Milk Composition Fat and Protein

Milk and milk products are purchased from the farmer and sold in stores based on content of fat, protein, or both for raw milk and according to federal and state standards. Milk was first analyzed for fat content by the Babcock test developed in 1890. Today, the Babcock test is used primarily to standardize newer, indirect fat-testing equipment such as the turbidimetric method, mid-infrared spectro scopic methods, and near infrared reflectance methods. Mid-infrared methods measure fat at specific wavelengths (3.48 and 5.723 /¿m) and are automated, capable of testing hundreds of samples per hour.

The protein content of milk can be determined by a variety of methods, including dye-binding, Kjeldahl, and col-orimetric. Recently, procedures using infrared analyses have been adapted to the same equipment that measures fat, so that fat and protein can be measured at the same time using different wavelengths of light. Currently, much of the raw milk is being purchased based on fat and protein or fat and SNF contents. These fat and protein tests are described in detail in Ref. 5.

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