Taiwan develops method of making canned silkworm pupae cat food

09/22/2021 09:16 PM
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Photo courtesy of the COA
Photo courtesy of the COA

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) An agricultural research agency in Miaoli County has created a new technique for developing Taiwan's first canned cat food made from silkworm pupae which helps prevent the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and reportedly eliminates the smell of cat feces.

The Miaoli District Agricultural Research and Extension Station under the Council of Agriculture unveiled the research results at a press conference on Wednesday, while citing a report by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research that there were about 1 million pet cats in Taiwan in 2020.

The canned silkworm pupae cat food was developed by using the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, which has an innate immune system that produces antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) -- a group of immune proteins that protect the host from infection -- during the cocoon phase, according to station director Lu Hsiu-ying (呂秀英).

Silkworm pupae are a good source of protein because they contain crude protein, crude lipids, carbohydrates and chitin. They also have high levels of essential amino acids and are rich in omega-3 a-linolenic acid, Lu said.

According to a survey among cat owners, over 70 percent said they would consider feeding their pet the new cat food, the agricultural research station said.

Meanwhile, some owners in trials reported that after eating the new cat food their pet's feces was less smelly, their cat's fur became more luxuriant and they had a bigger appetite.

Moreover, 31.4 percent of cat owners said their pets had more energy after being fed the new food, according to the station.

The method for making the cat food has been transferred to a biotechnology company for mass production, the station said.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)

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