Pet Food News / Pet Food Safety / Pet Food Regulations
on February 15, 2011

Preservative TBHQ may present hazards in petfood

Chemical found in human food, petfood can be poisonous in high doses

Tertiary butylhydroquinone, TBHQ, is a chemical preservative used in food and petfood to delay the onset of rancidness and greatly extend the storage life of foods.

According to an article by Shona Botes on, the Food and Drug Administration allows amounts of up to 0.02% of the total oils in food to be TBHQ, but consuming high doses (between 1 and 4 grams) can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus and vomiting. Long-term, high doses of TBHQ in laboratory animals have shown a tendency for the animals to develop cancerous precursors in their stomachs and begin to present DNA damage.

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