Effect of milk type and processing on iodine concentration of organic and conventional winter milk at retail: implications for nutrition

Food Chem. 2015 Jul 1;178:327-30. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.01.091. Epub 2015 Jan 24.


Milk is the largest source of iodine in UK diets and an earlier study showed that organic summer milk had significantly lower iodine concentration than conventional milk. There are no comparable studies with winter milk or the effect of milk fat class or heat processing method. Two retail studies with winter milk are reported. Study 1 showed no effect of fat class but organic milk was 32.2% lower in iodine than conventional milk (404 vs. 595 μg/L; P<0.001). Study 2 found no difference between conventional and Channel Island milk but organic milk contained 35.5% less iodine than conventional milk (474 vs. 306 μg/L; P<0.001). UHT and branded organic milk also had lower iodine concentrations than conventional milk (331 μg/L; P<0.001 and 268 μg/L: P<0.0001 respectively). The results indicate that replacement of conventional milk by organic or UHT milk will increase the risk of sub-optimal iodine status especially for pregnant/lactating women.

Keywords: Fat class; Iodine; Milk; Organic; UHT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acids / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Food Handling
  • Food, Organic / analysis
  • Food, Organic / economics
  • Iodine / analysis*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / economics
  • Nutritive Value
  • Seasons


  • Acids
  • Iodine