Determination of selenium in bovine milk in natura from Ceará - Brazil




Selenium; Food Composition; Soil; Micronutrient.


Selenium is essential to human health. Among the foods considered to be a source of selenium are Brazilian nuts, meat, eggs, milk and others, varying according to the geographical area where they are grown or raised. Data on Se in foods grown, processed and marketed in Brazil are absent in Brazilian food composition tables. The aim of the study was to determine the selenium concentration in bovine milk in natura produced in Ceará, Northeast region of Brazil. This is an experimental research, where samples were collected in municipalities of the main milk basins of Ceará. The selenium concentrations were determined by Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry coupled to a quartz cell. The moisture, ash and protein contents were analyzed according to the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (1980) methodology, the lipid content by Soxhlet method and the amount of carbohydrates was calculated by difference.  The mean selenium, moisture, ash, protein, lipid and carbohydrate concentrations of fresh bovine milk were 2.9 µg/100mL, 89.0 mg/100mL, 0.6 mg/100mL, 2.9 mg/100mL, 3.6 mg/100mL and 4.0 mg/100mL, respectively. The concentration of selenium in fresh bovine milk ranged from 0.1-9.0 µg/100mL, being higher in some locations compared to other locations in Brazil and worldwide, which may contribute to the consumption of this mineral by the population of the state.


Antonio, R. P. Espécies forrageiras: principais contribuições, estado atual e perspectivas para a pesquisa no Embrapa semiárido. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Petrolina, 2015.

Association of Official Analytical Chemists, & Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (US). (1980). Official methods of analysis (Vol. 13).

Bondan, C., Folchini, J. A., Noro, M., Machado, K. M., Muhls, E., & González, F. H. D. (2019). Variation of cow’s milk composition across different daily milking sessions and feasibility of using a composite sampling. Ciência Rural, 49(6).

Brasil, I. B. G. E. (2011). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares 2008-2009: Tabelas de Composição Nutricional dos Alimentos Consumidos no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, p. 251.

Castro, D. A., Souza, J. H. R., Moraes, M. F., Wilson, L., Broadley, M. R., Tardin, A. B. B., & White, P. J. (2019, October). Accumulation and distribution of selenium in Brazil nut tree in relation to soil selenium availability. In Selenium Research for Environment and Human Health: Perspectives, Technologies and Advancements: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Selenium in the Environment and Human Health (ICSEHH 2019). CRC Press, 408(22), october, 2019.

Csapó, J., Holló, G., Holló, I., Salamon, R. V., Salamon, S., Toró, S., & Csapóné Kiss, Z. (2015). Production of selenium-enriched milk and dairy products. Acta Univ. Sapientiae Aliment, 8, 5-29.

Carvalho, G. S., Oliveira, J. R., Curi, N., Schulze, D. G., & Marques, J. J. (2019). Selenium and mercury in Brazilian Cerrado soils and their relationships with physical and chemical soil characteristics. Chemosphere, 218, 412-415.

De Abreu Faria, L., de Cerqueira Luz, P. H., & Abdalla, A. L. (2019). Selenium Fertilization in Tropical Pastures. In Importance of Selenium in the Environment and Human Health. IntechOpen.

Dinh, Q. T., Wang, M., Tran, T. A. T., Zhou, F., Wang, D., Zhai, H., & Liang, D. (2019). Bioavailability of selenium in soil-plant system and a regulatory approach. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 49(6), 443-517. 2019.

Ebrahimi, N., Stoddard, F. L., Hartikainen, H., & Seppänen, M. M. (2019). Plant species and growing season weather influence the efficiency of selenium biofortification. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 114(2), 111-124. 2019.

Eiche, E., Nothstein, A. K., Göttlicher, J., Steininger, R., Dhillon, K. S., & Neumann, T. (2019). The behaviour of irrigation induced Se in the groundwater-soil-plant system in Punjab, India. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 21(6), 957-969. 2019.

Freitas, G. C. V., Lemos, R. D. C. A. S., França, A. C. B., dos Santos, L. C. C., Leão, S. M. L. M., & Nogueira, T. R. (2020). Efeitos da suplementação de selênio sobre a defesa antioxidante na Doença Renal Crônica. Research, Society and Development, 9(5), e189953247-e189953247. 2020.

IPECE (2018). Análise da cadeia produtiva do leite e seus derivados no Ceará. IPECE informe / Instituto de Pesquisa e Estratégia Econômica do Ceará (IPECE) Fortaleza-Ceará: Secretaria do Planejamento e Gestão do Estado do Ceará. Informe número 128.

Juntolli, F. (2016). A pecuária de leite no Brasil: cenários e avanços tecnológicos. Brasília, DF: Embrapa.

Khanam, A., & Platel, K. (2016). Bioaccessibility of selenium, selenomethionine and selenocysteine from foods and influence of heat processing on the same. Food chemistry, 194, 1293-1299. 2016.

Khan, I. T., Bule, M., Rahman Ullah, M. N., Asif, S., & Niaz, K. (2019). The antioxidant components of milk and their role in processing, ripening, and storage: Functional food. Veterinary world, 12(1), 12. 2019.

Kieliszek, M., & Błażejak, S. (2016). Current knowledge on the importance of selenium in food for living organisms: a review. Molecules, 21(5), 609. 2016.

Kieliszek, M. (2019). Selenium–fascinating microelement, properties and sources in food. Molecules, 24(7), 1298. 2019.

Ling, K., Henno, M., Jõudu, I., Püssa, T., Jaakson, H., Kass, M., & Ots, M. (2017). Selenium supplementation of diets of dairy cows to produce Se-enriched cheese. International dairy journal, 71, 76-81. 2017.

Liu, H. Y., Zhu, W. Z., Lu, B. Y., Wei, Z. H., & Ren, D. X. (2015). Effect of feed selenium supplementation on milk selenium distribution and mozzarella quality. Journal of Dairy Science, 98(12), 8359-8367. 2015.

Lutz, I. A. (2008). Métodos físico-químicos para análise de alimentos. São Paulo: Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA). 2018.

Navarro-Alarcon, M., & Cabrera-Vique, C. (2008). Selenium in food and the human body: a review. Science of the total environment, 400(1-3), 115-141. 2008.

Nozella, E. F., Cabral-Filho, S. L. S., Bueno, I. C. S., Godoy, P. B., Minho, A. P., Araújo-Filho, J. A., & Vitti, D. M. S. S. Caracterização de forrageiras do nordeste utilizando a técnica de produção de gases, quantificação de taninos e composição química. 2. Plantas do estado do Ceará. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), 1-4, 2006.

Ngigi, P. B., Lachat, C., Masinde, P. W., & Du Laing, G. (2019). Agronomic biofortification of maize and beans in Kenya through selenium fertilization. Environmental geochemistry and health, 41(6), 2577-2591. 2019.

O’Kane, S. M., Pourshahidi, L. K., Mulhern, M. S., Weir, R. R., Hill, S., O’Reilly, J., & Yeates, A. J. (2018). The effect of processing and seasonality on the iodine and selenium concentration of cow’s milk produced in Northern Ireland (NI): Implications for population dietary intake. Nutrients, 10(3), 287. 2018.

Pilarczyk, B., Tomza‐Marciniak, A., Mituniewicz‐Małek, A., Wieczorek‐Dąbrowska, M., Pilarczyk, R., Wójcik, J., & Dmytrów, I. (2010). Selenium content in selected products of animal origin and estimation of the degree of cover daily Se requirement in Poland. International journal of food science & technology, 45(1), 186-191. 2010.

Portal Brasil (2015, abril 2). Ministério da Agricultura quer fomentar o consumo de leite.

Rostami, S., Fathollahpour, A., Abdi, M., & Naderi, K. (2018). Alteration in prooxidant-antioxidant balance associated with selenium concentration in patients with congenital hypothyroidism. Journal of medical biochemistry, 37(3), 355. 2018.

Simões, A. R. P., da Silva, R. M., de Oliveira, M. V. M., Cristaldo, R. O., & Brito, M. C. B. (2009). Economic evaluation of three different milk production systems in the Alto Pantanal Sul-mato-grossense. Revista Agrarian, 2(5), 153-167. 2009.

Sirichakwal, P. P., Puwastien, P., Polngam, J., & Kongkachuichai, R. (2005). Selenium content of Thai foods. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 18(1), 47-59. 2005.

Stergiadis, S., Nørskov, N. P., Purup, S., Givens, I., & Lee, M. R. (2019). Comparative nutrient profiling of retail goat and cow milk. Nutrients, 11(10), 2282. 2019.

Tan, H. W., Mo, H. Y., Lau, A. T., & Xu, Y. M. (2019). Selenium species: current status and potentials in cancer prevention and therapy. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(1), 75. 2019.

USDA (2013) Agricultural Research Service USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26.

Valea, A., & Georgescu, C. E. (2018). Selenoproteins in human body: focus on thyroid pathophysiology. Hormones, 17(2), 183-196. 2018.

Van Hulzen, K. J. E., Sprong, R. C., Van der Meer, R., & Van Arendonk, J. A. M. (2009). Genetic and nongenetic variation in concentration of selenium, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus in milk of Dutch Holstein-Friesian cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 92(11), 5754-5759. 2009.

Verduci, E., D’Elios, S., Cerrato, L., Comberiati, P., Calvani, M., Palazzo, S., & Peroni, D. G. (2019). Cow’s milk substitutes for children: Nutritional aspects of milk from different mammalian species, special formula and plant-based beverages. Nutrients, 11(8), 1739. 2019.

Wang, N., Tan, H. Y., Li, S., Xu, Y., Guo, W., & Feng, Y. (2017). Supplementation of Micronutrient Selenium in Metabolic Diseases: Its Role as an Antioxidant. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 7478523.

Zhang, Q., Li, W., Wang, J., Hu, B., Yun, H., Guo, R., & Wang, L. (2019). Selenium levels in community dwellers with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Biological trace element research, 191(2), 354-362. 2019.



How to Cite

ASSIS, R. C. de; NOGUEIRA, M. D. de A.; PINHEIRO, A. D. V.; GALDINO, R. S.; ALMONDES, K. G. de S.; MAIA, C. S. C. Determination of selenium in bovine milk in natura from Ceará - Brazil . Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 6, p. e48010616011, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i6.16011. Disponível em: Acesso em: 19 jun. 2024.



Agrarian and Biological Sciences