Milk protein measurement standard expanded

Tuesday, 18 February, 2014


The standard for measuring the protein content of cow’s milk has been expanded to include milk from other species. The International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which joined forces to expand the scope of the Kjeldahl method, say the revised standard ISO 8968-1:2014 (IDF 20-1:2014) will enhance consumer protection and ensure trade harmonisation.

“IDF and ISO experts have now successfully modified and scientifically validated the method so that it applies to a wide range of dairy products,” Dr Jaap Evers, chair of the IDF Methods Standards Steering Group, explained.

“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.”

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

“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,” added Dr Harrie van den Bijgaart, chair of the ISO technical committee on milk and milk products.

The global impact of IDF/ISO analytical methods is illustrated by the fact that many of these methods are referenced in national and regional regulations, and that more than 60 have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius. These methods have become the international references for the testing of milk and dairy products.

“The next step is to submit the revised Kjeldahl method for endorsement by Codex Alimentarius. One of the major benefits of an international adoption of the revised method is that it will result in greater harmonisation of protein analysis across the globe, thereby minimising the risk of trade disputes resulting from differences in analytical test results,” said Dr Evers.

“Given the increasing global demand for milk and milk products, standardisation is ever more important to ensure food safety, food quality and fairness in international trade. This enhances harmonisation and avoids duplication of work, increasing efficiency and simplifying matters for the end user.”

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