Resistant starch as related to companion animal nutrition

Julie K Spears, George C Fahey
Journal of AOAC International 2004, 87 (3): 787-91
Companion animal diets may contain up to 50% starch, derived from cereal grains. The amount of resistant starch (RS) in an ingredient depends on the origin and form of the ingredient and on the processing conditions to which the ingredient has been exposed. Extrusion has proven to be a means of optimizing utilization of starch by companion animals. Although the RS fraction of starch typically decreases by extrusion, retrogradation can result in increased concentrations of this fraction. Limited research exists regarding the effects of RS in companion animal nutrition and gastrointestinal health. Existing in vitro and in vivo research indicates that certain RS sources are readily fermented in the large bowel, producing short-chain fatty acids, whereas others are less fermentable, resulting in excellent laxation properties. Feeding dogs a diet high in RS may result in an increase in fecal bulk due to an increased excretion of microbial matter in those cases where RS is highly fermentable, or to indigestibility of the RS source in other cases. RS has a role to play as a potential proxy for dietary fiber, especially for those companion animals fed diets high in protein and fat and devoid of traditional dietary fiber.

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