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Iodine Concentration in Milk Sampled from Canadian Farms

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A study was conducted to determine the iodine concentration in milk and the relationship between that concentration and milking and feeding management practices. Milk samples were collected from the bulk tanks of 501 farms in all provinces of Canada. With a view to obtaining further information about farm management, a questionnaire was completed at each of the selected farms. Total iodine concentration (organic and inorganic) in the milk was determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The farms were grouped for each of the variables and, based on significant differences in iodine concentrations, 15 variables were selected for further analysis. A general linear model was fitted, with milk iodine as the response variable to main and two-way interaction effects. The mean iodine concentration in Canadian milk was 304 ± 8.4 μg/kg, with concentrations ranging from 54 to 1,902 μg/kg. Analysis of the questionnaire data suggested that component feeding was associated with lower iodine levels in milk than the levels obtained with total mixed rations. Neither the use of mineral supplementation nor the form of supplementation affected iodine levels in milk. Washing and dipping the teats before milking affected iodine in milk. The method of application of the teat sanitizers appears to be important, given that spray applications (inline or hand spraying) were associated with higher levels than those observed with the dip-cup procedure. In conclusion, Canadian milk iodine concentration varies considerably and appears to be influenced by feeding and milking practices.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2000 College Street, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1M 1Z3 2: Bureau of Food Policy and Science Integration, Food Directorate, Health Canada, Sir F. G. Banting Research Centre, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 3: Food Programme, Health Products and Food, Health Canada, 1001 St-Laurent Street W., Longueuil, Quebec, Canada J4K 1C7

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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