A new guide on the determination of milk fat purity has been released to give direction to those involved in the testing of milk and dairy products to confirm they are genuine.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF) says the high price of milk fat means it is susceptible to replacement by other animal fats or vegetable oils.
IDF lead author Alastair MacGibbon says the non-reporting of lower-quality ingredients risks the quality of dairy products and subsequently their reputation with consumers.
“The dairy sector is often required to prove the authenticity of its product against potential adulteration with vegetable oils or other animal fats,” he says.
“By providing this additional background information and guidance, we aim to assist both those who desire to set up the method and those who need a general understanding to interpret the results the method produces.”
The guide aims to provide background information for those carrying out the testing to enable the method to be more easily incorporated into the laboratory.
In addition, guidance on the interpretation of results is provided, which might assist managers, customers or regulators who do not need to know how work is carried out but do need to be able to place the result in context.
The IDF hopes that greater knowledge of the testing and its advantages could lead to the replacement of some of the older test methods used in some regional regulations, increasing harmonisation.
Cow milk varies from about 3.5 per cent to five per cent fat. For one-per-cent milk, about three quarters of the fat is removed and for two per cent about half is removed. Skim milk has all the fat removed.
The IDF is the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain. It plays an important role in ensuring policies, standards, practices and regulations are in place to ensure the world’s dairy products are safe and sustainable.