Determination of total selenium and selenium distribution in the milk phases in commercial cow’s milk by HG-AAS

Abstract

A procedure has been developed for determining the selenium in cow’s milk using hydride generation–atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) following microwave-assisted acid digestion. The selenium distributions in milk whey, fat and micellar casein phases were studied after separating the different phases by ultracentrifugation and determining the selenium in all of them. The detection limits obtained by HG-AAS for the whole milk, milk whey and micellar casein were 0.074, 0.065 and 0.075 μg l−1, respectively. The accuracy for the whole milk was checked by using a Certified Reference Material CRM 8435 whole milk powder from NIST, and the analytical recoveries for the milk whey and casein micelles were 100.9 and 96.9%, respectively. A mass balance study of the determination of selenium in the different milk phases was carried out, obtaining values of 95.5–100.8%. The total content of selenium was determined in 37 milk samples from 15 different manufacturers, 19 whole milk samples and 18 skimmed milk samples. The selenium levels found were within the 8.5–21 μg l−1 range. The selenium distributions in the different milk phases were studied in 14 whole milk samples, and the highest selenium levels were found in milk whey (47.2–73.6%), while the lowest level was found for the fat phase (4.8–16.2%). A strong correlation was found between the selenium levels in whole milk and the selenium levels in the milk components.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of this work by FEIRACO Sociedad Cooperativa Gallega.

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Correspondence to Pilar Bermejo-Barrera.

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Muñiz-Naveiro, Ó., Domínguez-González, R., Bermejo-Barrera, A. et al. Determination of total selenium and selenium distribution in the milk phases in commercial cow’s milk by HG-AAS. Anal Bioanal Chem 381, 1145–1151 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-004-3010-6

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Keywords

  • Selenium
  • Whole milk
  • Milk whey
  • Fat milk
  • Casein micelles
  • Microwave-assisted acid digestion
  • Hydride generation–atomic absorption spectrometry