Have confidence in dairy lab test results

Published 15 February 10

Have confidence in dairy lab test results


British dairy farmers can have confidence in their milk test results says DairyCo, after laboratories taking part in the latest round of ring trials test for butterfat, protein and lactose recorded excellent results.


After the success of last year's ring trials in testing somatic cell counts (SCCs), DairyCo funding was expanded to support participation by three NML/NMR laboratories and the Eclipse laboratory in international trials for butterfat, protein and lactose. These trials include 32 laboratories in 14 different countries.


A ring trial involves sending out a portion of 13 milk samples to participating laboratories, which send their results back.  These are then analysed and all laboratories are compared. 


DairyCo research manager, Dr Elizabeth Berry, explains: "Milk price is set according to its constituents and quality so it is vitally important that the tests are as accurate as possible.  The results of recent trials from British laboratories have been very good on reproducibility (comparing the results with other labs) and repeatability (testing the same sample repeatedly), which means farmers can be reassured that their milk is being tested to international standards and can have confidence in the results produced."




15 February 2010




For further information:

N:        Helen Bond

T:        02476 478696

E:        helen.bond@dairyco.org.uk


Notes for Editors:


DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).


DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:

  • Provision of high quality market information to help farmers and their representatives make the most of dairy markets and opportunities.
  • Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through the provision of world class research programmes and practical on-farm tools and services
  • Helping promote the positive perception of dairy farming with the general public.
  • The development of DairyCo activities towards a self-sustaining model.


DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.