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Evaluation of physico-chemical characteristics of fresh, refrigerated and frozen Lacaune ewes' milk

Avaliação das características físico-químicas de leite fresco, resfriado e congelado de ovelhas Lacaune

L.W. Fava I.C. Külkamp-Guerreiro A.T. Pinto About the authors

The production of ewe milk is seasonal and milk yield per animal is low, even in specialized animals. This study aimed to verify the possibility of preserving bulk tank milk for seven days under cooling (5°C) and freezing (-5°C), verify the influence of cooling treatments and of the months of the year on the physical and chemical characteristics of the product. The chemical composition of milk, including the fat, protein, lactose and total solids contents, was not altered by cooling and freezing. Protein and lactose contents varied according to the months of the year. The average percentage and standard deviation of fat, protein, lactose and total solids was 8.10±1.30, 5.22±0.37, 4.43±0.23 and 19.34±1.54, respectively. The density, pH, titratable acidity, as well as alcohol and heat stability tests were significantly influenced by the treatments used (P < 0.05), but no differences were found between fresh and frozen milk. Prolonged refrigeration caused an increase in acidity and decrease in pH, with a consequent reduction in the stability of milk. These results demonstrated that freezing does not affect the chemical composition and physical characteristics of milk in nature and it could be a solution for the producer and the sheep milk industry.

ewe's milk; physical and chemical characteristics; storage

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil