Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge: Week 2

Well, I have noticed that the pups have more energy for sure! (I'm not entirely positive this is a good thing, because they have been tearing through the house, playing with their toys, and climbing on Chip and I to go on walks.) They also have been gobbeling up their food heartily.

Salmon food PLEASE!?
However, on the taste test, the Rottweiler food is the clear loser. Unfortunately, it does not appeal to Winnie or Bruno. I'm not concerned that - given no other options - they would starve, but with the fishy all-natural Salmon formula around, they snub their noses at the Chicken-Rottie food everytime.

My theory on the food is this: Umami flavor wins out.

Umami is the mysterious fifth flavor after Salty, Sweet, Sour, and Bitter-- in Japonese it means "pleasant savory taste." The Umami Info Center.com describes it as:

"Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious."

Not surprisingly, breast milk is most mammals first exposure to the flavor- which is what makes it so irresistable to us. Besides touch, taste is the only sense dogs have developed at birth. This means that while they cannot hear or see their mom, they can feel her warmth and taste her milk.

Is Umami in your dog food?
Dogs' sense of taste is only 1/6 as good as ours (ever wonder how they can eat such strange things like plastic?) - but they still like to have their food smell good and taste good- and not give them a tummy ache. I think the fact that their first experience with food and comfort is umami-flavored, it makes sense that they would want to replicate that later on.

Guess what dog food ingredient contains the most umami? Fish- it is filled with it (140mg per serving of the main ingredient, free glutamate)- and chicken? Not so much, only 44mg. Want to drive them crazy with taste? Cheese has 1200mg- that's why they act like they are going to tear your carpeting up at the first sight of a cheeze ball!

My guess is Winnie and Bruno go crazy for the fish the same way they go crazy for cheese. Do you find this is true with your dogs too?

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