Friday, 08 March 2013 13:33

Simple test detects antibiotics in milk

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THE PRESENCE of antibiotics in milk is reliably detected by a broad-spectrum test called Cowside 2, marketed by Food Tech Solutions, Auckland.

Typically, the cause may be adulteration of vat milk (sabotage) or milking of cows during a drug withholding period. Either way, knowing the antibiotic status of the milk is required and is of value, the company points out.

The key information for a farmer is whether the milk contains antibiotic levels that may result in a penalty grading. 

Time is a critical issue, says Food Tech Solutions.  But if there is doubt about the milk quality and at least three hours before the next collection then Cowside 2 will detect any antibiotics present in a milk sample. It will detect a range of drug families at or near to the allowable residue levels as set down for grading purposes. 

Cowside 2 allows a farmer to confirm:

That the cows coming off withholding (as per the recommendations from a vet and dairy company) have antibiotic concentrations below allowable levels (a single or line of cows is milked and the milk tested).

That the new cows have antibiotic concentrations below allowable levels (a single or line of cows is milked and the milk tested).

That the vat or silo has antibiotic concentrations below allowable levels.

The product is a simple-to-use microbial inhibition test, the company says. If there are antibiotics in the milk over a certain concentration then when a Cowside 2 vial has milk added to it the  bacteria in the agar in the  vial will not grow . The agar will remain purple in colour (positive).

If there are no antibiotics present or they are present under a certain concentration the bacteria in the vial can grow. The agar will turn yellow (negative).

A starter kit for Cowside 2 contains all the necessary equipment and test vials plus instructions for use.

09 576 7326

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