Document Detail

Survey of retail milk composition as affected by label claims regarding farm-management practices.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18589029     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A trend in food labeling is to make claims related to agricultural management, and this is occurring with dairy labels. A survey study was conducted to compare retail milk for quality (antibiotics and bacterial counts), nutritional value (fat, protein, and solids-not-fat), and hormonal composition (somatotropin, insulin-like growth factor-1 [IGF-1], estradiol, and progesterone) as affected by three label claims related to dairy-cow management: conventional, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST)-free (processor-certified not from cows supplemented with rbST), or organic (follows US Department of Agriculture organic practices). Retail milk samples (n=334) from 48 states were collected. Based on a statistical analysis that reflected the sampling schema and distributions appropriate to the various response variables, minor differences were observed for conventional, rbST-free, and organic milk labels. Conventionally labeled milk had the lowest (P<0.05) bacterial counts compared to either milk labeled rbST-free or organic; however, these differences were not biologically meaningful. In addition, conventionally labeled milk had significantly less (P<0.05) estradiol and progesterone than organic milk (4.97 vs 6.40 pg/mL and 12.0 vs 13.9 ng/mL, respectively). Milk labeled rbST-free had similar concentrations of progesterone vs conventional milk and similar concentrations of estradiol vs organic milk. Concentrations of IGF-1 in milk were similar between conventional milk and milk labeled rbST-free. Organic milk had less (P<0.05) IGF-1 than either conventional or rbST-free milk (2.73 ng/mL vs 3.12 and 3.04 ng/mL, respectively). The macronutrient profiles of the different milks were similar, except for a slight increase in protein in organic milk (about 0.1% greater for organic compared to other milks). Label claims were not related to any meaningful differences in the milk compositional variables measured. It is important for food and nutrition professionals to know that conventional, rbST-free, and organic milk are compositionally similar so they can serve as a key resource to consumers who are making milk purchase (and consumption) decisions in a marketplace where there are misleading milk label claims.
John Vicini; Terry Etherton; Penny Kris-Etherton; Joan Ballam; Steven Denham; Robin Staub; Daniel Goldstein; Roger Cady; Michael McGrath; Matthew Lucy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Dietetic Association     Volume:  108     ISSN:  0002-8223     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Diet Assoc     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-30     Completed Date:  2008-07-17     Revised Date:  2009-01-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503061     Medline TA:  J Am Diet Assoc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1198-203     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Monsanto Company LC, St Louis, MO 63167, USA. <>
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage,  analysis
Cattle / metabolism,  physiology
Cell Count
Consumer Product Safety
Consumer Satisfaction
Dairying / methods*
Food Labeling*
Growth Hormone / administration & dosage,  analysis*
Milk / chemistry*,  standards
Milk Proteins / analysis*
Nutritive Value
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anti-Bacterial Agents; 0/Milk Proteins; 9002-72-6/Growth Hormone
Comment In:
J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Dec;108(12):1991; author reply 1991   [PMID:  19027395 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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