A wide range of pet food types are available on the market; the dominant type is dry food formulated in croquets. One of the most common ingredients of dry food are cereals—vectors of harmful mycotoxins posing the risk to pet health. In this study, 38 cat and dog dry food samples available on the Polish market were investigated. Morphological and molecular methods were applied to identify fungal genera present in pet food. Quantification of ergosterol and Fusarium
mycotoxins: Fumonisin B1
, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, and zearalenone were performed using high performance liquid chromatography. Obtained results indicated five genera of mycotoxigenic fungi: Alternaria
sp., and Fusarium
sp., including Fusarium verticillioides
and Fusarium proliferatum.
Ergosterol and mycotoxins of interest were detected in both cat and dog food samples in the amounts ranging from 0.31 to 4.05 µg/g for ergosterol and 0.3–30.3, 1.2–618.4, 29.6–299.0, and 12.3–53.0 ng/g for zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, and fumonisin B1
, respectively. The conclusion is the presence of mycotoxins in levels much lower than recommended by EU regulations does not eliminate the risk and caution is advised concerning that long-term daily intake of even small doses of mycotoxins can slowly damage pet’s health.
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