Original Research

A comparative analysis of mycotoxin contamination of supermarket and premium brand pelleted dog food in Durban, South Africa

Sanil D. Singh, Anil A. Chuturgoon
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 88 | a1488 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v88i0.1488 | © 2017 Sanil D. Singh, Anil A. Chuturgoon | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2016 | Published: 06 October 2017

About the author(s)

Sanil D. Singh, Biomedical Research Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Anil A. Chuturgoon, Discipline of Medical Biochemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Dry pelleted dog food in the South African market is available via supermarkets, pet stores (standard brands [SBs]) and veterinary channels (premium brands [PBs]). For the purpose of this study, the supermarket channel included the cheaper quality foods and PBs were sold via the veterinary channel (n = 20). These feeds were analysed for four main mycotoxins (aflatoxins [AF], fumonisin [FB], ochratoxin A [OTA] and zearalenone [ZEA]) using standard welldescribed extraction, characterisation and quantitation processes. Irrespective of the brand or marketing channel, all foods were contaminated with fungi (mainly Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus parasiticus) and mycotoxins (most prevalent being aflatoxins and fumonisins). This was observed in all 20 samples irrespective of the marketing channel or perceived quality. Also, many samples within each marketing channel failed the 10 ppb limit for aflatoxin set by regulations in South Africa. Although fumonisin was detected in all samples, a single sample failed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit of 100 ppb. Both OTA and ZEA were found at low concentrations and were absent in some samples. This study suggested that higher priced dog food does not ensure superior quality or that it is free from contamination with fungi or mycotoxins. However, analysis of the more expensive PBs did reveal contamination concentrations lower than those of the SBs.


mycotoxins; fungi; aflatoxins; fumonisins; ochratoxin A; zearalenone; marketing channels; standard and premium brand dog foods


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Crossref Citations

1. A comparison of mycotoxin contamination of premium and grocery brands of pelleted cat food in South Africa
Sanil D. Singh, Sooraj Baijnath, Anil A. Chuturgoon
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association  vol: 88  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/jsava.v88i0.1480