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Development of SCC counter

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

Citation:  Paper number  131595733,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   P Tongel, J Broucek
Keywords:   SCC measurement dairy cow milk quality milk viscosity mastitis indication

Abstract. SCC counter which is suitable for somatic cell count (SCC) measurement at individual cow has been developed in our Institute. It consists of metal box with electronics and servomotor. There is a mechanical arm on the front size of it, where a transparent glass tube with running metal ball is placed. SCC counter works on the basis of milk viscosity measurement. After the glass tube is filled with milk mixed with reagent, the tube declines for certain time (20 s) from the horizontal position to the angle of 25°. The metal ball moves downwards and it’s velocity depend on the density of milk. The length of the ball’s path is inverse proportional to the viscosity of the milk. Near the measurement tube the scale is placed, which shows the SCC. Higher viscosity means higher SCC. Three types of equipment were developed. The first has short measurement tube /20 cm/ and it is suitable for quick measurement, when the accuracy is not so important. Second one has longer measurement tube /50 cm/ and is suitable for more precise measurement. The third equipment has four long measurement tubes on the same arm and can measure four samples at once. This type of equipment can be regularly used for measurement of milk from each quarter of the udder. In an experiment we tested the equipment for its accuracy and reliability in practical conditions. Samples of milk were taken from True - test during milking for SCC measurement. Three control ones of the same milk were sent to three different certificated laboratories for SCC analysis. Total two hundred samples have been measured. The average value of SCC from these three laboratories was calculated. The correlation coefficient between SCC from SCC counter and the average value from laboratories was computed (r = 0.96, p< 0.01). The differences between data from laboratories were higher than data from SCC counter and average SCC. It was found out that the SCC counter can measure SCC in a range 150 000 to 10 000 000 with sufficient accuracy. The reliability was evaluated too and it has shown suitable for practical use. This research has been done with financial support "MLIEKO No. 26220220098" supported by the Operational Program Research and Development funded from the European Regional Development Fund and project APVV-0632-10 of the Slovak Research and Development Agency Bratislava.

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