New test for detecting fake organic milk

Mar 02, 2009
Milk
German scientists have developed a test to differentiate real organic milk from fake. Credit: Max Rubner Institute

Scientists in Germany are reporting development of a new, more effective method to determine whether milk marketed as "organic" is genuine or just ordinary milk mislabeled to hoodwink consumers. Their report appears in the current edition of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the study, Joachim Molkentin and colleagues point out that organic milk has soared in popularity in many countries. Sales in Germany, for instance, rose by almost one-third between 2006 and 2007. Consequently, crooks may take advantage of the situation by marketing increasing quantities of fake organic milk. That situation created a need for better tests to detect the fraud.

To address the issue, the scientists developed a test based on an analysis of milk fat for the ratio of stable isotopes of carbon. They used it to identify milk samples from cows raised on feed containing a higher ration of maize. Such a feeding regimen is typical of conventional milk production. Organically raised cows are fed less maize but more pasture feed. In addition, the team identified a significant difference in the alpha-linolenic acid content of milk fat between organic and conventional milk samples. Organic milk typically has a higher alpha-linolenic acid content than conventional milk.

More information: "Authentication of Organic Milk Using d13C and the a-Linolenic Acid Content of Milk Fat", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Provided by ACS

Explore further: SANS: a unique technique to look inside plants' leaves

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

SANS: a unique technique to look inside plants' leaves

10 hours ago

Plants' leaves capture the sunlight and convert it into the energy used to produce nutrients for their activities. This process is accomplished thanks to the presence of the thylakoid membrane system. While ...

Silver shines as antibacterial for medical implants

Mar 24, 2015

There have been growing concerns in the global health care system about the eradication of pathogens in hospitals and other patient-care environments. Overuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents has contributed ...

Fat turns from diabetes foe to potential treatment

Mar 24, 2015

A new weapon in the war against type 2 diabetes is coming in an unexpected form: fat. Researchers have discovered a new class of potentially therapeutic lipids, called fatty-acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs). These ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.