A Miaoli County-based agricultural research agency has created a technique for making canned cat food from silkworm pupae, which helps prevent the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and reportedly eliminates the smell of cat feces.
The Council of Agriculture’s Miaoli District Agricultural Research and Extension Station unveiled the results at a news conference on Wednesday, citing a report by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research that there were about 1 million pet cats in the nation last year.
Taiwan’s first canned cat food made from silkworm pupae was developed using domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, which has an innate immune system that produces antimicrobial peptides — a group of immune proteins that protect the host from infection — during the cocoon phase, station director Lu Hsiu-ying (呂秀英) said.
Silkworm pupae are a good source of protein because they contain crude protein, crude lipids, carbohydrates and chitin, she said, adding that they also have high levels of essential amino acids and are rich in omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.
More than 70 percent of cat owners said they would consider feeding their pet the silkworm pupae, the agricultural research station said, citing a survey of cat owners.
Some owners in trials reported that after eating the new cat food their pet’s feces was less smelly, their fur more luxuriant and they had a bigger appetite, the station said.
The method for making the cat food has been transferred to a biotechnology company for mass production, it said.
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