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Manganese (Mn) in Powdered Milk Replacers



Dietary considerations 


Manganese is an essential dietary mineral that contributes to bone formation, muscular contraction, energy production, immune response, blood clotting, brain function, and more.


Manganese concentration imbalances


It is well established that exposure to high oral, parenteral or ambient air concentrations of manganese can result in elevations in tissue manganese levels. Excessive manganese accumulation in the central nervous system is referred to as manganism. It resembles idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) in its clinical features, resulting in adverse neurological effects both in laboratory animals and humans.


Milk replacer analysis


Manganese concentrations are shown below by product. The average value for all samples of each product is shown, as well as the range of high and low values for all of the samples for that product. Most of the products are supplemented by the inclusion manganese sulfate, as indicated on the package labeling.


The general variability may be noteworthy in some products and should be considered in percentage terms. Most products, for the lots tested, showed values of 10-20 ppm, with a few notable outliers in two of the Fox Valley products. Both were in single lots and not indicative of the overall average for those products.


The correct range of concentration values for all species are different, and wild species milk composition is very limited, especially values for various trace mineral concentrations. For reference, the concentration value (ppm) for manganese from the Certificate of Analysis for Standard Reference Material ®1549 Nonfat Milk Powder (PDF) (National Institute of Standards and Technology - US Dept of Commerce).

Manganese concentration chart copy.jpg

Since averages can at times be misleading, a closer look at a few of the products where multiple test values are available between time periods, can reveal how the concentration values may have changed over time. Then if those changes are significant, either increase or decrease, the reader may want to focus on the most recent profile of the product. 


Even though some of the changes reflected below may be significant over time, simply trying to adjust with supplements requires considerable knowledge and has the potential to worsen an adverse situation. Please review the section on mineral supplementation in the minerals overview.

Manganese changes overtime2.jpg

References and further reading (not intended as an exhaustive list)


Certificate of Analysis for Standard Reference Material ®1549 Nonfat Milk Powder (National Institute of Standards and Technology - US Dept of Commerce)


Manganese levels in infant formula and young child nutritional beverages in the United States and France: Comparison to breast milk and regulations Seth H. Frisbie, et al. PLoS One. 2019; 14(11): e0223636. Published online 2019 Nov 5. doi: 10.1371 journal.pone.0223636 PMCID: PMC6830775 PMID: 31689314


Fast Determination of Manganese in Milk and Similar Infant Food Samples Using Multivariate Optimization and GF AAS, Flávia Regina de Amorim, et al. International Journal of Spectroscopy / Volume 2011 |Article ID 810641 | 7 pages |



Nutritional aspects of manganese homeostasis. Aschner JL, Aschner M. Molecular Aspects of Medicene. 2005 Aug-Oct;26(4-5):353-62.


Manganese and Zinc Analysis in Milk by Microwave Oven Digestion and Platform Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. Miguel Angel de la Fuente, et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1995, 43, 2406-2410. 

The information included on this website for dietary minerals is extremely narrow in its scope and nature. It is limited to certain charts and graphs displaying content values (% of total) of various powdered milk replacers as tested by an independent chemical lab. Extremely brief overview information is provided as to the primary nutritional and medical benefits of each mineral, as well as a limited discussion of issues that may arise from concentration levels in the body that may be considered deficit or toxic. Entire textbooks on dietary minerals are written for the medical and veterinary professions, in addition to the internet providing ready access to both scholarly and popular literature. Some of those references are included above.


The data values presented above only represent the test values for the presence and concentration of the mineral conducted according to standard chemical testing methods in a controlled laboratory setting. Any point test value is accompanied by a measurement uncertainty range of +/-20%. The concentration values are in no measure an indication of how much of the mineral may be provided to an animal in reconstituted formula or its bioavailability (its degree of digestibility, absorption, or ultimate utilization). Additionally, no testing was performed as to the source of the mineral in the product (such as inorganic salts) or the grade of any added supplements containing the mineral.


What the data can do is inform the reader as to (1) concentration levels in a product as most recently tested (2) changes over time and between lots, and (3) comparisons of relative concentration levels between products. It is merely data that may serve as a starting point when deciding on a milk replacer product(s) and a recipe, or information to consider if certain medical symptoms appear that could be a result of absence or excess of a specific mineral in the formula. The reader is encouraged to consult veterinary or nutritional professionals prior to providing additional supplementation of any mineral.

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