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The Significance of Milk and Testing

The Significance of Milk and Testing

BY Dr. KP Singh 27th December 2019

Milk is crucial due to its special nutritive value, which in turn plays an essential role in human and animal health. It contains all the substances needed by organisms in its easiest assimilable form. It carries high-value proteins ( casein, lactalbumin and lactoglobulin providing essential amino acids), fat providing energy (9.3 kcal /g ), a low melting point ( 29-34 °C), small globules stimulating an easy assimilation, A and D vitamins playing a special role in Calcium and Phosphorus fixation in bones, low cholesterol compared to other foods of animal origin ( fresh milk 10, skimmed milk 3, butter 280, fat cheese 150-200, pork 100-120, egg yolk 1400 mg/100 g product). Milk or milk sugar, due to the bacteria living in the intestine is transformed in lactic acid with a benefic influence upon our body. Minerals are also very important (Calcium, Phosphorus, etc). Due to its nutritive value, Milk is thereby recommended to young and old people for it being considered a complete food.

Due to the nutritive value of milk, its testing and quality control is an essential component of any milk processing industry whether small, medium or large scale. Milk is made up of 87% of water hence making it prone to adulteration by unscrupulous middlemen and unfaithful farmworkers. Moreover, its high nutritive value makes it an ideal medium for the rapid multiplication of bacteria, particularly under unhygienic production and storage at ambient temperatures. For any processor to make good dairy products, good quality raw materials are essential. A milk processor or handler will only be assured of the quality of raw milk if certain basic quality tests are carried out at various stages of transportation of milk from the producer to the processor and finally to the consumer.

Table: Showing some criteria to reject the milk from tanker by Dairy process units.

  Specification   Rejection of Milk Criteria
  Antibiotics Test   positive or indeterminable result
  Temperature   greater than 42 degrees F
  Bacteria   anything greater than 90,000/slide sample
  Added Water   % or greater than (Cryoscope reading lower than 0.530 )
  Acidity   greater than 0.14
  Direct Microscopic Somatic Cell Count          greater than 690,000

In most developed dairy countries, milk quality is defined by the somatic cell count (SCC) in pre-pasteurized bulk tank milk. The SCC of milk is influenced by mastitis. The company prefers to purchase milk with low SCC, offering financial incentives to farmers for high-quality milk. Milk is an excellent growth media for bacteria originating from either mastitis or contamination of the milk with environmental pathogens during the milking or milk handling process. High-quality milk originates from healthy cows that are free of mastitis. The company experts pay special attention to the standard plate count (SPC), in pre-pasteurized bulk tank milk too. Fewer bacteria than 90,000/slide samples have to be found as milk bulk to be accepted for processing. There are very dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes, Brucella abortus, and Staphylococcus aureus present in raw milk. These bacteria can lead to the illness of humans. Brucella leads to damage to the reproductive system of both male and female.

DSS has developed and marketed these milk pathogen testing kits which is DNA based. The results obtained are very accurate and specific.

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