In this study moulds and 12 mycotoxins in dry pet food samples (25 for dogs and 24 for cats) were determined. Primary moulds identified were Aspergillus, Mucor and Penicillium, found in 55% of the samples. Deoxynivalenol and zearalenone (ZEN) were detected in all samples with mean respective concentrations being 97.3 and 38.3 µg kg(-1) in cat food and 114 and 20.1 µg kg(-1) in dog food. T-2 and HT-2 toxins were present in 88% and 84% of the samples, respectively. Two samples contained fumonisins, with a maximum concentration of 108 µg kg(-1). Aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A were detected in 8% and 45% of the samples, respectively. The measured mould and mycotoxin levels were consistent with results obtained by other studies. However, potential exposure to relatively high concentrations of an oestrogen mycotoxin as is ZEN, especially when in combination with other mycotoxins, needs attention.
Keywords: cat; dog; fluorescence detection; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; moulds; mycotoxins; pet food.