Post-production Losses in Iodine Concentration of Salt Hamper the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders: A Case Study in Northern Ethiopia

Authors

  • Dawit Shawel Department of Public Health, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Seifu Hagos Department of Public Health, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Carl K Lachat Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium, Nutrition and Child Health Unit, Department of Public Health, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Martin E Kimanya Directorate of Food Safety, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority, Dar es Salaam
  • Patrick Kolsteren Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium, Nutrition and Child Health Unit, Department of Public Health, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v28i3.5550

Keywords:

Cross-sectional studies, Iodine, Iodine deficiency, Salt, Ethiopia

Abstract

Iodine is essential for good function of the thyroid, and its deficiency is of public-health importance in
Ethiopia. Iodization of salt is an effective and sustainable strategy to prevent and control iodine deficiency
in large populations. The effectiveness of salt-iodization programmes depends on the conservation of iodine
concentration in salt at various stages of the supply-chain. The overall objective of the study was to
assess the loss of iodine in salt from production to consumption and to estimate the proportion of adults,
especially pregnant women, at risk of dietary iodine insufficiency. A cross-sectional study was conducted
during February-April 2007 in northern Ethiopia. Iodine concentrations of salt samples from producers
(n=41), retailers (n=7), and consumers (n=32) were determined using iodiometric titration. A risk assessment
was conducted for dietary iodine insufficiency among adults, including pregnant women, using
a semi-probabilistic approach. The concentration of iodine in the sampled salts decreased by 57% from
the production site to the consumers. The assessment of exposure showed that adults in 63% (n=20) of
the households, including 90% (n=29) with pregnant women, were at risk of insufficient iodine intake. A
monitoring and evaluation system needs to be established to ensure adequate supply of iodine along the
distribution chain. Special attention is needed for the retailers and consumers. At these levels, dissemination
of information regarding proper storage and handling of iodized salt is necessary to address the reported
loss of iodine from salt.

Key words: Cross-sectional studies; Iodine; Iodine deficiency; Salt; Ethiopia

DOI: 10.3329/jhpn.v28i3.5550

J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2010 Jun;28(3):238-244

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How to Cite

Shawel, D., Hagos, S., Lachat, C. K., Kimanya, M. E., & Kolsteren, P. (2010). Post-production Losses in Iodine Concentration of Salt Hamper the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders: A Case Study in Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 28(3), 238–244. https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v28i3.5550

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Original Papers