GLOBAL LACTOPEROXIDASE PROGRAMME

 

 

Introduction

Note from the President, Prof Olof Claesson, Uppsala, Sweden

After several years of comprehensive research in Sweden the first successful field trials using the lactoperoxidase system (LPS) of raw milk preservation was carried out 20 years ago in Kenya by the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) in co-operation with the University of Nairobi. Likewise successful field trials have been carried out in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mexico and Uganda. Since then the method has been commercialised in China, Cuba and Kenya, and some other countries. The cost of treatment of raw milk is generally 1-3% of the farm gate price or US$0.007.

It is of greatest value that the earlier result of the LPS method is now confirmed also by the result of the two field demonstrations recently carried out by Prof. JP. Ramet and Dr R. Ngatta in Togo and Senegal under the Global Lactoperoxidase Programme (GLP). The work of the secretariat based at FAO HQ in Rome is commendable under the able guidance of Mr. JC Lambert.

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A milk collection point in Bangladesh

From the Secretariat:

In Newsletter No.1, we gave an overview of the GLP. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide an update on the activities of the programme to date and measure progress. As a base we have taken the recommendations from the Expert Meeting which was held in Uppsala in July 1998.

The following are the main activities, which have been/are being completed:
Ongoing discussion between the secretariat and WHO on the expansion of the uses of LPS.

In November 1998 letters were prepared and sent to member countries of FAO to quantitatively assess those countries who are interested in actively participating in the GLP. To date 38 countries and 7 regional institutions have confirmed their interest in the programme. There has also been an unprecedented expression of interest from a significant number of private individuals from developing countries.

The annual meeting of LPS experts is programmed to be held in November 1999 at FAO in Rome. Further details of the programme will be forwarded to the members of the experts committee in the coming weeks. It is also proposed to invite a representative of BIOSERAE, the company which is supplying the chemicals for use in the GLP.

Using savings from the second phase of the project two field demonstration have been completed. A mission comprising of Prof. Ramet, International Consultant, and Dr. R. Ngatta, GLP Secretariat, Rome, was carried out from 19.6 – 3.7.99 in Togo and Senegal. 
Additional activities 
Mr. J.C. Lambert, Senior Dairy Officer, FAO and Secretary of the GLP is to conduct a demonstration on the use of the LPS at the IDF/FAO International Workshop on Quality Management for Small and Medium Sized Dairy Processors, which is to be held in Mutter, Zimbabwe from 16-19 August 1999.
Prof. O. Claesson, President of the GLP, carried out a three-day mission to Rome from 30.7 – 2.8.99 to review all training and promotional materials prepared to date and review progress of the programme. His visit also coincided with the 23rd Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in which the role and function of Lactoperoxidase was recognised. "The Commission confirmed: (a) that the most preferred method of preservation of raw milk was refrigeration; (b) its approval of the use of the enzymatic activators of the Lactoperoxidase system in accordance with the Guidelines for the Preservation of Raw Milk by Use of the Lactoperoxidase System and based on the advice of the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Additives, where refrigeration was not possible; and (c) that the Lactoperoxidase system should not be used for products for international trade." (taken from final report of 23rd Session). The secretariat also used the opportunity of Prof. Claessons presence to give a brief presentation of the activities and progress of the project to date. The presentation was attended by one of the Swedish delegates to CODEX and also the Swedish representative to FAO. All were very satisfied with project implementation.
Training materials including posters, manuals ("Manual on the use of the LP system in milk handling and preservation") have been prepared in English and are now available. The material has been translated and is now being printed in French and Spanish for complete global outreach.
The activators for the LP-s have now been tested and ordered from the supplier. (BIOSERAE, France) and will be delivered within the next three weeks.
The secretariat has also prepared a project briefing sheet which details the objectives, activities and future plans of the GLP. This has been very well received and is provided upon request from the GLP secretariat. In order to facilitate the smooth transition from phase two, which was the testing and validation of LPS, "Guidelines on Field Demonstrations for International Consultants" have been developed. In order to provide some marker for national governments for the selection for participants for the national demonstrations a "Participant profile" has been drawn up to ensure optimum participation by the most relevant stakeholders in the dairy sector. 
Summary of report of Prof. JP Ramet, International LP Consultant and Dr. R. Ngatta, GLP Secretariat, Rome (June 19- July 3, 1999)

The mission held national demonstrations on the practical application of the Lp-s at collection centres in Togo and Senegal. In order to keep expenses to a minimum the governments had organised a central demonstration in each of the capital cities. 50 dairy sector stakeholders attended the meeting and ranged from the small farmers to extension agents and public and private sector representatives. Women’s groups represented 60% of attendees. The national organisation and implementation of the demonstrations was extremely well done both by the governments, stakeholders and the local FAO representations.

In order to present a clear picture of LPS for the stakeholders in Lomé and Dakar the mission developed the following outline:

Theoretical descriptions on the following:
Review of microbial loading and proliferation, changes occurring in milk in hot climates;

Naturally present bacteriostats in raw milk and the role of Lactoperoxidase;

The principle of Lactoperoxidase reactivation;

Recommended code of practice for LPS.
Practical demonstration
Collection of 100L of fresh bovine milk at ambient temperature;
Mixing to ensure two identical samples of 50L each (including testing).
Activation of LP as clearly laid out in the GLP produced manual and according to CODEX.
Addition and mixing of Thiocyanate

Addition and mixing of Percarbonate
Preservation of milk at ambient temperature
Store for eight hours

Periodic sampling of control and test sample. Parameters included temperature, acidity, sensorial analysis
Discussion
Main points and limits of LP activation

Technical and regulatory concerns
Origin and initial quality of milk used

The milk used was collected from peri-urban producers in and around Dakar and Lomé. The sample contained milk from 10 – 20 smallholders and was judged to be representative of local milk composition and microbial loading. The milk was collected from the morning milking from indigenous cows. Due to lack of sufficient infrastructure and dispersion of producers over a wide area it was not possible to collect all the milk with the two hours as recommended by CODEX. 

Activation of LP

The activation of LP was carried out on a sample of 50L with one control of 50L. The methodology as clearly laid out in the poster and manual was strictly followed. All participants were well capable of following and understanding the correct procedure.

A number of questions were posed regarding the demonstration. The key queries revolved around the following:
The duration of the residual antimicrobial effect upon the technology of acidified milk products (fermented milk, cheeses).

The effect of Thiocyanate and Percarbonate upon taste and milk coagulation.

End toxicity of the activators.

Regulatory guidelines on application of LPS.

The interaction between animal feed and the naturally occurence of LP in milk.

Identification and training for technicians to correctly use LPS.

Effectiveness of the method measured against the microbial load of the milk.

The improvement of antimicrobial effect in the presence of lactic acid (oxygenated water producers).

The effect of storage temperature upon antimicrobial activity during the reaction.

Differentiation between mechanisms of direct addition of only peroxides directly and using LPS.

The compatibility of LPS reactivation with other milk conservation methods (refrigeration, heating, acidification).

Multiple reactivation and long-term preservation.

Cost of reactivation treatment.

Identification and reliability of reactivator chemicals.

The availability of activators in quantities suitable for the treatment of small quantities of milk (5,10L).
Conclusions

The two first demonstrations at field level were implemented under real conditions in tropical areas of West Africa, namely Togo and Senegal. The following conclusions may be made from the demonstrations.

At the practical level, the demonstration of the reactivation method is simple due to:
The basic principle is based on mixing a given quantity of solids/liquid in a liquid.

The quality and clarity of support and training materials (posters and manuals) which greatly facilitated the comprehension of non-specialized technicians.

The quality and suitability of the chemicals used.

The speed of the reactivation which lasts just a few minutes in total.

The reactivation of LPS according to the Codex guideline results in the effective preservation of raw milk at an ambient temperature of 32-34° C.

After an eight-hour trial period the quality of the LPS treated milk was practically the same as at the beginning of the trial. After the eight-hour period the control sample had severely deteriorated in quality.

Both the Livestock Department and the Veterinary Services of the countries visited expressed considerable interest in this new method of preservation.
The primary advantages of the method have been determined following field validation.
Simplicity of use.

Low-cost in the region of 2-3 percent of the farm gate price paid to the producer.

Substantial reduction of the loss of quality saleable raw milk in warm regions. An on-site estimation concluded that up to 50 percent of milk is lost in winter due to high production and inaccessibility to markets.

Particular applicability for difficult access zones where preservation using refrigeration is not possible due to the lack of sufficient energy and communications infrastructure. The sylvo-pastoral zones of the north of Senegal and Togo are good examples.
The introduction of the technical and commercial qualities of milk under the Global Lactoperoxidase Programme will have the following effects:
Allow substantial expansion of milk collection areas and promote the setting-up of new collection centres. Depending on the mode of transport the potential collection radius can be estimated as 20-150 km. 

Facilitate the creation of a structured milk sector through the development of collection centres, family or "artisanal" type processors for commercialization of processed products. This type of development would be a major improvement both for production and social reasons, e.g. in Eastern Togo, where the current infrastructure is under-developed.

Allow significant improvement on the organoleptic and hygiene qualities of existing locally manufactured milk products.

Improvement of producers’ incomes (mainly women) as a result of qualitative and quantitative milk production.

Positive multiplier effects on the activities of other stakeholders in the milk sector (collectors, street vendors, retailers, craftsmen and industry in general).
Recommendations

The following recommendations are drawn from the experiences in Togo and Senegal and are intended to facilitate future national demonstrations and the orientation of the programme.
Distribution of training and promotional material in the appropriate language: English, French or Spanish.

To identify the needs and necessary means for the implementation of national workshops (location of collection points, equipment, personnel, etc.). The utilisation of existing national structures such as the "Directoires des femmes en elevage" could facilitate this exercise.

Designate an official in each country to assess the economic effect of the application of LPS to the quality level of milk and its impact on the milk sector in the zones applied. In the short-term, this exercise, through the interaction of the official, could also collect information which may be useful to optimize the adoption of the method during the dissemination at field level.
To strengthen the impact of the demonstrations, it is essential to evaluate the test and the control samples by instrumental scientific analysis. The empirical and sensorial method is not always sufficiently objective or sufficient to differentiate sufficiently between the two.

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