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On January 8, 2014

Thiamine concentrations in canned foods for cats

Thiamine concentration in a substantial percentage of canned foods was below the amount recommended for adult cats.

Researchers measured thiamine concentrations in commercial canned foods formulated for cats as an assessment of the variation among canned foods. Researchers also determined the effects of flavor (fish vs. nonfish) of the food, texture (paté vs. nonpaté) of the food, country of manufacture and size of the company on thiamine concentration.

Ninety canned, nontherapeutic diets formulated for cats (one fish and one nonfish flavor for each of 45 brands) were used during testing. Each canned food was homogenized, and thiamine concentration was analyzed with a fluorometric method. Thiamine concentration was below the minimums of the Association of American Feed Control Officials in 12 of 90 foods and below the recommended allowance of the National Research Council in 14 of 90 foods. Paté foods had significantly lower thiamine concentrations than did nonpaté foods, and foods from smaller companies had significantly lower thiamine concentrations, compared with concentrations in foods from larger companies. Flavor of food and country of manufacture were not significantly associated with thiamine concentration.

Thiamine concentration in a substantial percentage of commercially available canned foods was below the amount recommended for adult cats. Additional research on interlot and intralot variation in thiamine concentrations of foods formulated for cats is warranted. Companies should implement strict quality control and analysis practices regarding food products.

Source:  Jessica E. Markovich et al., 2014. Analysis of thiamine concentrations in commercial canned foods formulated for cats. JAVMAonline, January 2014. doi: 10.2460/javma.244.2.175.

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