Milk Composition and Systems of Payment According to Milk Utilization

Milk composition determines the technological properties and processability of several milk products, as cheese, butter, yogurt (Glantz et al., 2009) and powders. Milk composition is widely detailed in many books (e.g., Walstra et al., 2006; Mucchetti et al., 2006), with attention both to major and minor components. The amount of each component may vary in a more-or-less narrow range, but the range of variation and the distribution of the values are often unknown.

A robust record of the distribution of the values around the average values is up to date mainly for protein and fat, which measure is provided by legal requirements and by all the systems of milk payment according to quality. The average content of fat and protein of milk produced in 2014 by the 28 countries of the European Union, together with fat to protein ratio, are in Table 1.1.1.1. Differences among the average values are evident, considering that minimal and maximal values represent the average value related to the month of milk production and not the individual samples.

In 2014, Italian milk showed an average content of fat and protein of 3.77% and 3.35% respectively (Table 1.1.1.1). Looking at the distribution of the data of milk collected by one of the largest Italian companies (Granlatte, 2014) the average values resulting from more than 52,000 analyses of fat and protein were higher than the Italian values (3.93 and 3.41%, respectively), but more than 15% of the samples showed a fat and protein content lower than 3.70% and 3.20%, respectively.

Looking at the data of each country, the cumulative effect of different breeding, feeding practices and climates are clear. However, these gross data are useful for statistical aims, but they do not permit to discriminate the effect of the variables.

To be used, milk has to satisfy minimum legal requirements (Total Microbial Count TMC, Somatic Cell Count SCC, veterinary drugs and contaminant residues) (Table 1.1.1.2): the dairy must reject noncompliant milk.

Some dairies apply for some parameters, for example, aflatoxin residues, stricter limits than the legal ones (50 ppt): Fonterra refuses milk with a content higher than 25 ppt and starting from 20 ppt applies a demerit point (Fonterra, 2013), while Parmalat in Italy established an internal limit of 20 ppt for all its consumer products (Pinelli, 2005).

In addition to the minimal legal requirements, milk may be graded (and paid) according to its “quality" usually measured according to one or more parameters (e.g., protein, casein, fat, lactose, TMC, SCC, thermoduric bacteria, spores, renneting properties, temperature at reception, etc.).

Furthermore, to be effectively graded, milk quality evaluation should consider its utilization, as it is evident that requirements for producing fluid milk, yogurt, cheese or other milk products may be very different.

Fat

Protein

Ratio Fat to Protein

mean

min

max

mean

min

max

mean

min

max

Austria

4.19

4.09

4.31

3.39

3.32

3.47

1.23

1.21

1.25

Belgium

4.03

3.86

4.19

3.39

3.31

3.45

1.19

1.16

1.21

Bulgaria

3.69

3.63

3.75

3.29

3.23

3.38

1.12

1.10

1.14

Cyprus

3.67

3.41

3.88

3.44

3.35

3.56

1.07

1.02

1.13

Czech Republic

3.87

3.75

3.97

3.42

3.34

3.51

1.13

1.12

1.15

Denmark

4.21

4.05

4.34

3.50

3.40

3.57

1.20

1.18

1.22

Estonia

3.98

3.80

4.10

3.38

3.30

3.50

1.18

1.14

1.21

Finland

4.28

4.10

4.41

3.48

3.40

3.58

1.23

1.20

1.24

France

3.95

3.81

4.08

3.23

3.15

3.29

1.22

1.20

1.25

Germany

4.08

3.93

4.24

3.41

3.32

3.50

1.20

1.18

1.21

Greece

3.89

3.71

4.04

3.32

3.27

3.38

1.17

1.13

1.20

Flungary

3.66

3.54

3.77

3.23

3.14

3.31

1.13

1.12

1.15

Ireland

4.08

3.73

4.55

3.44

3.20

3.85

1.18

1.11

1.28

Italy

3.77

3.69

3.84

3.35

3.28

3.44

1.12

1.10

1.14

Fatvia

3.86

3.58

4.06

3.28

3.15

345

1.18

1.07

1.26

Fithuania

4.16

3.93

4.42

3.28

3.16

345

1.27

1.23

1.30

Fuxembourg

4.09

3.91

4.27

3.38

3.30

345

1.21

1.18

1.24

Malta

3.35

3.21

3.47

Netherlands

4.34

4.15

4.52

Poland

4.02

3.84

4.13

Portugal

3.78

3.71

3.86

Romania

3.77

3.70

3.85

Slovakia

3.82

3.68

3.98

Slovenia

4.18

4.06

4.28

Spain

3.65

3.53

3.83

Sweden

4.25

4.21

4.28

United Kingdom

4.00

3.84

4.11

Croatia

3.94

3.82

4.02

28 EU Countries mean

3.95

SD

0.25

3.15

3.08

3.23

1.06

1.00

1.08

3.51

3.41

3.60

1.24

1.20

1.27

3.27

3.19

3.35

1.23

1.20

1.25

3.27

3.17

3.36

1.16

1.13

1.18

3.27

3.24

3.29

1.16

1.14

1.17

3.36

3.26

3.43

1.14

1.12

1.17

3.36

3.27

3.46

1.24

1.22

1.26

3.26

3.19

3.36

1.12

1.09

1.14

3.42

3.40

3.44

1.24

1.24

1.25

3.28

3.23

3.34

1.22

1.19

1.25

3.41

3.31

3.60

1.15

1.09

1.19

3.35

1.18

0.11

0.06

Table 1.1.1.2 Criteria for raw milk, according to European rules.

CE Regulation

Total Microbial Count (cfu/mL)a)

100000

853/2004

Somatic Cell Count (cell/mL)b)

400000

853/2004

Drug residues (qg/kg)c)

4 - 300

2377/1990

Aflatoxin M1 (qg/kg)d)

50

1881/2006

Lead (mg/kg)d)

0,02

1881/2006

Dioxins and PCBs (pg/g fat)d),e)

6

1881/2006

  • a) rolling geometric average over a two-month period, with at least two samples per month.
  • b) rolling geometric average over a three-month period, with at least one sample per month.
  • c) maximum residue limits of veterinary medicinal products in foodstuffs of animal origin.
  • d) maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
  • e) sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (WHOPCDD/ F-PCB-TEQ).

The use of different rules for fluid milk and cheese milk was traditional, as drinking milk was the reference product and cheese (when not covered by a specific standard of identity) was considered as the vent where the milk with lower characteristics might be convoyed. Up to the end of the last century in the United States, raw milk was differentiated into two standards: grade A milk used for fluid milk and grade B milk for cheese, butter, and dry milk (Chite, 1991). Grade B, as the letter clearly explains, was lower-quality milk, paid accordingly. Today, this distinction is disappearing, as grade A milk is about 99% of US milk produced, and it is used for all the milk products, with prices differently fixed according to four categories or classes of use (USDA 2015).

Class I. Grade A milk used in all beverage milks.

Class II. Grade A milk used in fluid cream products, yogurts, or perishable manufactured products (ice cream, cottage cheese, and others).

Class III. Grade A milk used to produce cream cheese and hard manufactured cheese. Class IV. Grade A milk used to produce butter and any milk in dried form.

Butterfat, protein, and other nonfat/nonprotein solids represent variables differently affecting the price of each the four US milk classes (Jesse et al., 2008).

In Quebec (Canada), a five-class system is applied, including the class of milk ingredients (Bourbeau, 2010).

 
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