Food and nutrition bulletin

Validation of a user-friendly and rapid method for quantifying iodine content of salt.

PMID 23444714


Despite considerable progress made in the past decade through salt iodization programs, over 2 billion people worldwide still have inadequate iodine intake, with devastating consequences for brain development and intellectual capacity. To optimize these programs with regard to salt iodine content, careful monitoring of salt iodine content is essential, but few methods are available to quantitatively measure iodine concentration in a simple, fast, and safe way. We have validated a newly developed device that quantitatively measures the content of potassium iodate in salt in a simple, safe, and rapid way. The linearity, determination and detection limit, and inter- and intra-assay variability of this colorimetric method were assessed and the method was compared with iodometric titration, using salt samples from several countries. Linearity of analysis ranged from 5 to 75 mg/kg iodine, with 1 mg/kg being the determination limit; the intra- and interassay imprecision was 0.9%, 0.5%, and 0.7% and 1.5%, 1.7%, and 2.5% for salt samples with iodine contents of 17, 30, and 55 mg/kg, respectively; the interoperator imprecision for the same samples was 1.2%, 4.9%, and 4.7%, respectively. Comparison with the iodometric method showed high agreement between the methods (R2 = 0.978; limits of agreement, -10.5 to 10.0 mg/kg). The device offers a field- and user-friendly solution to quantifying potassium iodate salt content reliably. For countries that use potassium iodide in salt iodization programs, further validation is required.