Milk protein measurement standard expanded

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) and ISO have joined forces to expand the scope of an international standard used worldwide in the dairy industry to measure the protein content of cows' milk. The Kjeldahl method now encompasses milk from other species as well as internationally traded dairy products covered by Codex standards. The revised standard ISO 8968-1:2014 (IDF 20-1:2014) reconfirms the crucial role of the Kjeldahl method in trade harmonisation and enhances consumer protection safeguards.

Pivotal role in trade

The Kjeldahl method plays a pivotal role in national and international trade, for example in calculating fair milk payments for dairy farmers, controlling manufacturing processes, and in checking regulatory compliance.

Dr van den Bijgaart, Chair of the ISO technical committee on milk and milk products says the standard is about the determination of one of the major components in milk and many milk products, in fact the component that accounts for over 50% of the market value of milk. This, combined with the fact that international collaborative studies of the method had only been conducted for liquid bovine whole milk thus far, illustrated the need to validate the method for products other than bovine whole milk.

‘The validation of this method for more products will also provide better guarantees to consumers that the labelled content of milk products was determined with globally standardised methodology.'

Dr Jaap Evers, Senior Regulatory Strategist at Fonterra and chair of the IDF Methods Standards Steering Group says IDF and ISO experts have now successfully modified and scientifically validated the method so that it applies to a wide range of dairy products.

‘In addition to liquid bovine whole milk, the method can now be applied to bovine milk with reduced fat content, goat whole milk, sheep whole milk, cheese, dried milk, and dried milk products including milk-based infant formulae, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, casein, and caseinate.'

As head of the IDF delegation to the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis & Sampling, Dr Evers will submit the method for adoption at its upcoming meeting in Budapest, 3 - 7 March.

'Adoption of this updated protein measurement method by Codex will be of major importance to New Zealand dairy exporters as the risk of trade disputes arising from differences in analytical test results will be significantly reduced. Hence, this work highlights the value created through New Zealand involvement and leadership in international standards sett


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Published in international.