Monitoring Milk Somatic Cell Counts

Gheorghe Ștețca, Nicolae Mocuța, Vasile Chindriș, Teodora Emilia Coldea


The presence of somatic cells in milk is a widely disputed issue in milk production sector. The somatic cell counts in raw milk are a marker for the specific cow diseases such as mastitis or swollen udder. The high level of somatic cells causes physical and chemical changes to milk composition and nutritional value, and as well to milk products. Also, the mastitic milk is not proper for human consumption due to its contribution to spreading of certain diseases and food poisoning. According to these effects, EU Regulations established the maximum threshold of admitted somatic cells in raw milk to 400000 cells / mL starting with 2014. The purpose of this study was carried out in order to examine the raw milk samples provided from small farms, industrial type farms and milk processing units. There are several ways to count somatic cells in milk but the reference accepted method is the microscopic method described by the SR EN ISO 13366-1/2008. Generally samples registered values in accordance with the admissible limit. By periodical monitoring of the somatic cell count, certain technological process issues are being avoided and consumer’s health ensured.


somatic cell count, mastitis, raw milk composition

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