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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #222478

Title: Variability in the Vitamin D Content of 2% Milk from a Nationwide United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sampling

item Patterson, Kristine
item Byrdwell, W Craig
item Exler, Jacob
item Harnly, James - Jim
item Lemar, Linda
item Pehrsson, Pamela
item Wolf, Wayne

Submitted to: National Nutrient Databank Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2008
Publication Date: 5/12/2008
Citation: Patterson, K.K., Phillips, K., Horst, R., Byrdwell, W.C., Exler, J., Harnly, J.M., Lemar, L.E., Pehrsson, P.R., Wolf, W.R. 2008. Variability in the vitamin D content of 2% milk from a nationwide United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sampling. 32nd National Nutrient Databank Conference, May 12-14, 2008, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the vitamin D content of retail 2% milk. Milk contains little natural vitamin D but is usually supplemented with vitamin D3 for retail sale in the United States. The fortification target is 400 IU per quart (25% DV per 8 oz serving or 42 IU/100g). In practice, the actual vitamin D concentration in milk may vary. Materials and Methods: In 2001, the USDA sampled and analyzed vitamin D in 2% milk from 12 statistically selected supermarkets in the United States. In 2007, sampling was repeated obtaining milk from 24 different supermarkets. Analyses were done on the 2007 samples and repeated for the 2001 samples by HPLC with UV detection using a method specifically validated for vitamin D in milk. Results: Of the 12 samples obtained in 2001, 7 samples were below label value, 4 within 100-150% of label, and 1 above 150% of label. Three of the 2007 samples were below label value with one, despite the label claim, having no detectable vitamin D; 20 had values within 100-150% of label, and 1 above 150% of label. Other types of fluid milk samples were also obtained, and the analyses are ongoing. Significance: Regulations from the US FDA require that the amount of vitamin D in milk be at least equal to the nutrient value declared on the label. The acceptable range within limits of good manufacturing practices is 100–150% of label claims. The required amount of vitamin D on the label for 2% milk was met by less than half of the 2001 samples but over 80% of those sampled in 2007. Due to the high levels of consumption, milk is an important source of vitamin D for many North Americans, and current and accurate data are important to the assessment of intake. Supported by USDA-NIH Contract #YICN5010.