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Suitability of bactoscan for the estimation of the bacteriological quality of raw milk



Suitability of bactoscan for the estimation of the bacteriological quality of raw milk



Milchwissenschaft 43(9): 577-580, 585-586



In the second half of 1987 the bacteriological quality of about 2000 samples of raw milk was estimated with the Bactoscan. The standard deviation of repeatability (sr) was about 0.031 log Bactoscan units, in agreement with the specifications of the instrument and much lower than the sr of the traditional plate count method (0.069 log plate count units). No influence of the plate count level on the sr of the Bactoscan count could be detected. Further, the Bactoscan count was compared with the plate count. From the statistical point of view it was very difficult to analyze the data in a theoretically sound way. With this restriction in mind it can be stated that above a plate count of about 30,000 cfu /ml a linear relationship between log plate count and log Bactoscan count could be established with an (sy)x (standard deviation of the estimate of the log plate count from the log Bactoscan count) of about 0.23 log plate count units. Using this regression line to classify the samples according to the Dutch payment system, a classification could be made which was almost equal to the classification by the plate count. First class: 91.57% (Bactoscan) vs. 90.65% (plate count); second class: 6.28% vs. 6.38%; third class: 2.15% vs 2.96%. When milk samples with a plate count < 30,000 cfu/ml were included in the calculations, the regression line becomes curved due to the background noise of the milk itself. Multiple polynomial regression analysis revealed that the influence of the number of somatic cells on the Bactoscan count is negligible. The carry over between sample and blank was about 1%. An experiment with milk samples treated with a syringe to disperse clumps or chains of bacterial cells showed an increased plate count when compared with the untreated samples, whereas the Bactoscan count did not increase. Long term stability of the instrument appeared to be excellent during the half year of testing and could easily be controlled by using the standards of Foss Electric (Hillerod, Denmark), when given due care. From the experiments, no evidence was found for systematic deviations from the regression line, due to individual milk suppliers.

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