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Evaluation of soybean ingredients in pet foods applications: Systematic review

Kim, H., E. Titgemeyer, E. Curles, L. Olsen and C. Aldrich

Soybean is a dominant oilseed in the U.S. Although soybeans are valuable ingredients for dogs and cats, soybean use in current pet foods has been low. The research was conducted to answer this question: what effects, if any, do soybean ingredients in dog or cat diets have on animal health and nutrition, palatability, feeding behavior, allergenicity, and extrusion processing? We summarized the most current research on soybeans in pet foods published since 2000. We discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of soybean in pet food applications. We concluded that various food processing technologies and the versatility of soybean ingredients have been demonstrated to offer considerable potential for inclusion as oil, protein, fiber, or functional ingredients in pet foods. Our work will be valuable, providing research status and gaps.

Soybean use has been low in pet foods, even though they are an excellent source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and gut fermentable fibers. The purpose of this evaluation was to conduct a systematic review of the public literature to explore how soybeans have been researched for pet food applications since 2000 and to provide strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for soybeans in the pet food industry. The review covered a total of 44 articles related to soybean ingredients and their potential value in the pet food arena. The articles were categorized by their research contents and narratively summarized to demonstrate useful information to both pet and soybean industry. When soybean-based products have been adequately processed to reduce the antinutritive factors, they are comparable to processed animal proteins in nutritional value, palatability, and functionality in pet food processing. We conclude that various food processing technologies and the versatility of soybean ingredients allow soybean to have considerable inclusion potential in pet foods.

More research with dietary soybean ingredients regarding pet food processing, fermentation benefits on health, and consumer acceptance will be needed to understand soybean’s position in the future pet food industry.