Determination of antibiotic residues in bovine milk by HPLC-DAD and assessment of human health risks in Northwestern Himalayan region, India


Antibiotic residues in milk affects economics of dairy industry and poses health risks to consumers. This study aimed to assess health risks associated with presence of antibiotics in 173 raw and pasteurized milk sampled from northwestern Himalayan state of India. The oxytetracycline and amoxicillin were quantitatively analyzed using validated HPLC–DAD. Methods were selective and linear (R2 > 0.99) with decision limit and detection capability of 1.4 and 0.9 µg/kg and 2.5 and 1.5 µg/kg for oxytetracycline and amoxicillin, respectively. Recoveries ranged from 88–98% with relative standard deviation < 10%. Oxytetracycline and amoxicillin were detected in 8.1% and 1.2% samples, with 1.7% and 1.2% samples exceeding the tolerance limits, respectively. Health risk assessment revealed that estimated daily intakes of antibiotics through milk were lower than acceptable daily intakes (ADI). However, children might receive 9–21% of determined ADI through milk consumption only. Therefore, continuous, sub-therapeutic and long term exposures of antibiotics can pose health risk to consumers. Hence, current findings elucidate the need for vigilant monitoring of antibiotics accompanied by educational programs to farmers for adopting good husbandry practices and adherence to withdrawal periods to meet the expectations of food safety and safeguarding human health.

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Data availability and material

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].


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Authors are thankful to CSK HP Agricultural University, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh (India) for providing the necessary facilities.


This work was supported by Government of India under “Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) [Grant No.: State Adhoc Misc. 2211–37].

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AK, AKP: conceived the study design; AK, NS: performed research and analyzed data; AK, AKP and NS: wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Atul Kumar.

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Kumar, A., Panda, A.K. & Sharma, N. Determination of antibiotic residues in bovine milk by HPLC-DAD and assessment of human health risks in Northwestern Himalayan region, India. J Food Sci Technol (2021).

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  • Antibiotic residues
  • Milk
  • HPLC
  • Health risk
  • India