Scientific Guidance for the Milk Control Centre (MCC) of Flanders

SERVICES

The Milk Control Centre (MCC)-Flanders is responsible for the determination of the quality and the composition of raw milk provided by the dairy farmers. This price of milk is fixed according to their quality and composition parameters.

This scientific guidance is organised in cooperation with our colleagues in Gembloux (CRA-W DVP). They organise the scientific guidance in the Walloon part of Belgium. Thanks to this cooperation the scientific guidance is uniformly organised across Belgium.
The scientific guidance gives the Belgian Milk Control Laboratoria (MCL; MCC-Vlaanderen and Comité du Lait) the possibility to work uniformly and accurately, so the milk delivered by the dairy farmers, can be correctly paid.
The scientific guidance of the Belgian Control Laboratories contains following aspects: proficiency testing, standards, control samples and recombined series.

Proficiency Testing (PT)

The monthly proficiency testing, according to the ISO 17043 standard, are organised for the following parameters:

  • Total bacterial count
  • Somatic cell counting
  • Number of coliforms
  • Freezing point
  • Inhibitory substances (antibiotics)
  • Filtration test (impurities)
  • Fat and protein content

For all these parameters ILVO and CRAW-DVP produce test samples which are distributed to the Belgian MCL by cooled transport. The results of the proficiency tests are processed to check if they are uniform and accurate compared to the reference methods (applied by ILVO and some other departmental laboratories). The evaluation of the results is based on fixed limits.

Standards

Weekly, two milk standards (1 skimmed and 1 whole milk) are made, which are used for the any adjustment of the IR equipment. ILVO and some other departmental laboratories determine the fat and protein content of these standards by using reference methods.
To control the good performance of the inhibitor test used, ILVO and CRA-W DVP offer different antibiotic standards to the Belgian MCL.

Recombined series

Every two months, a series of nine samples (fat content between 25 and 55 g/l and protein content between 25 and 45 g/l) are composed (conform to the IDF-141 standard). Based on the reference values (determined by ILVO and some other departmental laboratories) and certain deviation limits the laboratories can control and adjust (if necessary) the slope/intercept of the calibration program for analysis of raw milk.

Control samples

Monthly, ILVO offers control samples for germs and somatic cells for two reasons:

  1. To keep the level of the results within each Belgian MCL accurate and constant
  2. To obtain the same level of results between the different laboratories

The results of the control samples in the Belgian MCL must be within a fixed range of the given reference value.

CONTACT

Hadewig Werbrouck