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Evaluation of the manual plate loop method for determining the total bacterial count of refrigerated milk



Evaluation of the manual plate loop method for determining the total bacterial count of refrigerated milk



South African Journal of Dairy Technology 15(1): 15-18



The r value associated with the 3rd degree polynomial for the standard plate count (SPC) vs. plate loop count (PLC) at 20.degree. C was 0.95 (n = 206). Below 20 colonies per plate the PLC showed a large range of variation for a given SPC. Above 350 colonies per plate the PLC gave lower counts than the SPC. The mean log count of the plate loop test carried out on milk at 20.degree. C differed from that of the SPC by 0.070 log units. This difference was not significant. At a milk temperature of 5.degree. C (prior to testing) the PLC was significantly lower than the SPC over the whole range of bacterial counts. The variance of log PLC between duplicate analyses was .**GRAPHIC**. = 0.015 and 0.019 for milk at 5.degree. and 20.degree. C, respectively. The accuracy expressed as variance of differences between log SPC and log PLC was .**GRAPHIC**. = 0.062 and 0.046 for milk at 5.degree. and 20.degree. C, respectively. The manual plate loop test carried out on milk at 20.degree. C is suitable and accurate enough for determining the bacteriological quality of milk in a quality payment scheme.

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