An inexpensive food cup for use in a commercially available food monitoring system
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The microstructure of feeding in rats can be probed using a variety of protocols that employ videotape-based ratings, pellet feeders, and/or laboratory balances. A recent commercial product (BioDAQ, Research Diets, New Brunswick, NJ) uses a metal food hopper placed on a load cell to monitor daily food pellet consumption. In this system, movements of the hopper during eating and the cessation of hopper movements after eating are combined with momentary hopper weights for subsequent analyses of daily meal patterns. Our laboratory has devised an improved food cup for the BioDAQ system that is easily balanced, minimizes spillage, and is compatible with either powdered chow diets or nonpelleted soft diets (e.g., a high-fat diet). In the present paper, we describe the methods used to fabricate this food cup and present data illustrating its use in meal pattern analyses for rats fed either a ground laboratory chow or a 33% high-fat diet.
author list (cited authors)
Wellman, P. J., Bellinger, L. L., Cepeda-Benito, A., Susabda, A., Ho, D. H., & Davis, K. W.