Variation in retinol and carotenoid content of milk and milk products in the Netherlands

P.J.M. Hulshof, G.C. van Roekel-Jansen, P. van de Bovenkamp, C.E. West

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Retinol and carotenoids were measured in Dutch milk and dairy products using a validated approach based on complete extraction of fat, followed by mild saponification and analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography. Raw milk, full fat milk, semi-skimmed milk and butter contain about 10 ¿g retinol and 6 g carotenoids per g fat. Values for retinol equivalents in milk are 10-20% higher than the values published in the Dutch food composition table. ß-Carotene comprises 90% of total carotenoids present in cow's milk, contrary to values published for human milk, which show more equally distributed carotenoids. Winter milk contains 20% less retinol and ß-carotene compared to summer milk. Retention of retinol and ß-carotene per g fat in hard cheese is one third to one half relative to the corresponding raw milk. In liquid and semi-liquid dairy products (pasteurized milk, buttermilk, vanilla custard, and yoghurt) retention of both compounds is above 80%. Recovery of carotenoids using the validated method is better than that reported by others previously
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
JournalJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • mature human-milk
  • major carotenoids
  • vitamin-a
  • foods
  • quantitation
  • infants


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