Every other day, a tanker truck collects milk at dairy farms. Before drawing the milk from the milk tank, transporters, also known as testers, have to perform certain tests in order to determine if the milk can be loaded or not. Transporters check its temperature, appearance and odour. They also take samples to determine the fat, protein and lactose content in the milk. These components determine the revenue of producers.
Samples ensure the quality of the milk
Four times per month, testers take an additional sample of milk that will be tested for somatic cells, which are a good indicator of the general health condition of the herd. The somatic cells present in the milk are mainly composed of white blood cells produced by cows both to destroy mastitis-causing bacteria that have entered the udder and regenerate damaged tissue. White blood cells are always present in the milk and their number increases when an infectious agent enters the udder or it is damaged.
Once per month, testers also take a sample of milk that will be tested to find out the number of bacteria present in it.
Once transporters arrive with the milk at the plant, more samples are taken of the milk contained in the tanker truck in order to make sure that the milk meets the quality criteria imposed on it.