News and knowhow for farmers

Alcohol milk testing gun saves farmers milk rejection



                         An alcohol milk testing gun.

Dairy farmers keen to supply their milk to dairy cooperative companies for further processing can save themselves the embarrassments and other costs that come with milk rejection by the milk buyers due to several reasons including milk contaminations with germs and diseases using alcohol gun that detect any impurity in the milk and milk stability.

The alcohol milk testing gun test is used on fresh milk to indicate whether it will coagulate on thermal processing. This test is more sensitive than Clot-on Boiling (COB) test.

Before use, ethanol which is sucked in the gun is standardized to 80 per cent with distilled water. For routine testing, 5 ml milk is mixed with 5 ml of ethanol solution. If the tested milk is of good quality, there will be no coagulation, clotting or precipitation. Presence of flakes or clots indicates poor quality milk according to David Githiomi, Githunguri Dairy Farm extension officer.

         alcohol milk testing gun kit.JPG

                 Alcohol milk testing gun kit.

“Alcohol milk testing gun is simple to use and farmers can use it at their comfort zones any time thy wish to know the quality of their milk before taking it to milk processing companies only to be turned away,” said Githiomi.

According to him (Githiomi), dairy farmers and even buyers use the gun to know quality milk safe from contamination of diseases, bad feeding and addition of water which lowers the quality of milk.

“Some farmers lack knowledge behind milk contamination that leads to poor performance in quality test maybe because of poor feeding habits where the cows are not fed balanced diet or before starting milking a farmer forgets to clean up his or her hands,” said Githiomi.

In dairy industries, normally three different concentrations of ethanol solution are used for the test, depending upon the further use of milk. These are 68% v/v, 65% v/v and 60% v/v. Milk which passes 68% ethanol test is considered as that of superior quality.

For manufacturing ultra-pasteurisation or Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk and milk powders, the raw milk should pass 68% ethanol test. Dairies generally consider 60% ethanol test negative raw milk for manufacturing pasteurized polypack milk as it does not have to undergo rigorous heat treatment as in case of UHT milk. The milk which do not even pass 60% ethanol test is rejected at the processing units.






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