • spicy
  • soy
  • salty
  • cereal
  • caramel
  • chicken
  • methionine (this is a flavor attribute??)
  • vegetable
  • offaly (and I don’t think they mean the county in Ireland)
  • meaty
  • burnt flavor
  • prawn
  • rancid (yum!)
  • bitter

Textures included hardness, chewiness, grittiness and viscosity.

They report that it is “now necessary to determine the usefulness and limits of sensory data gathered from human panels in describing and predicting food acceptance and preference behaviors in cats.”

This reminds me of the old joke asking why no cat food company makes mouse-flavored cat food.

I know that cat food is marketed to appeal to the owner’s taste buds, but how about some truth in reporting? I wanna know which cat foods ranked high on the rancid-burnt-offaly taste-o-meter so that I can steer clear of them.

And I’d like to know how much those poor cat food tasters get paid!


[PHOTO: Independent.co.uk]