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Spontaneous off flavored raw milk: develop detection methods and prevention strategies

Read the report: Spontaneous off flavored raw milk: develop detection methods and prevention strategies

About this report:

Over the past five decades, researchers have investigated factors that influence the occurrence of ‘spontaneous oxidized off‐flavor’ in milk; however, the conclusions from this body of work are not consistent and limit our ability to monitor and control this important industrial problem. This reports looks to define the causative off‐flavor compounds involved to more appropriately develop analytical methods for detection of this milk quality issue based on understanding the chemistry involved.


The results obtained from this study point to microbial contamination as the cause of the off flavor in objectionable flavored milk samples obtained from a farm. Other research has outlined several bacterial sources that could survive pasteurization in juice samples and propagate in processed samples, resulting in increased amounts of these off‐flavor compounds during storage similar to those found in this study.

Future work could include a more extensive sampling of milk from the same farm and the surrounding region, as well as water, feed sources, and microbial assays. A year‐round sampling of farm conditions and subsequent flavor analyses of these sources could provide insight into a more specific source of these off‐flavors, as well as routes of inhibition.

Project Outcomes:

Defining the chemical nature of the causative off‐flavor compounds will provide an improved basis to develop a analytical detection method as well as suggest strategies for prevention, benefiting milk producers.


Midwest Dairy Association


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