Effect of Animal Breed, Season and Milk Production Scale on Somatic Cell Count and Composition of Cow Milk

1 University of Food Technologies, Department of Milk and Dairy Technology, Technological Faculty, BG-4020 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University – Biga Highschool, 37 17200 Biga, Çanakkale Turkey
3 University of Food Technologies, Technological Faculty, Department of Analytical Chemistry, BG-4020 Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Ivanov, G. Y., E. Bilgucu, T. B. Balabanova, I. V. Ivanova and A. Uzatici, 2017. Effect of animal breed, season and milk production scale on somatic cell count and composition of cow milk. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 23 (6): 1047–1052

Production of high quality dairy products requires profound knowledge about factors conducting raw milk quality. Therefore, the present study aimed to provide to dairy processors the necessary information for the effect of animal breed, season and milk production scale on the quality and technological properties of raw milk.
In this respect, the main composition parameters (total solids, milk fat, protein content) and microbiological parameters (somatic cell count (SCC) and total viable count (TVC)) of bulk raw milk collected from small-scale producers and of raw milk from Simmental, Holstein and Jersey breeds produced in large-scale farms were studied over a one year period. Total solids, protein and fat levels in bulk milk demonstrated seasonal trends. Milk fat and protein contents were the highest in autumn and winter and the lowest in spring and summer. However, no significant seasonal variations were detected in total solids, milk fat and protein contents in the milk from large-scale farms. The values of these parameters were significantly higher (P<0.05) in milk from Jersey breed in comparison with the other two breeds studied.
Lower TVC and SCC of milk produced by large-scale farms in comparison with small-scale producers were found. The SCC values of bulk milk samples were significantly higher (P < 0.05) during the autumn-winter period compared to spring and summer. The milk produced by large-scale producers lacks significant seasonal variations of SCC. It was found that the SCC of milk from Jersey breed is statistically (P < 0.05) higher than that the other breeds studied.

Key words: raw milk; somatic cells; composition; season; breed
Abbreviations: CFU – colony forming units, SCC – somatic cell count, TVC – total viable count

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