So Why Would We Need to Test pH in our Whole Milk You Ask?
The answer is very simple:
We need to know the quality of milk that we are feeding our calves.
The easiest way to evaluate milk spoilage seems to be estimating the pH of the milk using pH strips or a pH handheld meter. The pH of milk will drop initially and then rise, depending on the stage of spoilage, timing, temperature, and the type & number of bacteria present in the milk.
Spoilage can affect not only the color and smell which will also affect consumption at calf side, but can also affect the nutritional value of the milk. For example: If a producer is re-pasteurizing milk several times before completely using it all this will affect the quality & nutritional value. Calf Star suggests, best practice is to only pasteurize the quantity that you will be needing to feed calves. The unpasteurized milk should be cooled just as you would your saleable milk.
pH is correlated with the percent of total solids. The lower the pH, the lower the total solids in your milk. Although acidified milk has been fed to calves successfully, feeding spoiled milk may not have the same effect as adding an acid product to the milk. Normal pH of milk is about 6.5.
The other aspect to the pH of milk is if you are running water as a flush system through your receiver jar. This will not only affect total solid levels but the pH of your milk fed.
Two tools that are valuable pieces of equipment you should have in your calf kitchen are the refractometer and a pH meter.
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