Following the recent FOSS central milk testing symposium in Amsterdam, delegates were invited to see the state-of-the-art Qlip N.V. milk testing laboratory in Zupthen, the Netherlands.
An automated transport system combined with RFID tagging manages the flow of vials through the laboratory The laboratory handles around 55000 payment and DHI samples daily for 19,500 farms.
The tagging system for payment samples. A reusable chip is programed with sampling data and attached to the container.
The cold storage room. This is the central station for payment samples where they start and end their journey through the lab.
First stop after leaving the central station is a FOSS BactoScan for bacteria count based on flow cytometry technology that counts individual bacteria cells in the sample. A test takes less than nine minutes.
Next stop is a compositional parameter analyser such as this MilkoScan FT plus instrument. Multi-parameter analysis is based on Fourier Transform Infrared technology. Samples are taken automatically and the instrument has a capacity of up to 600 samples an hour.
Harrie van den Bijgaart, Operations Manager at Qlip N.V. explains how Dairy herd improvement (DHI) samples are also tagged. GPS identification of the collection vehicle location automatically links data from the laboratory with collections sites and farmers’ individual demands. If a farmer requires a particular herd improvement parameter, the driver can record it in the RFID chip in the sample holder for appropriate handling back at the laboratory.
DHI samples on the way to a FOSS analyser. The process is fully automated - naturally.
With thanks to Harrie van den Bijgaart and Qlip for an interesting insight into the application of modern technology in the central milk testing.