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FOSS somatic cell count method approved on both sides of the Atlantic

2. Dec, 2016
The FOSS Fossomatic™ FC instrument is now the only rapid method for testing somatic cell count in raw milk to be approved by both Microval in Europe and NCIMS/ FDA in the USA.

The FOSS Fossomatic™ FC instrument is now the only rapid method for testing somatic cell count in raw milk to be approved by both Microval in Europe and NCIMS/ FDA in the USA.

Microval is a European certification organization for the validation and approval of alternative methods for the microbiological analysis of food and beverages. Approval of the Fossomatic FC is based on a thorough comparison against the reference method: ISO 13366-1:2008 – Enumeration of somatic cells - Part 1 Microscopic method.  A summary of the validation report is available on the Microval's validation report

The Microval approval adds to an existing FDA/NCIMS certification as a rapid electronic counting method in the USA. It is the only rapid method for somatic cell count in raw milk to have both approvals.

The measuring principle of the Fossomatic is based on a technique called flow cytometry. With the technique, a suspension of cells is stained and forced through a capillary tube which is illuminated in front of a sensor. Every passing cell is registered by photo electronics. The Fossomatic analyser can test up to 600 samples in an hour.

Reducing the cost of Mastitis

Somatic cells are white blood cells (leukocytes) and cells from the udder secretory tissue (epithelial cells). They appear in large numbers to eliminate infections and repair tissue damage done by bacteria. Counting the cells thereby helps to indicate the presence of Mastitis in dairy cattle.  Providing somatic cell count tests is a vital mission for milk testing centres to help farmers avoid the serious consequences of the disease which include unwanted veterinary costs, antibiotics, milk retention, decreased yield, poor quality and reduced payment and culling.

Paving the way for approval of Fossomatic 7 solutions

FOSS was the first to develop the Fossomatic somatic count method in the early 1980’s and the introduction of routine testing as part of dairy herd management programs has led to a significant reduction in loss of milk. However, much work remains to be done to improve mastitis management.

To this end, FOSS has recently announced a new generation instrument, the Fossomatic 7 and Fossomatic 7 DC which includes a new advanced form of the somatic cell count test giving a more detailed picture of the actual inflammatory status of the mammary gland. In turn, this opens up the pos­sibility to develop new tools which can help farmers improve mastitis management.

The new generation Fossomatic instruments use the same measurement principle as the Fossomatic FC and are currently under validation for Microval and NCIMS/ FDA approval.