Somatic cell count in buffalo milk using fuzzy clustering and image processing techniques

Silva Ramos, A.; Hora Fontes, C.; Magdiel Ferreira, A.; Costa Baccili, C.; da Silva, K.N.; Gomes, V.; de Melo, G.J.A.

Journal of Dairy Research 88(1): 69-72


ISSN/ISBN: 1469-7629
PMID: 33593450
DOI: 10.1017/s0022029921000042
Accession: 072555658

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This research communication presents an automatic method for the counting of somatic cells in buffalo milk, which includes the application of a fuzzy clustering method and image processing techniques (somatic cell count with fuzzy clustering and image processing|, SCCFCI). Somatic cell count (SCC) in milk is the main biomarker for assessing milk quality and it is traditionally performed by exhaustive methods consisting of the visual observation of cells in milk smears through a microscope, which generates uncertainties associated with human interpretation. Unlike other similar works, the proposed method applies the Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) method as a preprocessing step in order to separate the images (objects) of the cells into clusters according to the color intensity. This contributes signficantly to the performance of the subsequent processing steps (thresholding, segmentation and recognition/identification). Two methods of thresholding were evaluated and the Watershed Transform was used for the identification and separation of nearby cells. A detailed statistical analysis of the results showed that the SCCFCI method is able to provide results which are consistent with those obtained by conventional counting. This method therefore represents a viable alternative for quality control in buffalo milk production.