Results boost confidence in milk ring tests

Dairy farmers can have more confidence in their milk test results following excellent results from a ring test of somatic cell counts.

DairyCo provided funding for three NML//NMR labs and the Eclipse lab to participate in the international ring test, which involved sending the same sample to participating labs and comparing results between labs.

It is vital that tests are as accurate as possible, says Elizabeth Berry, DaiyCo research manager. “Milk price is set according to constituents and quality, so it is essential tests are accurate.”

“The results from British labs have been good on reproducibility and repeatability, showing we can have confidence in the results produced.”

The success of the ring test in assessing somatic cell counts means tests can be extended to include butterfat, protein and lactose content of milk.

John Searle, group chemistry technical manager and consultant at Eclipse, says the scheme has helped improve their quality control system in SCC testing.

“It is now an invaluable tool in the identification of possible bias within our system,” he says.

NML/NMR labs consider the scheme to be a valuable independent assessment of their performance and competence, says Paul O’Brian, NMR group quality manager.