African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 839

Full Length Research Paper

Iodine content of iodized salt available in retail outlets in Mthatha

Gqaza Bomkazi Mandisa, Grace George and Longo-Mbenza Benjamin*
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 June 2010
  •  Published: 31 August 2010


This study assesses the iodine content variations according to physical structure of salt and the socioeconomic status (SES). The cross sectional iodometric titration was used to determine iodine in salt samples according to the legal requirements of 40 - 60 ppm. Salt brands were purchased in a representative number of shops in Mthatha, South Africa and 66 samples were analyzed. The legal requirement was present in 38% of samples; hypo-iodinated and hyper-iodinated salts were shown in 26 and 36% of samples, respectively. There was a large variation of iodine among the salt brands (p = 0.00003) and SES (p < 0.0001). The higher variability of iodine was observed in fine salt than in coarse salt. Rates of low and excess iodine were higher in fine salt with lower SES than in coarse salt with higher SES. Urgent interventions, quality control and program monitoring of salt iodization are necessary.

Key words: Salt iodization, iodometric titration, poverty, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa.