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Fields & Applications Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry

A Dog's Dinner

Our colleague's lovely beagle, Chester

Dogs aren’t the pickiest eaters, but some delicacies are more appealing to your pooch than others. Ever wondered why? Ming Yen and colleagues did – and they employed a band of beagles to find out.

The team fed the dogs six different foods, of which three seemed substantially more desirable than the others. Next: distinguishing which odors dictated the dogs’ decisions. To this end, the researchers identified 55 volatile compounds using headspace solid-phase microextraction GC-MS. Correlation analysis linked nine of these compounds to increased food palatability among the beagles.

A preference test then identified three highly favorable components of canine cuisine: (E)-2-decenal, 2-furfurylthiol, and 4-methyl-5-thiazoleethanol. The team hope this knowledge will help dog food manufacturers increase the desirability of future products. In the meantime, why not treat your pooch to (E)-2-decenal, 2-furfurylthiol, and 4-methyl-5-thiazoleethanol in gravy this evening?

Chester enjoying a post-dinner nap

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About the Author

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a job that fosters creativity - even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. Outside work, I satisfy this need by writing questionable fiction. The venture into science writing was an unexpected departure from this fiction, but I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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