Effect of production system, supermarket and purchase date on the vitamin D content of eggs at retail

Food Chem. 2017 Apr 15;221:1021-1025. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.11.060. Epub 2016 Nov 15.


The vitamin D content of eggs from three retail outlets was measured over five months to examine the effects of production system (organic vs. free range vs. indoor), supermarket and purchase date on the concentration of vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. Results demonstrated a higher vitamin D3 concentration in free range (57.2±3.1μg/kg) and organic (57.2±3.2μg/kg) compared with indoor (40.2±3.1μg/kg) (P<0.001), which was perhaps related to increased vitamin D synthesis by birds having more access to sunlight, while 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration was higher (P<0.05) only in organic eggs. The interaction (P<0.05) between system and supermarket for both forms of vitamin D may relate to some incorrect labelling. Concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 was higher (P<0.05) in July and September than in August. The results indicate variations in vitamin D concentrations in eggs from different sources, thus highlighting the importance of accurate labelling.

Keywords: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D(3); Eggs; Vitamin D(3).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcifediol / analysis
  • Calcifediol / metabolism
  • Chickens
  • Cholecalciferol / analysis*
  • Cholecalciferol / metabolism
  • Commerce / standards*
  • Commerce / trends
  • Eggs / analysis*
  • Farms / standards*
  • Farms / trends
  • Humans
  • Sunlight*
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom
  • Vitamin D / analysis
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcifediol