Growing interest in adulteration testing
FOSS has supported adulteration testing for a number of years through software functionality for the MilkoScan™ FT 120 analyser and in September 2009, the functionality was extended to certain other MilkoScan analysers.
The new option is called the abnormality spectrum screening module (ASM) and is receiving considerable interest from the milk-testing community.
Testing for abnormalities with the ASM was a hot topic at the recent IDF world Dairy Summit 2010 with two presentations exploring its use. Christophe Cavin, Nestlé presented on ‘Strategies for the prevention of milk adulteration’ and Steve Holroyd, Fonterra & Per W. Hansen from FOSS explored the use of FTIR technology for routine milk screening (copy available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The ASM software functionality is available for MilkoScan analysers using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) technology. Users must first define a normal grouping of milk samples for their calibration and to assist in this, FOSS is developing a software application that helps to select samples. The tool will be available in 2011 together with a protocol for getting started. Both will make it easier to get started with ASM.
Screening as part of routine operations
Raw milk containing abnormalities is a growing problem. The abnormalities can be caused by deliberate adulteration, for example, with lard or melamine or by accidents, for example, if milk from cows and buffalo are mixed unintentionally.
MilkoScan instruments are already used around the world to check raw milk for payment and quality assurance purposes. The ability to program analysers used in routine testing operations allows users to adopt a screening approach to incoming raw milk samples.
The programmed analyser does not identify specific contaminants, but helps to identify a suspect raw milk sample quickly and as a normal part of everyday testing. The suspect sample can then be further analysed to determine the contaminant. This subject is explored in an article in the latest edition of the FOSS In Focus magazine, ‘Protein analysis revisited,’ page 22.