Vitamins

 Vitamins are organic substances essential for many life processes. Milk includes fat soluble vitamins A , D, E, and K. Vitamin A is derived from retinol and ß -carotene. Because milk is an important source of dietary vitamin A, fat reduced products which have lost vitamin A with the fat, are required to supplement the product with vitamin A.

Milk is also an important source of dietary water soluble vitamins:

  • B1 - thiamine
  • B2 - riboflavin
  • B6 - pyridoxine
  • B12 - cyanocobalamin
  • niacin
  • pantothenic acid

There is also a small amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) present in raw milk but it is an insignificant amount relative to human needs and is quite heat-labile: about 20% is destroyed by pasteurization.

The vitamin content of fresh milk is given below: 

Vitamin                                     Contents per litre
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A (ug RE)                                         400
D (IU)                                              40
E (ug)                                              1000
K (ug)                                             50
B1 (ug)                                            450
B2 (ug)                                            1750
Niacin (ug)                                      900
B6 (ug)                                            500
Pantothenic acid (ug)                      3500
Biotin (ug)                                       35
Folic acid (ug)                                 55
B12 (ug)                                          4.5
C (mg)                                            20

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