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Modified Atwater Formula

Determine the energy density of the food (kcal ME/g). Sources include product labels, product literature, company website and calculation using the modified Atwater values. The Modified Atwater Formula: kcal ME/kg = 10[(CP 3.5 kcal/g) + (CF 8.5 kcal/g) + (NFE 3.5 kcal/g)] where CP = % crude protein; CF = % crude fat; and NFE = % nitrogen free extract (soluble carbohydrate). The nutrient percentages may be obtained from the label guarantee (CP, CF and moisture) or the average nutrient analysis (best if available). The carbohydrate (NFE) percentage must be calculated by subtracting the percent protein, fat, fiber, moisture and ash (mineral) from 100. If the percent ash is not listed on the label guarantee, assume 6% in dry foods, 4-6% in soft-moist foods and 2% in moist (canned) foods. An 8-oz. (volume) measuring cup of the average dry dog food holds ~ 3-3.5 oz. (85-100g) of weight or 3.5-5 oz. (100-150 g) for most semi-moist foods. For dry cat foods, you must obtain the manufacturers data or weigh the food yourself. You must multiply the foods calculated caloric density by 1.2 for moist foods and 1.1 for semi-moist foods. Dry Dog Food Example: Crude protein = 27% Crude fat = 14% Crude fiber = 2% Moisture = 10% 1. Add crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, moisture and ash: 27 + 14 + 2 + 10 + 6 = 59 2. Determine the carbohydrate content (nitrogen free extract) by subtracting the answer in #1 from 100: 100 59 = 41 (41% carbohydrate in this food). 3. Nutrient percentages = g of nutrient/100 g of food (e.g. 27% protein = 27 g protein/100 g of food) 4. Multiply the energy containing nutrients by their Atwater number: CP: 27 g X 3.5 Kcal/g = 94.5 Kcal/100 grams of food; CF: 14 g X 8.5 Kcal/g = 119 Kcal/100 grams of food; CHO: 41 g X 3.5 Kcal/g = 143.5 Kcal/100 grams of food. 5. Add the calories: 94.5 Kcal/100 grams of food + 119 Kcal/100 grams of food + 143.5 Kcal/100 g of food = 357 Kcal/100 grams of food. The average dry dog food provides ~ 100 g per 8 ounce measuring cup of or in this case, 357 Kcal/cup of food.

6. If you would like to know the Kcal/kg of food, multiply the answer in #5 by 10 to get Kcal/kg: 10 X 357 Kcal/100 grams = 3,570.5 Kcal/kg of food (or 3.570 Kcal/g of food).