We formulate and produce every kind of lab animal diet – custom grain-based and purified diets, adding compounds to standard grain-based LabDiet® products, tablets and liquid diets. We can duplicate and modify any purified diet no matter who manufactured it in the past.
Many factors determine what kind of diet and what formulation methods best serve your research. Several of those factors are discussed here.
We can add nutritional components to standard grain-based food (such as LabDiet® products). This process is often used for adding fats, oils, cholesterol, and can be used to add any nutrient(s), such as protein, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrate, and fiber.
We can formulate and produce custom grain-based diets "from scratch," using standard multi-nutrient ingredients normally used in such products, or substituting nutrient-specific ingredients (such as milk casein as a protein source).
Purified diets are diets produced from nutrient-specific human-grade food sources in which each nutrient is derived from a specific ingredient (for example, protein from casein or soy, carbohydrate from corn starch or sucrose, fat from lard or corn oil).
Our precise TestDiet® purified diets are always produced according to a unique open formula that does not vary from batch to batch. You always know the exact nutritional content, as well as the specific ingredients and amounts of each. There are two schools of thought regarding the composition of purified diet formulas. These are known as "calorie-balanced" and "quantity-balanced." Following are explanations of both of these concepts.
Calorie-Balanced. Many purified diets are designed to provide consistent nutrition for the same amount of calories consumed, regardless of ingredient modifications. These formulas are used quite extensively in research involving obesity and diabetes. They deliver the same micronutrients and fiber for each calorie consumed, even though as one or more of the energy sources may vary, the quantity of diet may increase or decrease. (As one or another source of energy is adjusted, the amount of the fiber component is not adjusted, but remains constant.) Typically, for each calorie consumed, the ingested amount of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and one of the three energy sources will remain constant.
Quantity-Balanced. Quantity-balanced formulas are designed to provide consistent nutrition in like quantities of food no matter how the ingredients may be varied. In these diet formulas, the diet will deliver the same amount of each micronutrient – vitamins and minerals – and the same amount of energy – calories (kcal) – for each gram of food. Typically, as one or another source of energy (fat, carbohydrate, or protein) is adjusted, the fiber content is also adjusted.
Adding test compounds to standard and custom grain-based diets and to purified diets is an effective, accurate, and convenient means of dosing your animals for research purposes. We can adjust formulas to include any compound, medication, or nutrient and produce the diet in any form: pellets, meal, or tablets; many can be made into a powder form for liquid diets.
Note 1. - An important caution – to assure nutritionally sound diets, care must be taken to avoid excessive "dilution" of essential nutrients by adding an overly disproportionate amount of one diet component, thus reducing the relative amount of all the others. For example, if we add 20% fat (by weight) to a standard LabDiet® grain-based product that is 18% protein, the resulting diet will be only 15% protein – the carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fiber have been similarly "diluted." If this dilution factor becomes nutritionally unacceptable, we will recommend producing a nutritionally sufficient custom grain-based formula "from scratch."
Note 2. - For example, in a diet-induced obesity series of diets, an animal may consume 2.1 gm of casein (90% protein), 0.2 gm of vitamin mix, and 0.5 gm of calcium for each 41 calories, although it may require more than 10 gm of a low-fat diet and only about 7 gm of a very-high-fat diet to deliver the same amount of calories.
Note 3. - For example, a series of diets may each deliver 4080 kcal per kg, 1.4 gm of choline per kg, and 6 gm of calcium per kg, even though the calories derived from fat may increase, the calories from carbohydrates decrease, and the fiber content increase. (Fiber would increase because fat is more calorie-dense than protein and carbohydrate; consequently, more fiber must be added to maintain the quantity or weight of the diet as carbohydrate calories are replaced by fat calories.)