Barbosa and Marques dairy cut cost of microbiological testing with on-the-spot screening of raw milk

BacSomatic providing rapid screening of raw milk for both bacteria and somatic cell count in a single test
9. May, 2018
By Richard Mills,
Microbiological testing of raw milk for bacteria is essential, for example, for predicting shelf-life of products downstream in the process, but it is also time consuming and expensive. Now, dairies such as leading Brazilian cheesemakers Barbosa & Marques are reducing the cost of raw milk testing by moving over to new analytical technology that tests for both bacteria and somatic cell count.

Quality Manager, Raquel Sant'Anna Nepomuceno, from Barbosa & Marques, explains how a new analyser called the BacSomatic is providing rapid screening of raw milk for both bacteria and somatic cell count in a single test taking less than ten minutes, this compares favourably to the minimum two days it takes with traditional microbiological testing.


What was the challenge that led your company to acquire the FOSS BacSomatic analyser?

Raquel Sant'Anna Nepomuceno (SN): “The focus of Barbosa & Marques is differentiated products of unparalleled quality. To achieve this, it is necessary to have a fast and reliable response in the selection of raw material for manufacturing processes.” 


How has the BacSomatic changed the way you do things?

SN: “Since the official methodology of counting total bacteria requires 48 hours of incubation to obtain the results, a segregation of the milk here at Barbosa & Marques used to be made from past results, but some unforeseen problems always occurred due to deviations of temperature in the collection, problems in the transport car and tanks, etc.

Not to mention the somatic cell count, where the nearest external laboratory that performs this analysis is 300 km away. Now, with BacSomatic, the production can analyse the quality of the raw material on-site and within a few minutes, and it is easier to make configuration adjustments in the production schedule. With the implementation of the analyser, we have also seen a considerable reduction of microbiological tests and with this, there was no need for an increase in employees to operate added equipment, seeing as it is very simple to operate.”




The BacSomatic™



How is the analyser used as part of the routine?

SN: “We did not have to increase the number of samples. First, we analyse in the BacSomatic and then in our MilkoScan. If any result is found to be out of standard, we segregate samples from the farmers individually and run individual tests.

With this, we have also gained time in the field as we work together with farmers (our employees pay regular visits to them). This has reduced the mileage because now we know where to go. Besides, seeing as we pay the milk producer for its quality, we are expanding our technical assistance for performing animal analysis to detect mastitis that is not yet in its initial stage, which also reduces costs to the farmers.”


How do FOSS instruments differ from other instruments available?

SN: “Robust, easy-to-operate equipment and results with excellent correlation to official methods. They allow greater laboratory efficiency and faster results generation.”


How do you evaluate FOSS services provided in your company?

SN: “Excellent. Both pre-sales and after-sales are very good. Preventive maintenance programs that really do work, technicians are competent and well trained. We always update the equipment cleaning procedures and have already had recycling training in the operation.”


Will you be looking for other new ways to improve dairy production?

SN: “Of course. Technology in the food industry is within the reach of many and the quality assurance of products must be safe and ongoing. We already have three different instruments from FOSS (MilkoScan FT1, FoodScan and BacSomatic) and if there is a new launch on its way that will improve our performance, we will surely invest.”


Barbosa & Marques dairy


1934: The Barbosa & Marques dairy industry began in 1934 with a small butter factory and has since become the largest manufacturer of butter in Brazil. 


1950s: In the beginning of the 1950s, the dairy sector began expanding its investments in milk production and its industrialisation. 


1980s: The company implemented modernisation and mechanisation of the factories, started the production of first pasteurized milk, then ultra heat treatment (UHT) milk and also launched milk cream and dairy beverage.


1990s: Barbosa & Marques was a pioneer in the implementation of milk cooling in farms in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil.


2000: Barbosa & Marques began producing whey powder, milk powder and condensed milk.


Today: Barbosa & Marques’ brand, Regina, is the second oldest cheese brand in the country and Total Milk is the second oldest brand within UHT milk.


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