Milk hygiene in small ruminants: A review

Carlos Gonzalo

Abstract


Somatic cell count (SCC), mammary pathogens prevalence, total and specific bacterial counts, antimicrobial residues, macroscopic sediment, water addition, aflatoxins and other contaminants constitute the basis for milk payment-schemes, monitoring and improvement of flock hygiene and health management, and development of analytical surveillance programs in the dairy small ruminants. The present work reviews factors influencing the variation of these variables, including milk analytical methods, storage and preservation, along with management implications during the last two decades. Following farmer and cooperative educational programs, progressive reductions have been reported for total bacterial count and antimicrobial residue occurrence in bulk tank milk. These results were consistent, however, with high values for SCC and specific bacterial populations. Thus, mastitis control programs should be intensified to increase hygiene in milk and economic returns for producers and processors. In addition, the implementation of programs to reduce specific bacterial counts (i.e., psychrotrophs, coliforms, Clostridium spp. spores) and mammary pathogen prevalence (i.e., Staph. aureus, Mycoplasma spp.), as well as the use of combined screening methods for an increased rate of antimicrobial detection, are currently required strategies which are positively valuated by milk processors, industry and consumers. Other contaminants may also be present, but cost-effective screening and analytical systems have not yet been implemented. This review aims to be helpful for troubleshooting milk quality and safety, developing future premium payment systems and industry quality-standards, optimizing management, on-farm risk traceability systems and consumer acceptance.

Keywords


milk quality; somatic cell count; milk bacterial count; mammary pathogens; milk antimicrobial residues; water addition; aflatoxins

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017154-11727