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Factors Affecting Nitrite Concentrations in Cat Food

Context: Regulations for pet food production and additives in Japan are defined by the Law for Ensuring the Safety of Pet Food, but are not as detailed as regulations concerning food for human consumption.

Objective: Nitrite is a food additive used to improve color and taste and to control botulinum. We examined the levels of sodium nitrite in 33 samples of commercially available wet-type cat foods.

Design: We measured nitrite levels in the samples, and stratified the findings by ingredient. We also estimated the upper limit concentration for sodium nitrite in cat foods compared with the standard concentration defined by current Japanese law.

Results: Concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 6.14 mg/kg. Nitrite levels were highest in beef formulations is the upper limit concentration calculated was considerably lower than the concentration mandated by law, and eight of the samples measured exceeded the upper limit.

Conclusions: It may be necessary to set stricter limits for nitrite contents in cat


Jun Kobayashi, Keiichi Ikeda, Hideo Sugiyama

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