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Effect of milk sample temperature on the concentration of soluble calcium and beta-casein: interference with the ethanol stability test

The aim of this study was to evaluate the variation in protein profile and soluble calcium in milk coagulation by ethanol at 4ºC, 10ºC, 15ºC and 20ºC. Milk samples from 61 dairy cows were evaluated for stability of ethanol concentrations from 66 to 92% (v/v) at temperatures of 4°C, 10°C, 15°C and 20°C. Three samples were ultracentrifuged (40,000 x g) after 24 hours of storage at 4°C and 20°C, respectively, for 60 minutes. Their supernatants were removed and subjected to analyses of soluble calcium through nitro-perchloric digestion and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The protein profiles were determined by capillary electrophoresis using a specific kit for protein determination. The results showed a positive correlation between the increase in temperature of the samples and the stability of milk against various concentrations of ethanol. The percentage of soluble calcium in the supernatant after centrifugation was higher in samples treated at 4°C (P<0.05). The samples ultracentrifuged at 4°C showed higher amounts of β-casein in the supernatant compared with samples stored at 20°C. The lowering of the temperature favored the migration of β-casein and colloidal calcium to the soluble phase of milk, which may also have favored the instability of milk in the ethanol test. According to the results, the milk sample temperature for the ethanol stability test should be 21ºC.

milk temperature; ethanol; calcium; β-casein; electrophoresis


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