Aurélie de Ratuld, PhD
R&D cat platform manager
Diana Pet Food
Can non-meat palatants satisfy pets’ taste buds? Researching alternative proteins to meet industry challenges. Pet food manufacturers face the issue of a growing planet creating increased demand for animal proteins. In response, Diana Pet Food researched alternative protein sourcing to measure if and how non-meat palatants could satisfy pets’ taste buds. de Ratuld highlights how the knowledge of cats’ and dogs’ sensory drivers, combined with the understanding of biochemistry and the mastery of food processing, enables attaining desired biochemical targets. Moreover, she shows that innate preferences toward protein origin are surprisingly not equally distributed within the cat population.
Graduated in food science, de Ratuld holds a PhD in biotechnology applied to aroma. With seven years of experience as a flavorist and biotechnologist, she joined Diana Pet Food in 2001 to work on innovation projects for both cat and dog palatability. Then she led the R&D team in charge of developing palatable solutions for wet pet food and treats for five years. Since 2010, de Ratuld has been managing Diana’s R&D cat platform, focusing on basic research projects dedicated to cat food palatability understanding and improvement, and studying both molecular levels and holistic approach of palatability.