Livalta Sun P46: the power of sunflower as a high value protein in pet food

Ingrid Lupatsch

At Livalta, we care about nutrition. When we look at developing new protein-rich ingredients for pet food, our goal is always to maintain - if not to improve - their nutritional and functional qualities compared to existing ingredients AND that our products have a lower environmental footprint.

Here, we will tell you more about the nutritional value of our sunflower protein Livalta™Sun P46. If you are interested in the environmental footprint, have a look at (

Livalta™Sun P46 is a high-quality protein-rich ingredient

  • Of consistent protein and amino acid composition that closely matches the requirements of dogs
  • Low in antinutritional factors and allergenicity
  • Highly digestible, viable alternative for other plant protein sources

It contains 46% crude protein obtained from non-GM, European sourced sunflower seeds. A gentle cold-press oil extraction process ensures the high protein quality of the product. Livalta™Sun P46 includes all ten essential amino acids required for dogs, is gluten, allergen and GMO-free and is a clean label product.

Table 1: Average composition of Livalta™Sun P46 (on as fed basis)*

table 1

*Based on four batches produced between 2022 and 2023.
**Measured at 0.002% pepsin concentration

Dogs, like other mammals, do not have a requirement for protein per se, but have a need for indispensable amino acids (IAA) which cannot be synthesized by the body and thus must be provided via food.

Dietary proteins of a high biological value are those that combine good digestibility and an optimal balance of essential amino acids. The protein quality reflects how closely the indispensable amino acid profile of an ingredient comes to meeting the dog’s requirements. Adapted from human nutrition (FAO 2013) the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) can be set up as follows:

graph 1

Figure 1: Ratio (%) of digestible amino acids (in g/100g of the feed protein) to the digestible amino acids (in g/100g of the reference protein); amino acid profile of reference protein is set at the 100% mark and is based on the requirement of FEDIAF (2018) for adult dogs. Ileal digestible amino acids of the ingredients are based on the INRAE-CIRAD-AFZ feed tables for pigs.

Fig. 1 shows an overview of the Livalta™Sun P46 digestible amino acid profile against other major plant protein sources in comparison to the ‘reference amino acid profile’ (set at 100%) as recommended by FEDIAF (2018) for the maintenance requirement of adult dogs. For any amino acid of the feed protein, the 100% mark indicates that requirements are met, the lowest concentration relative to the dog’s requirements is known as the limiting amino acid. In our case the sulphur amino acids are the first limiting ones, as in many plant protein sources. However, to counteract any imbalances supplementations with crystalline amino acids (methionine and lysine) are commonplace in the pet food industry and complementary protein sources are included in a complete feed.


FAO (2013) Dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition. FAO Food Nutrition Paper
FEDIAF (2018) Nutritional guidelines for complete and complementary pet food for cats and dogs

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