Ensure the quality of your samples
Your lab results are useful and important! Proper sampling reduces the risk of coagulated samples that can’t be analyzed.
For producers who sample with a robot, precautions should be taken, especially during the summer season. Here are four key points to remember for quality samples:
1. The cleanliness of the sampler is paramount!
Ensure that all silicone hoses and stainless steel surfaces in contact with milk are clean.
The sampler should be thoroughly washed with hot water to remove any traces of dirt or fat.
Follow these steps to wash the tubing adequately:
- Soak tubes in hot soapy water;
- Push hot soapy water through the tubes with a syringe;
- It is important to pinch the entire length of the tube with your fingers in order to loosen any fat residues that may adhere to the inside walls;
- Use the syringe and proceed with a second wash using hot soapy water;
- Finish with a good rinse with clear water, making sure the tubes are well-drained afterwards.
Once this process is complete, the tubing must be clear and free of milk residue.
2. Warm temperatures promote bacterial growth!
What is the key to successful sampling?
- Remove samples from the sampler and shake them as soon as possible after mil-king to disperse the preservative.
- Be sure to keep samples cool.
3. Watch out for flies!
The presence of flies around the sampler should be minimized. It is also important to close the sampler cover to reduce the presence of insects that could clog the spoon or tubing and, ultimately, affect the quality of the samples.
4. Always use new sampling bottles!
The presence of milk or water droplets in bottles put on the sampler during a previous test could increase the risk of coagulation at the next test.