Oat Fiber: Pet Food Ingredients A to Z

Food

We now move to the letter “O” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring Oat Fiber as our ingredient of the day.

What is Oat Fiber?

Oat Fiber L

Oat Fiber is derived from Oats, a type of cereal grain that is commonly used in livestock feed.  Oat Fiber is often extracted from the outer casing of the oat grain.

Common names for Oat Fiber

The most common name variations include other oat derivative products including oat hull, oat meal, and oat groats.

Why is Oat Fiber included in pet food?

Oat Fiber is a good source of dietary fiber and is high in protein (although we prefer foods that use named meats and fish as their protein source).  Dietary fibers have been gaining renewed interest in the pet food industry, due to their important role in the digestive process.

Common benefits or risks of Oat Fiber

Benefits: Oat Fiber provides fiber, which helps move food through the digestive tract slowly, which further helps to optimize the absorption of nutrients.  Oat Fiber can improve stool quality. Oat Fiber also is a source of protein.  One ounce of oats provides over 4 grams of protein.

Oat Fiber is rich in vitamins, including thiamin and folate, and minerals including phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.

Risks: Consuming too much Oat Fiber can cause some problems, including a potential calcium deficiency (possible due to a calcium / phosphorous imbalance).  Cats, even more than dogs, should not rely on oat as a major source of protein.

Miscellaneous facts about Oat Fiber

  • Oat fiber can help to reduce cholesterol in humans.
  • Oats are also commonly used as feed for horses.

Sources and further reading

http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/70/4/1169.long

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat_fiber

atoz2014-BANNER-910_zps8f01a155