Milk Quality Control
By Vietnam Belgium Dairy Project
Edition: Hanoi, October 2008
Milk provides us with essential elements that are vital for our development and growth. We all start our life with drinking milk and we all know that dairy cows can produce milk for humans consumption. But who knows what is really in it? Milk is a rich source of proteins, minerals and vitamins and researchers have identified more that 100 different components in milk.
Dairy processing companies collect the milk from thousands of cows and mix it all together to produce their delicious products. But is all the milk from all these cows the same? No, it is not. In fact, there are large variations in composition and quality of different milk. Dairy processing companies want to ensure a high quality product with lots of nutritive elements for their consumers. So they need to know what kind of milk the collect. Therefore, they test the ‘quality’ of the milk. But what is milk quality? Is it the milk fat %, milk protein %, bacteria count, somatic cell count or antibiotic residue in the milk?
This booklet aims to introduce the basic facts about milk and it aims to clarify some basic terminology of milk quality. When people discuss about the quality of milk, they should understand the difference between milk composition, bacteria count, somatic cell count, residue etc.
Chapter 1: SECRETION OF MILK 1
I. Milk production in the udder 2
II. Lactation 6
Chapter 2: MILK COMPOSITION OF A HEALTHY DAIRY COW 9
I. Introduction 10
II. Description of components 12
III. Testing the milk composition 16
IV. Factor inﬂ uencing the milk composition 17
Chapter 3: SOMATIC CELL COUNT (SCC), BACTERIA COUNT (BCC),
I. Somatic cell count 26
II. Bacteria count 29
III. Residues 35