Iodine Content of Wild and Farmed Seafood and Its Estimated Contribution to UK Dietary Iodine Intake



Sprague M, Chau TC & Givens DI (2022) Iodine Content of Wild and Farmed Seafood and Its Estimated Contribution to UK Dietary Iodine Intake. Nutrients, 14 (1), Art. No.: 195.

Iodine is an important nutrient for human health and development, with seafood widely acknowledged as a rich source. Demand from the increasing global population has resulted in the availability of a wider range of wild and farmed seafood. Increased aquaculture production, however, has resulted in changes to feed ingredients that affect the nutritional quality of the final product. The present study assessed the iodine contents of wild and farmed seafood available to UK consumers and evaluated its contribution to current dietary iodine intake. Ninety-five seafood types, encompassing marine and freshwater fish and shellfish, of wild and farmed origins, were purchased from UK retailers and analysed. Iodine contents ranged from 427.4 ± 316.1 to 3.0 ± 1.6 µg·100 g−1 flesh wet weight (mean ± SD) in haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio), respectively, being in the order shellfish > marine fish > freshwater fish, with crustaceans, whitefish (Gadiformes) and bivalves contributing the greatest levels. Overall, wild fish tended to exhibit higher iodine concentrations than farmed fish, with the exception of non-fed aquaculture species (bivalves). However, no significant differences were observed between wild and farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and turbot (Psetta maxima). In contrast, farmed European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and seabream (Sparus aurata) presented lower, and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) higher, iodine levels than their wild counterparts, most likely due to the type and inclusion level of feed ingredients used. By following UK dietary guidelines for fish consumption, a portion of the highest oily (Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus) and lean (haddock) fish species would provide two-thirds of the weekly recommended iodine intake (980 µg). In contrast, actual iodine intake from seafood consumption is estimated at only 9.4–18.0% of the UK reference nutrient intake (140 µg·day−1) across different age groups and genders, with females obtaining less than their male equivalents.

Food Science; Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrients: Volume 14, Issue 1

FundersMarine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotland
Publication date31/01/2022
Publication date online31/12/2021
Date accepted by journal28/12/2021
PublisherMDPI AG

People (1)


Dr Matthew Sprague

Dr Matthew Sprague

Lecturer in Nutrition, Institute of Aquaculture