Importance of the sampled milk fraction for the prediction of total quarter somatic cell count

Sarikaya, H; Bruckmaier, R M (2006). Importance of the sampled milk fraction for the prediction of total quarter somatic cell count. Journal of dairy science, 89(11), pp. 4246-50. Savoy, Ill.: American Dairy Science Association

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This study investigated the changes in somatic cell counts (SCC) in different fractions of milk, with special emphasis on the foremilk and cisternal milk fractions. Therefore, in Experiment 1, quarter milk samples were defined as strict foremilk (F), cisternal milk (C), first 400 g of alveolar milk (A1), and the remaining alveolar milk (A2). Experiment 2 included 6 foremilk fractions (F1 to F6), consisting of one hand-stripped milk jet each, and the remaining cisternal milk plus the entire alveolar milk (RM). In Experiment 1, changes during milking indicated the importance of the sampled milk fraction for measuring SCC because the decrease in the first 3 fractions (F, C, and A1) was enormous in milk with high total quarter SCC. The decline in SCC from F to C was 50% and was 80% from C to A1. Total quarter SCC presented a value of approximately 20% of SCC in F or 35% of SCC in C. Changes in milk with low or very low SCC were marginal during milking. Fractions F and C showed significant differences in SCC among different total SCC concentrations. These differences disappeared with the alveolar fractions A1 and A2. In Experiment 2, a more detailed investigation of foremilk fractions supported the findings of Experiment 1. A significant decline in the foremilk fractions even of F1 to F6 was observed in high-SCC milk at concentrations >350 x 10(3) cells/mL. Although one of these foremilk fractions presented only 0.1 to 0.2% of the total milk, the SCC was 2- to 3-fold greater than the total quarter milk SCC. Because the trait of interest (SCC) was measured directly by using the DeLaval cell counter (DCC), the quality of measurement was tested. Statistically interesting factors (repeatability, recovery rate, and potential matrix effects of milk) proved that the DCC is a useful tool for identifying the SCC of milk samples, and thus of grading udder health status. Generally, the DCC provides reliable results, but one must consider that SCC even in strict foremilk can differ dramatically from SCC in the total cisternal fraction, and thus also from SCC in the alveolar fraction.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert




American Dairy Science Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:13

PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 986)

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