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)

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.

Diets that we formulate and produce to your specifications, for an individual research project are "custom diets." With over 30,000 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. Contact us.

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 .

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. Contact us.

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. Contact us.

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

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.

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.

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

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).

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 30,000 existing OpenSource Diets. This is effective for administering pharmaceuticals and conducting toxicity studies. For more information.

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 in-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.

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 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.

Prices for our in-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.

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).

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.

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.

Below are typical daily feeding requirements for several species. Use the numbers when calculating how much diet you will need to complete your study. If you have any question speak with one of our scientists for assistance.

Typical Daily Feeding Requirements Adult Animals/ grams per day Growing Animals/ grams per day
Hamsters  10-15  10-15
Mice   3-5 3-5
Rats   15-30 depending on strain  15-30 depending on strain
Non-human Primates (NHP)  2-4% of body weight depending on animal condition  2-4% of body weight depending on animal condition
Guinea Pigs   35 up to 35
Rabbits   110-175 for males and non-pregnant females
175-225 for pregnant/ lactating females
50-75 at 3-6 weeks
125-150 at 6-8 weeks
Pellets Powder
Pellets are easier to feed than powder. Pellets can simply be thrown on top of the cage or even inside. It's easy to monitor the pellet supply and assure that animals have 24/7 access to feed. For food intake monitoring see BioDAQ. Powder requires special feeders. The feeders can be easily tipped and spilled, and the food can also be easily soiled by urine, feces or even saliva. So it is difficult to assure that the animals have 24/7 access to good clean food.
Pellets are a stable food stuff. They can be stored for months without losing quality. Powder has much greater surface area and the food spoils much easier. Powder also has a less obvious problem in as much as powders can become 'unmixed' over time. That is, smaller, more dense particles may sift to the bottom and less dense, fluffier parts may sift up, making the diet no longer homogenous and in the extreme nutritionally incomplete from top or bottom.
Pellets are homogeneous. Powder can be separated by the animal by pawing, sniffing and snorting, either intentionally or inadvertently.
Once pelleted compounds are 'frozen' in place and won't become unmixed. Also the test compound is more stable in pellets as most of it is inside the pellet and away from direct air, light and humidity which cause most of the degradation of test compounds. Powder is often used by facilities that lack the equipment, personnel, money or interest in pelleting food. This is often done when researchers want to add test compounds to feed. Test compounds can easily sift out of the powder.
Pellets are dustless and cannot be inhaled. Powder can be (or is) inhaled by feeding animals causing respiratory irritation and infections. This is an often overlooked problem with feeding powder diets. This is especially likely with powders of standard chows, which unless irradiated are loaded with microbes.
Feeding pellets helps 'wear' incisors down. Powder fed rodents may develop overgrown incisors.

BioDAQ Rat and Mouse

Both rat and mouse. Proportionally sized food hopper designs allow feeding of pelleted OpenSource Diets, ad libitum, for up to five days.

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. See cages.

Our minimum electronic system starts at 8 sensors (PSCs).

You can operate 32 sensors using one Central Controller/ laptop pair.

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.

Depending on our in stock situation and current demand, delivery will run between 6 to 8 weeks.

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.

Yes. An auto water rack is one of the preferred stable rack systems required for proper installation.

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. See racks.

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.

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.

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.


Rhesus monkeys, African greens monkeys, and Cynomolgus macaques.

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.

Depending on the size of the animal and food intake levels between 20 and 40 animals per feeder.

Yes, outdoors with an awning for protection from weather. Indoors installations do not have this requirement.