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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;68(8):938-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.63. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Comparison of breast milk vitamin A concentration measured in fresh milk by a rapid field assay (the iCheck FLUORO) with standard measurement of stored milk by HPLC.

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Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Davis, CA, USA.
Helen Keller International, Yaoundé, Cameroon.


Availability of rapid, point-of-contact analytical methods would facilitate the use of breast milk vitamin A concentration (BMVA) to assess vitamin A (VA) status. We compared BMVA concentrations measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (the standard technique) with those by iCheck FLUORO, a new portable fluorometer that can rapidly quantify BMVA. Casual breast milk samples (n=154) were collected during a representative survey in Yaoundé and Douala, Cameroon. Milk fat and BMVA concentrations (by iCheck) were measured in fresh milk in the field. After storage at <-20 °C, BMVA concentrations were also measured by HPLC. BMVA values from the two methods were highly correlated (R(2)=0.72 for BMVA/l; R(2)=0.62 for BMVA/g fat, both P<0.0001). HPLC values were greater than iCheck values on average, and the difference increased with increasing BMVA. The iCheck FLUORO could be useful for monitoring fortification programs, but before-after surveys to assess change in BMVA concentrations should use one method consistently.

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