Helping Scientists Control Their Research...Let's Start The Conversation


1. Why OpenSource Diets?
In OpenSource Diets, each nutrient is meticulously added as a separate purified ingredient. Each ingredient is obtained from a reliable and traceable source. OpenSource Diets provide a reliable, repeatable base for your research, with absolute consistency from batch-to-batch, year-after-year.

Unlike common commercial grain-based animal feed or "chows," our precise open-formula purified diets match your exacting research standards and procedures. OpenSource Diets provide a clean, consistent background, without phytoestrogens and other xenobiotics, without significant bacterial contamination, and without variations from batch to batch. Independent lab tests establish that purified diets are typically as much as 100 times cleaner than "chows", resulting in data that is undistorted by the unknown and variable components of ordinary grain-based animal feed.

With Research Diets products, your experiment methods are easy to report, repeat, and revise with confidence. We are the real solution for global standardization, assuring your research uniformity everywhere around the world.

For a discussion of the advantages of purified diets over chow-based diets: (ALN Article)

2. What are "In-Stock" Diets?
Because many researchers use certain diets frequently, we keep these diets in stock. They include the AIN-76A (D10001), as well as diets used in obesity and diabetes studies, such as our D12450B, D12451, & D12492 series. These diets are made on a regular basis and are available from stock for immediate shipment. See In-stock diets.

3. What are "Custom" Diets?
Diets that we formulate and produce to your specifications, for an individual research project are "custom diets." With over 20,000 diets in our database, there is a good chance we may have produced the custom diet you are seeking for another researcher. Custom diets are priced on an order-by-order basis, depending upon quantity, required delivery date, specific ingredients, and complexity of formulation and production. Typically these diets can be produced and shipped in 5 to 7 business days.

4. What about fats and oils in OpenSource Diets?
With our unique proprietary process, Research Diets, Inc. produces firm, stable purified diet pellets with as much as 60% kcal fat or 35% by weight. We are the manufacturers of the "Original" High Fat Diets for obesity and diabetes research. See high fat diets.

5. What information will help Research Diets design a diet formula for me?
Let us know the purpose of the diet, the animal species and strain, nutrients and ingredients of interest to you, and the objective(s) of your research. Provide us with a copy of any existing formula to be duplicated or modified, and any journal article(s) upon which your research may be based.

6. Can Research Diets duplicate diets we are currently using?
If you have an existing diet formula - either one you prepare yourself or a diet from another company - we will duplicate it for you. We will produce it in whatever form you wish - pellet, powder, or liquid and ship it to you in 5 to 7 business days or less. Just provide us with the complete formula.

7. What species?
We formulate and produce diets for all laboratory animal species, including rats, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, primates, and swine.

8. What about confidentiality?
We work with pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and educational institutions worldwide providing absolute protection of their confidentiality. Without your explicit prior permission, no information regarding the diets you purchase or the experiments you are conducting is ever revealed.

9. Does Research Diets completely disclose formulas?
We always provide you a complete formula sheet, listing the exact description and precise amount of each and every ingredient, including all salts and vitamins.

10. Can diets be irradiated for barrier facilities?
Almost all of our diets can be gamma-irradiated for use in barrier facilities. Irradiated diets are "double-bagged" inside our standard double-walled corrugated carton.

Some of our stock diets are available irradiated. Other diets are irradiated per order at an additional cost depending on quantity. See more information on gamma irradiation.

11. What forms of diets are available?
We make virtually any diet in powder, extruded pellets, or liquid form. Our proprietary process allows us to produce extruded pellets with fat content as high as 60%kcal (±35% fat by weight).

12. Can Research Diets add test compounds to diets?
With precision and consistency, we can homogeneously blend virtually any test compound, medication, or nutrient into any commercial "chow," or into one of our more than 20,000 existing OpenSource Diets. This is effective for administering pharmaceuticals and conducting toxicity studies. For more information.

13. How quickly can Research Diets produce and deliver a diet?
We pride ourselves on worldwide on-time delivery. We understand the importance of your research and respond rapidly to your questions and concerns and deliver a diet when you need it.

Many stock diets are available for immediate shipment.

Typically, custom orders are produced in 5 to 7 business days. We consistently meet our delivery commitments and provide RUSH services when requested.

14. What about quality assurance and consistency?
Every ingredient in every purified diet is assured to be of the highest quality and is traceable back to the original reliable source.

Every batch of diet is guaranteed to be precisely consistent with formula specifications and with all previous batches whenever produced - even a month, a year, or a decade earlier. Therefore, our diets are always easy to report, repeat, and revise.

The quality of our products is evidenced by the thousands of satisfied researchers worldwide. Our customers include the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as university laboratories, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and government agencies worldwide. Our diets are manufactured in our state-of-the-art custom-designed production laboratory in accordance with the strictest standards in the industry.

15. What about prices?
Prices for our stock diets are available upon request. Volume discounts are available. Prices for custom OpenSource Diets are provided by quote. It is our goal to provide you with the right diet for your research. By speaking with one of our nutritionists before your project begins, we can insure that you receive the diet that meets your particular needs. Please contact us for consultation regarding your specific diet needs and corresponding pricing.

16. What is the difference between AIN-93G & AIN-93M, and AIN-76A?
The American Society for Nutrition (formerly American Institute of Nutrition, AIN) has published formulas for purified diets determined by AIN to be adequate for rodents. The AIN-76A diet, published in 1977, became AIN-76A when slightly modified in 1980. Several suggestions for modification resulted in two new formulas being published, AIN-93G (for growth, gestation, and lactation) and AIN-93M (for maintenance of mature animals). Some of the changes include replacing corn oil with soy oil, adding other sources of carbohydrates, lowering sucrose and phosphorus, using cystine in place of methionine, making some vitamin adjustments, and inclusion of several trace minerals. The maintenance diet, AIN-93M, has less fat and protein than the growth diet, AIN-93G. (See: J. Nutr. 123:1939-1951, 1993.)
Our diets # D10012G (AIN-93M), D10012M (AIN-93M), and D10001 (AIN-76A).

17. What is the shelf life of a purified diet?
Our purified diets are labeled with an expiration date equal to 6 months from the date of manufacture when stored in a cool, dry area. However, they may well be nutritionally adequate beyond that time frame, especially if they are kept frozen until the package is opened. The products are not guaranteed beyond the 6 month expiration date.

18. What is the minimum quantity I can order?
Our standard carton sizes are 2.5 kg, 5 kg, and 12.5 kg. for both In-stock and custom diets. You can order as little as a kilo of any diet. Please inquire.

BioDAQ for Rat and Mouse

1. What species can I monitor in a BioDAQ?
Both rat and mouse. Proportionally sized food hopper designs allow feeding of pelleted OpenSource Diets, ad libitum, for up to five days.

2. Can I install the BioDAQ food hopper to my own cage?
If you provide us with the make and model of your standard home cage, we will purchase and modify the same cage or a similar one from one of several top manufacturers.

3. What is the minimum number of Sensors (PSCs) in a system?
Our minimum electronic system starts at 8 sensors (PSCs).

4. What is the maximum number of Sensors (PSCs) in a system?
You can operate 32 sensors using one Central Controller/ laptop pair.

5. Can I use the same sensor (PSC) for a rat and mouse? For a food and water hopper?
Yes. The peripheral controller is interchangeable between rat and mouse and food and water hardware. We manufacture one type of sensor (PSC) and Central Controller. Each PSC can be used to monitor either rat or mouse and food or water. This, coupled with the modularity of the BioDAQ hardware, allows the same system to easily accommodate different investigators and experimental designs.

6. What is the delivery time?
Depending on our in stock situation and current demand, delivery will run between 6 to 8 weeks.

7. Can I install the system on ventilated cages?
In order to accept the cage mount we modify the cages by cutting a square opening on the front face of the cage which limits the effectiveness of a ventilation system.

8. Can I install the system on an auto water rack?
Yes. An auto water rack is one of the preferred stable rack systems required for proper installation.

9. Can I install the system on my own rack?
We would prefer that you use one of our standard Metro racks or Allentown auto water racks for stability reasons. The peripheral controllers are extremely sensitive to vibrations and an unstable rack will cause inaccurate readings. Let us know the make and model of your rack and provide a digital photo so we can evaluate the stability of your rack system.

10. Can I use my own computer to run the software?
The software is bundled on the supplied laptop computer and an integrated part of the BioDAQ. You can connect remotely through a network to the laptop. We can provide technical assistance on how to load software and connect to a network.

11. Can I start with a smaller system and expand later?
Yes, any system we provide has the potential to monitor up to 32 sensors (PSCs). Many of our customers have started with an 8 PSC system and the expanded to a complete 32 PSC system later.

12. Do you offer evaluation systems?
While we do not offer complete electronic systems for evaluation, we will ship a sample cage (including Unplugged hardware) configured for your proposed experiments. A copy of our DataVeiwer software for post collection manipulation and analysis of BioDAQ data sets will also be included. Please contact us to arrange an evaluation.


1. What species can BioDAQ NHP monitor?
Rhesus monkeys, baboons, African greens monkeys, and Cynomolgus macaques.

2. What kind of diets can it feed?
Any diet formulation of a grain based or purified ingredient diet in a 3/8 inch cylindrical pellet. Available from any US diet manufacturer including Research Diets, Inc.

3. How many animals can one feeder supply?
Depending on the size of the animal and food intake levels between 20 and 40 animals per feeder.

4. Can the BioDAQ NHP be used outdoors?
Yes, both outdoors with an awning and indoors.