Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

Development of HW and SW solutions for milk traceability

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21920)
Authors:   Francesco Maria Tangorra, Mauro Zaninelli, Claudia De Santis
Keywords:   Milk traceability, mobile milking unit, milk production, electrical conductivity

Fontina cheese is a DOP (Designation of Protected Origin) cheese produced in Aosta Valley (Western Alps, North Italy) by dairy farms and cheese factories members of Fontina Cheese Producers Consortium.

Since 2003 Fontina Consortium has developed an identification and branding system to trace the cheese from the factories to the consumers, but till now no operative instruments have been developed for the traceability of the milk produced by the farms members of the Consortium. This lack is mainly due to the traditional dairy cattle breeding system of Aosta Valley that is based on small family-operated dairy farms characterized by a low technological level. In these farms cows are housed in stall barns during winter, while in spring and summer livestock are herded to upland pastures located at the highest elevations (up to 2300 m a.s.l.). The average number of lactating cows is lower than 20 and they are milked by mobile milking units, bucket or pipeline milking systems.

Following the European Union Regulation (EC Reg. 178/2002), a traceability system of the milk was developed for the dairy farms located in mountain areas.

The project has been articulated in three sequential phases:

development of a database model (Entity and Relationship model) to identify all the farm data (livestock treatments, feed registration, external foodstuff records, etc) required and useful to trace the milk yield;

implementation of the database model by a user friendly software application to simplify the storage and the management of all the farm data;

development of a special mobile milking unit to record milking data (cows production and milk electric conductivity). The mobile milking unit was equipped with: a RFID antenna to identify the cows by transponders (ruminal bolus); a mastitis detection device, based on the measurement of the milk electrical conductivity, to monitor the quality of the milk produced by each cow; a milk meter to measure the milk yield of each cow; a palm PC with a customized software application to record milking data and then transfer them to the farm database.

Presently a field test of the developed system is in progress in a farm in Aosta Valley. Preliminary results showed a fairly good effectiveness of the system in tracing milk production from the stable to the dairy factory nailing the traceability system implemented by Fontina Consortium.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)