Burra Foods: The Origin and Control of Iodine in Bovine Milk (2021-22)

The Origin and Control of Iodine in Bovine Milk (2021-22)

Date close:
Sunday, 5th September 2021

This project is proudly funded and supported by Gardiner Dairy Foundation

Subject to restrictions: The project is based in Koorumburra at Burra Foods, 47 Station St, Korumburra VIC 3950. Students should be prepared to live in the region and accommodation will be organised and paid for near the factory. Please note that accommodation will be provided Mon-Sun however students may return to their usual place of residence on weekends if they wish to do so. Any travel back and forth to the accommodation will be at the students expense and must comply with any restrictions in place.
Description of the project:

Iodine is a trace mineral that is present naturally in many foodstuffs and is essential for normal thyroid function in humans. It is often added to salt as a preventative of iodine deficiency. Iodine can be found in bovine milk and concentration levels vary widely based on seasonality, feed and animal treatments used on farm by dairy farmers.

Variations in iodine levels between farms and seasons is problematic in the manufacture of nutritional powders such as infant formula. With very tight nutritional specifications to achieve in finished product, too little iodine can be compensated for by the addition of iodine as an ingredient, however too much iodine will result in out of specification product. This can be very costly as out of specification product can not be used for its manufactured purpose.

This project will require the development of an iodine mass balance tool using available literature, audits of animal treatments, feed, farming systems and genetics with some limited validation testing to generate an iodine prediction model. The intention of the model is to minimise the production of out of specification nutritional powders.

Project Aims:

1. Report outlining the sources of iodine on farm and how it gets into milk taking into account cow genetics (mainstream breeds) and metabolism.

2. Development of an Iodine prediction model that can be used on farm based on typical inputs, cow breed and sources

3. Validation of the Iodine Prediction Model through testing on 3 pilot farms

Available to:
All Students
Business and Economics
Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Employment Type:
Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or
Hold an Australian permanent resident/humanitarian visa, or
Hold an international student visa (Must be Melbourne placed during placement period)

Applications for this project are welcome from penultimate and subsequent year undergraduates, Masters and PhD students (coursework and research) who are currently enrolled full-time at Monash including for the period December 2021 to end of February 2022..

Selection and Required Criteria:

Your application will be reviewed by senior university members and assessed against the following criteria:

  • Quality of covering letter, resume and on-line application including spelling & grammar

  • Relevance of your degree to the project(s) you select

  • Skills, ability, knowledge and experience relevant to the project(s) you apply for

  • Quick Learners, adaptable and enthusiastic.

  • Career goals and ambitions

  • Successful interview with industry partner

  • Experience or understanding of:
    Animal health and nutrition
    Biology / chemistry / biochemistry
    Data analytics
    Dairy or agriculture

Please note:

  • Scope for MITI projects are determined by the industry partners, this includes student disciplines and whether they require students at undergraduate, Masters or PhD level.

  • The final selection of the MITI project team will be made by the industry partner.

12 weeks
Max number of recipients:
Date close:
Sunday, 5th September 2021

Burra Foods is a Gippsland based dairy product manufacturer that has been selling value-added dairy ingredients to global markets for 30 years.

Specialising in creating products that deliver the functional and sensory characteristics of fresh milk, we have significant international market experience and a reputation for being a reliable supplier of high quality dairy products. These include natural cheese, fresh milk concentrates, food preparations, specialty milk powders, nutritional milk powders (including infant and life-stage nutritional powders) and fresh dairy ingredients.

Our manufacturing plant is located in the heart of South Gippsland at Korumburra, in south eastern Victoria, and we have offices in Melbourne, Japan and China.