Three FOSS instruments have been approved for official use by NCIMS/FDA in the USA:
• Fossomatic 7 for testing total somatic cell count in raw milk
• Fossomatic 7 DC for testing of total somatic cell count in raw milk
• BacSomatic for testing both total somatic cell count and bacteria count in raw milk
NCIMS (National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are organisations responsible for evaluating and approving milk analysers when these are to be used in connection with regulatory purposes. http://ncims.org/forms/
Fossomatic 7 and BacSomatic have already been approved in Europe by Microval in Europe and the approval of Fossomatic 7 DC is expected within the near future.
Improving milk quality with flow cytometry
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 provides an important quality parameter for processing milk at the dairy. The bacteria count provided by the new BacSomatic analyser is a new way for dairies to quickly check incoming raw milk to help improve, for example, the shelf life of end products.
The measuring principle behind the Fossomatic 7, Fossomatic 7 DC and BacSomatic is 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 7 provides total somatic cell count and the Fossomatic 7 DC includes the new advanced differential somatic cell count parameter giving a more detailed picture of the actual inflammatory status of the mammary gland. Both are for use in high volume testing at milk testing centres. The BacSomatic provides somatic cell count and bacteria count in a form that is ideal for lower volume raw milk testing at the dairy.