Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 359–365 | Cite as

Risk assessment of 22 chemical elements in dry and canned pet foods

  • Ana Carolina Cavalheiro Paulelli
  • Airton Cunha MartinsJr
  • Eloísa Silva de Paula
  • Juliana Maria Oliveira Souza
  • Maria Fernanda Hornos Carneiro
  • Fernando Barbosa Júnior
  • Bruno Lemos BatistaEmail author
Research article


There is little information on the levels of chemical elements in pet food considering the dietary requirements as well as risk assessment of toxicity. This study aimed to determine the essential and toxic elements in dry and canned foods for dogs and cats and estimate their daily intake. We compared the levels of the chemical elements between the dry and wet (canned) food to the levels recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) and the maximum tolerable level proposed by European Commission (EC). In addition, the estimated daily intake (EDI) for each one of the elements through food was calculated. Seventy-six dry food samples (dogs n = 62 and cats n = 14) from 43 brands and 12 canned foods (dogs n = 6 and cats n = 6) from 5 brands, were purchased from Brazilian supermarkets. Mean levels of all essential elements reached the minimum level recommended by AACFO. Selenium levels were very close to the maximum limit proposed by AAFCO. Besides, the iron concentrations in canned (moist) food were statistically higher than in dry food and its EDI for cats (54 mg/day × kg body weight) exceeded the maximum limit recommended by FEDIAF. Regarding the toxic metals, the concentrations of mercury and cadmium, in dry and canned food, were considerably higher than the maximum tolerable level proposed by EC. Overall, the results show that levels of essential elements are in agreement with the nutrient requirement. On the other hand, mercury and cadmium in pet food are an issue of concern.


Chemical elements Pet food Dietary requirements Daily intake Risk assessment 



The authors thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Carolina Cavalheiro Paulelli
    • 1
  • Airton Cunha MartinsJr
    • 1
  • Eloísa Silva de Paula
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juliana Maria Oliveira Souza
    • 1
  • Maria Fernanda Hornos Carneiro
    • 1
  • Fernando Barbosa Júnior
    • 1
  • Bruno Lemos Batista
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão PretoUniversidade de São PauloRibeirão PrêtoBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório Nacional Agropecuário em São Paulo-Lanagro-SPMinistério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento-MAPACampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Centro de Ciências Naturais e HumanasUniversidade Federal do ABCSanto AndréBrazil

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