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.
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:
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.
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:
Naturally present bacteriostats in raw milk and the role of Lactoperoxidase;
The principle of Lactoperoxidase reactivation;
Recommended code of practice for LPS.
Addition and mixing of Percarbonate
Periodic sampling of control and test sample. Parameters included temperature, acidity, sensorial analysis
Technical and regulatory concerns
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 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).
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.