Dedicated Analytical Solutions


Two new ways to improve global dairy production

FOSS Presentation at IDF meeting on cattle disease-screening and new milk analyser on show at Booth 6 in Hall 5, September 20-24 • 2015

FOSS is taking part in the IDF World Dairy Summit next week with a presentation on the growing use of screening for signs of ketosis in dairy herds and a new dairy analyser that makes powerful tests with Fourier Transform Infrared available to a broad group of dairy producers.

MilkoScan™ Mars, the first MilkoScan for everyone

Offering a much needed alternative to labour-intensive traditional test methods, the MilkoScan Mars is simple-to-use by anyone in the dairy. It delivers up to six parameters in a minute without the use of chemicals. This can lead to an immediate reduction in costs by replacing traditional laboratory testing.

With an optional quality assurance module, users can also screen milk deliveries for abnormalities at the same time as other quality checks are performed. The FTIR technology behind the MilkoScan Mars offers unique ability to screen milk for these abnormalities because natural raw milk has a particular spectrum – a unique fingerprint. Using FTIR analysis, it is possible to recognise the fingerprint representing pure raw milk and, likewise, to give a warning if samples do not meet the criteria for pure milk.

Progress with cattle disease-screening

A presentation entitled “Global experience on ketosis screening by FTIR technology” will be presented by Daniel Schwarz, Cattle Disease Specialist, FOSS. The screening allows milk testing laboratories to screen for signs of ketosis in dairy cattle - a metabolic disease that can reduce milk yield by over 500 kg of milk per cow per year.

Introduced by FOSS in 2007, the screening is giving milk-testing laboratories a new service option to offer their customers as a part of routine milk testing. The screening test is now well established in the Netherlands, France, USA and Canada with many other countries coming on board.

The Canadian experience

Among other countries, the study examines positive results from Quebec, Canada. A ketosis screening service has been offered by the Valacta milk-testing laboratory as an option for farmers in the region since April 2011. Over 54% of cows are now screened for ketosis and the prevalence of ketosis has declined steadily from 26% in 2011 to 15% in 2014. The screening has also helped to chart the negative impact of ketosis on dairy herd production. Cows showing early signs of ketosis produced 2.4 kg less milk on the day of the test. The milk from these cows had a higher fat and lower protein and urea content, as well as higher somatic cell count indicating possible mastitis. Reproductive performance was also negatively affected.

How it works

Beyond the normal tests for fat, protein and lactose, the Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) technology behind modern milk testing equipment can reveal many other valuable data. Screening for signs of ketosis based on the detection of ketone bodies occuring in milk is just one of these new possibilities.

Ketosis occurs in dairy cattle when energy output for milk production is too high relative to energy input from feed and uptake from fat deposits. Sub clinical ketosis is the hidden form of the disease. It occurs when energy uptake from fat deposits is too high, as is the conversion of fat to glucose in the liver. As a result, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are excreted as residues.

An indication of levels of the acetone and BHB residues in milk can be provided by the FTIR technology used in analytical instruments such as the MilkoScan FT+ Analyser. This allows the milk testing centre to provide the farmer with valuable information to tackle an otherwise undetected problem and to take appropriate actions to improve animal health.

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