Quick and Easy Somatic Cell Counting in Milk

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th March 2016

Somatic Cell Testing is critical in monitoring dairy herd health and ensuring quality in milk and milk products.

Dairy processors need to know the level of somatic cells present in milk, as high counts are linked to reduced yields, impacts on organoleptic qualities, and reduced shelf life.Page & Pedersen LactiCyte

At the farm level, somatic cell testing can be used to indicate the presence of mastitis in individual cows, or assessing the entire herd. Furthermore somatic cell counts can indicate whether medical treatment has been effective, or whether further intervention is required.

The most common test method currently available is microscopy, but this method can often be inaccurate due to subjectivity and may require the use of hazardous chemicals. Alternatively sending samples to an external lab will result in delays for results.

Now with the new LactiCyte from Page and Pederson, somatic cell counts for fresh and preserved cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo milk are provided in a test time of less than sixty seconds. Using a fluorescent microscope technique and magnification approach, the actual cells counted are recorded by a charged-coupled device (CCD) camera and saved to an internal database.

The LactiCyte has a cell counting range of 100,000 to 10,000,000 somatic cells per ml. It is compact, cost effective, and provides immediate results to make timely decisions either  at the farm or processing plant.

For further information please contact Andrew Odd at AMSL Scientific on 02 9882 3666.