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Dry Matter Basis Calculation

2 min read

The dry matter basis calculation is a crucial concept in understanding the nutritional content of cat foods. It allows for a direct comparison of the nutrient levels in different pet food products, regardless of their moisture content.

Understanding Dry Matter #

Dry matter refers to the solid components of a food, excluding the water or moisture content. This is an important distinction, as the moisture content of pet foods can vary significantly, from as low as 5-10% in dry kibble to as high as 75-85% in canned or wet foods.

Calculating Dry Matter #

To calculate the dry matter basis, you need to know the moisture content of the pet food. The formula is:

Dry Matter % = 100% – Moisture %

For example, if a cat food has a moisture content of 10%, the dry matter percentage would be:

Dry Matter % = 100% – 10% = 90%

Comparing Nutrient Levels #

Once you have the dry matter percentage, you can use it to calculate the actual nutrient levels in the food. This is important because pet food labels’ “as-fed” values can be misleading, as they are based on the food’s total weight, including moisture.

For instance, let’s compare the protein content of a dry food with 32% protein and 10% moisture and a canned food with 8% protein and 80% moisture:

Dry food:
Dry Matter Protein % = 32% / (100% – 10%) = 35.6%

Canned food:
Dry Matter Protein % = 8% / (100% – 80%) = 40%

In this example, canned food has a higher protein content on a dry matter basis, even though the “as-fed” protein percentage is lower than that of dry food.

Importance of Dry Matter Basis #

Comparing nutrient levels on a dry matter basis is crucial for cat owners to make informed decisions about their cat’s diet. It allows them to evaluate the nutritional value of different cat food products, regardless of their moisture content.

Additionally, pet food manufacturers, veterinarians, and nutritionists use the dry matter basis to formulate and assess the quality of cat foods.


Updated on May 5, 2024
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How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.