Increases in milk production for consumption in 2020 in the context of the Covid pandemic19 require the adoption of additional measures to verify and test quality in the dairy industry
The data centralized by the National Institute of Statistics for the first 6 months of 2020 reveal that Romania registered increases in milk production for consumption – by 20,333 tons (+ 12.5%) compared to the period similar to 2019. But also the segments of the dairy industry recorded increases in production: for butter by 927 tons (+ 17.6%), for sour milk (whipped milk, yogurt and other similar dairy products) – by 3,134 tons (+ 2.8%) and cheeses – by 649 tons (+ 1.3%).
These data are surprising in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and the restrictive measures taken by the authorities following the decree of the state of emergency and then the state of alert from which no exit is expected in the coming months.
With the increase in milk production, there is the issue of more efficient monitoring of its quality in producers’ laboratories.
In recent years, raw milk testing methods have evolved so much that we can predict and take preventive measures, instead of just solving the quality problems of the milk collected.
Farmers and producers know that healthy cows will produce milk with a small amount of white blood cells, called somatic cells. If cows have an infection, such as mastitis, which is the most common disease in dairy cattle, the inflammation will increase the number of white blood cells, causing bacteria.
The first analytical tool to detect somatic cell numbers was Fossomatic, developed by the Danish company FOSS. Developed in 1976, the tool allowed farmers to accurately monitor and manage subclinical mastitis. However, there has long been the problem of eliminating infected milk – did you know that 32 billion euros are lost every year as a result of mastitis?
It is an enormous amount of milk that is thrown away because of this.
But innovation is a fantastic thing. The combination of total somatic cells and differentiated cell counting (or DSCC) allows farmers to determine the different stages of mastitis and to take preventive measures faster and in time to minimize losses.