In the United States, the regulations for production, processing, and marketing of milk are described in the federal government (FDA) publication called the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). Each state health department establishes its minimum regulations for Grade A milk from these standards, and may adopt more stringent standards than those of the PMO. For example, a state may set its somatic cell count (SCC) standard at 750,000 cells per mL, whereas the PMO standard is 1 million per mL.
Although goat milk contains a naturally higher SCC than cow milk, due to the apocrine secretion process, the same regulations are enforced for the milk of both species. It is common to find a high SCC in goat milk when actual numbers of leucocytes are relatively low. Dairy goat farmers have pursued this problem of SCC legal thresh-olds.
Many states have an annotated code, wherein a permit from the state regulatory agency is required to: 1) bring, send, or receive a milk product into the state for sale; 2) offer a milk product for sale; 3) give a milk product away; or 4) store a milk product.[4,7,8]
Milk, by FDA standards, contains a minimum of 3.25% fat and 8.25% milk solids not fat (MSNF), which is the sum of the protein, lactose, and minerals. Table 1 shows the nutrient composition of goat milk products in the United States. Notable variations in nutrient composition have been reported (Table 1).[3,8-11]
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