Iodine and Mercury Content in Raw, Boiled, Pan-Fried, and Oven-Baked Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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There is a lack of scientific evidence regarding the stability of iodine and mercury during cooking and processing of seafood. In this study, the iodine and mercury content were determined after thawing frozen fillets of Atlantic cod (Cadus morhua), and further in raw compared to boiled, pan-fried, and oven baked fillets. Iodine was determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and mercury by atomic absorption spectrophotometry with Direct Mercury Analyzer (DMA-80). Thawing of the cod resulted on average in a 12% loss of iodine to the thawing water. Boiling significantly decreased the total content of iodine per slice of cod fillet corresponding to the concentration of iodine found in the boiling water. Pan-frying and oven-baking did not cause any significant changes of the total iodine content per slice of cod fillet, although iodine content per 100 g increased due to weight reduction of the cod slices from evaporation of water during preparation. For mercury, we found minimal changes of the different cooking methods. In summary, the findings in our study show that boiling had the greatest effect on the iodine content in the cod fillets. Type of cooking method should be specified in food composition databases as this in turn may influence estimation of iodine intake.