New methods of measuring milk composition may improve the sustainability of dairy products

Champaign, Illinois, June 10, 2021-Urea, a compound found in blood, urine, and milk, is the major form of mammalian nitrogen excretion. Testing the urea concentration in dairy cows helps scientists and farmers understand how effectively the nitrogen in their feed is used in the cow’s body. Nitrogen contained in cattle excrement. Therefore, it is essential to accurately test the urea concentration in dairy cows.

Since the 1990s, mid-infrared testing of milk urea nitrogen (MUN) has been the most efficient and least invasive method of measuring high nitrogen use in dairy cows.recently paper In Journal of Daily ScienceResearchers at Cornell University report the development of a robust new set of MUN calibration reference samples to improve the accuracy of MUN measurements.

“If these sets of samples were run on a milk analyzer, the data could be used to detect certain defects in the quality of MUN predictions that could be corrected by the instrument user or the milk analyzer manufacturer. “I will,” explains senior author David. M. Barbano, PhD, Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center, Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Accurate and timely MUN concentration information is “very important for dairy breeding and reproductive management.” Barbano added.

Given the growing global research on the environmental impacts of large-scale agriculture and the economic challenges facing farmers, the need for an accurate understanding of nitrogen use in the dairy industry is more pressing than ever. This improvement in milk composition testing represents further progress towards healthier and more sustainable agricultural and food production practices that benefit both producers and consumers.


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