Pazzola, Michele and Balia, Filippo and Carcangiu, Vincenzo and Dettori, Maria Luisa and Piras, Gian Piera and Vacca, Giuseppe Massimo (2012) Higher somatic cells counted by the electronic counter method do not influence renneting properties of goat milk. Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 102 (1), p. 32-36. eISSN 1879-0941. Article.
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Laws of different countries regarding SCC of goat milk are not in agreement with each other and sometimes they fix a threshold for the enhancement of dairy products. The aim of this study was to assess if renneting properties of goat milk are influenced by higher somatic cell count (SCC) measured by an electronic cell counter. Milk samples, taken throughout the lactation of 169 goats from three farms, were analyzed for chemical, physical, hygienic and renneting properties. Samples were divided into three levels on the basis of their SCC: L: low level, samples with SCC lower than 106 cells/ml; M: medium, between 106 and 2 × 106 cells/ml; H: high, higher than 2 × 106 cells/ml. Milk clotting time was between 12.07 and 13.31 min, curd firming time between 1.68 and 2.05 min and curd firmness between 41.66 and 48.97 mm. All the three renneting properties were not affected by the SCC level but they were highly correlated with other factors as protein content and pH. Furthermore, the microbial count showed a high positive correlation with SCC. These results showed that in goat milk, contrarily to other dairy species, higher SCC did not affect renneting properties and that counting of somatic cells by using electronic cell counters might be not suitable for the improvement of dairy products.
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