Milk quality in small farms from Southern Region of Brazil

Qualidade do leite em pequenas propriedades da Região Sul do Brasil

Lucas Candiotto Regis Luis Missio José Ricardo da Rocha Campos André Brugnara Soares Felipe Candiotto Igor Kieling Severo Fernando Franceschi Denise Adelaide Gomes Elejalde André Luís Finkler da Silveira About the authors

ABSTRACT:

This study aimed to evaluates some physical chemical aspects of chilled raw milk that meet Brazilian quality standards in smallholder farms from southern Region of Brazil. The fat content, crude protein (CP), total solids (TS), somatic cell count (SCC), and total plate count (TPC) of the chilled raw milk from 78 smallholder farms was analyzed between Oct 2014 and Feb 2017. It was found that 96% of the samples met the Brazilian regulations for fat content, 87% for CP, and 91% for TS. The mean values of TPC and SCC were higher than the maximum limits established by Brazilian regulations. Smallholder farms from Southern Region of Brazil produce milk with an adequate standard for the main chemical indicators. However, there is an important gap in compliance with hygienic-sanitary practices, leading to high levels of chilled raw milk that does not meet the limits of Brazilian regulations.

Key words:
somatic cell count; total plaque count; fat

RESUMO:

Objetivou-se avaliar alguns padrões físico-quimicos do leite cru refrigerado em relação ao atendimento aos padrões de qualidade brasileiros em pequenas propriedades da Região Sul do Brasil. O teor de gordura, proteína bruta (PB), sólidos totais (ST), contagem de células somáticas (CCS) e contagem total em placas (CTP) do leite cru refrigerado de 78 pequenas propriedades foram analisadas mensalmente entre outubro de 2014 e fevereiro de 2017. Verificou-se que 96% das amostras atenderam às regulamentações brasileiras para teor de gordura, 87% para PB e 91% para ST. Os valores médios de CTP e CCS foram superiores aos limites máximos estabelecidos pela regulamentação brasileira. Pequenas propriedades da Região Sul do Brasil produzem leite com adequado padrão para os principais indicadores químicos. No entanto, existe uma lacuna importante no cumprimento das práticas higiênico-sanitárias, levando a altos níveis de leite cru refrigerado que não atendem os limites da regulamentação brasileira.

Palavras-chave:
contagem de células somáticas; contagem total em placa; gordura

The South is the region of Brazil with the highest milk production (SEAB, 2019SECRETARIA DO ESTADO E DO ABASTECIMENTO - SEAB. 2019. Bovinocultura de Leite / Aspectos do Brasil e Paraná. SEAB, Curitiba, PR, Brasil. Available from: <Available from: http://www.agricultura.pr.gov.br/sites/default/arquivos_restritos/files/documento/2019-09/leite_2019_v1.pdf >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://www.agricultura.pr.gov.br/sites/d...
). The region formed by the west of Santa Catarina, northwest of Rio Grande do Sul and southwest of Paraná is where the productivity of milk currently grows most in Brazil, due to the favorable climate, qualified labor and the presence of pasture all year round (SEAB, 2019SECRETARIA DO ESTADO E DO ABASTECIMENTO - SEAB. 2019. Bovinocultura de Leite / Aspectos do Brasil e Paraná. SEAB, Curitiba, PR, Brasil. Available from: <Available from: http://www.agricultura.pr.gov.br/sites/default/arquivos_restritos/files/documento/2019-09/leite_2019_v1.pdf >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://www.agricultura.pr.gov.br/sites/d...
). Milk production in southern Brazil is primarily focused on family farms (PICOLI et al., 2015PICOLI, T. et al. Milk production characteristics in Southern Brazil. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, v.36, n.1, p.1991-1998, 2015. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n3Supl1p1991 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n3Supl1p1991.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2015...
). Pasture is an important component in the milk production systems of this region, enabling farmers to have a satisfactory agricultural income (BREITENBACH, 2018BREITENBACH, R. Economic viability of semi-confined and confined milk production systems in free-stall and compost barn. Food and Nutrition Sciences, v.9, n.5, p.609-618, 2018. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046 >. Accessed: April, 13, 2020. doi: 10.4236/fns.2018.95046.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046...
). In recent years; however, there has been increased adoption of free-standing confined production systems, such as compost and free stall dairy barns, which enable higher agricultural income owing to the larger scale and quality of milk production in relation to pasture system (WINSTEN et al. 2000WINSTEN, J. et al. A profitability analysis of dairy feeding systems in the northeast. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, v.29, n.2, p.220-228, 2000. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1068280500005359 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.1017/S1068280500005359.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1068280500005...
).

Confined systems; however, have their disadvantages, one of which is the high cost of implementation (BREITENBACH, 2018BREITENBACH, R. Economic viability of semi-confined and confined milk production systems in free-stall and compost barn. Food and Nutrition Sciences, v.9, n.5, p.609-618, 2018. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046 >. Accessed: April, 13, 2020. doi: 10.4236/fns.2018.95046.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046...
), which can limit widespread adoption of these systems within the family farming community. Improving milk quality; on the contrary, does not require major investment because they are closely associated with nutritional and hygienic-sanitary management (KUNDA et al., 2015KUNDA, B. et al. Compositional and sanitary quality of raw milk produced by smallholder dairy farmers in Lusaka Province of Zambia. Livestock Research for Rural Development, v.27, n.10, p.1-9, 2015. Available from: <Available from: http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd27/10/pand27201.html >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd27/10/pand27201....
; KAMANA et al., 2016KAMANA, O. et al. A survey on hygienic practices and their impact on the microbiological quality and safety in the Rwandan milk and dairy chain. International Journal of Dairy Technology, v.70, n.1, p.1-16, 2016. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1471-0307.12322 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.1111/1471-0307.12322.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1471-0307.1232...
). Dairy production systems that comply with quality regulations have higher productivity and better bargaining power with the industry for the marketing of milk (DEFANTE et al., 2019DEFANTE, L. et al. Typology of dairy production systems that meet Brazilian standards for milk quality. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, v.48, n.e20180023, p.1-9, 2019. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/rbz4820180023 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.1590/rbz4820180023.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/rbz4820180023...
). In addition, non-conformity with quality regulations prompts dairy producers to operate in the informal market or even abandon the activity (SOUZA & BUAINAIN, 2013SOUZA, R. P.; BUAINAIN, A. M. A competitividade da produção de leite da agricultura familiar: os limites da exclusão. Estudos Sociedade e Agricultura, v.21, n.1, p.308-331, 2013. Available from: <Available from: http://repositorio.unicamp.br/jspui/handle/REPOSIP/286049 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://repositorio.unicamp.br/jspui/hand...
).

Information on the quality milk, in this context, is of great value to guide corrective and improvement actions. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate some physical chemical aspects of chilled raw milk produced by smallholder dairy farms that meet Brazilian quality standards in the Southern Region of Brazil.

The characteristics of milk collected from 78 family farms were analyzed monthly between Oct 2014 and Feb 2017 (29 months), which corresponds to a monthly analysis of one refrigerated raw milk sample per farm. Milk quality variables were provided by a commercial milk receiving unit (dairy) with a Federal Inspection System (FIS), located in Mariópolis, Paraná, Brazil. Quality analyses were conducted by an accredited institution according with the official methods of the Ministry of Agriculture (BRAZIL, 2011BRASIL. Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento. 2011. Instrução Normativa n. 62, de 29 de dezembro de 2011. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília, DF, 30 dez. 2011. Available from: <Available from: https://www.apcbrh.com.br/files/IN62.pdf >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
https://www.apcbrh.com.br/files/IN62.pdf...
).

The farms were located in the municipalities of Mariópolis, Pato Branco and Clevelândia, within the state of Paraná, and in São Domingos in the state of Santa Catarina (Figure 1). Dairy farms were selected from a list provided (170 properties) by commercial milk receiving unit, using the criteria showed in table 1. We chose to select small dairy farms with family labor, using the farm size and milk productivity criteria (NEUTZLING et al., 2017NEUTZLING, A. S. et al. Production and milk marketing strategies of small-scale dairy farmers in the South of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, v.118, n.2, p.283-295, 2017. Available from: <Available from: https://www.jarts.info/index.php/jarts/article/view/2017110853733 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
https://www.jarts.info/index.php/jarts/a...
). Additionally, it was decided to select only farms with milk production in pasture and semi-confinement, as described by BREITENBACH (2018BREITENBACH, R. Economic viability of semi-confined and confined milk production systems in free-stall and compost barn. Food and Nutrition Sciences, v.9, n.5, p.609-618, 2018. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046 >. Accessed: April, 13, 2020. doi: 10.4236/fns.2018.95046.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.95046...
).

Figure 1
Study area and sample points.

Table 1
Criteria to select the farms.

Five variables were analyzed: crude protein (CP), fat, total solids (TS), somatic cell count (SCC) and total plate count (TPC). Descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) were calculated for each variable. The data were submitted to a frequency analysis to meet the Brazilian regulations. The average values of crude protein (CP), fat, and total solids (TS) were higher than the minimum requirements by Brazilian regulations (Table 2). When the frequency to the number of samples that exceeded the minimum requirements was analyzed, it was reported that 96, 87 and 91% of the samples met the minimum requirements of Brazilian regulations between Oct 2014 and Feb 2017, respectively. These results also meet the new Brazilian regulations (BRASIL, 2018BRASIL. Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento. 2018. Instrução Normativa n. 76 e n. 77, de 26 de novembro de 2018. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília, DF, 30 nov. 2018. Available from: <Available from: http://pesquisa.in.gov.br/imprensa/jsp/visualiza/index.jsp?data=30/11/2018&jornal=515&pagina=9&totalArquivos=318 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://pesquisa.in.gov.br/imprensa/jsp/v...
), valid from May 2019, which remain the same in relation to the previous regulation. These results are associated with the fact that the production systems are based on pastures, use feed supplementation and herds are made up of Holstein and/or Jersey and/or crossbred Holstein × Jersey cows. All of these production system characteristics favor satisfactory values of milk components (WHITE et al., 2001; JAAKAMO et al., 2019JAAKAMO, M. J. et al. The effect of dietary forage to concentrate ratio and forage type on milk fatty acid composition and milk fat globule size of lactating cows. Journal of Dairy Science, v.102, n.10, p.8825-8838, 2019. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15833 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15833.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15833...
).

Table 2
Descriptive statistics and relative frequency to the number of samples that met the Brazilian regulations (BR) for crude protein (CP), fat and total solid (TS) of chilled raw milk.

The average values for somatic cell counts (SCC) and total plate counts (TPC) were higher than the limits in the Brazilian regulations (Figure 2 and 3), demonstrating that hygienic-sanitary management is deficient. The SCC is affected by incidence of mastitis and TPC is closely linked with the hygienic aspects of milking (DALEN et al., 2019DALEN, G. et al. The detection of intramammary infections using online somatic cell counts. Journal of Dairy Science, v.102, n.6, p.5419-5429, 2019. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15295 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15295.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15295...
; KIRKEBY et al., 2019KIRKEBY, C. et al. Differential somatic cell count as an additional indicator for intramammary infections in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, v.103, n.2, p.1759-1775, 2019. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16523 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.3168/jds.2019-16523.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16523...
).

Figure 2
Descriptive statistics and relative frequency to the number of samples that met the Brazilian regulation (BR) for somatic cell count (SSC) of chilled raw milk.

Figure 3
Descriptive statistics and relative frequency to the number of samples that met the Brazilian regulation (BR) for total plate count (TPC) of chilled raw milk.

In the period from Oct 2014 to July 2016, it was reported that 43.9% of the samples met the Brazilian regulations for SCC and 56.8% met the requirements for TPC (Figure 2 and 3). |Conversely, in the period from Aug 2016 to Feb 2017, it was reported that only 31.6 and 27.7% of the samples met the Brazilian regulations for both SCC and TPC variables, respectively. This reduction was associated with the tightening of Brazilian regulation, which reduced the maximum limits were 500,000 cells mL-1 and 300,000 cfu mL-1 at 400,000 cells mL-1 and 100,000 cfu mL-1 for SCC and TPC, respectively (BRASIL, 2011BRASIL. Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento. 2011. Instrução Normativa n. 62, de 29 de dezembro de 2011. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília, DF, 30 dez. 2011. Available from: <Available from: https://www.apcbrh.com.br/files/IN62.pdf >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
https://www.apcbrh.com.br/files/IN62.pdf...
). This low meet the regulations are certainly associated with the fact that the farms do not receive technical assistance on a regular basis, as was also verified by PICOLI et al. (2015PICOLI, T. et al. Milk production characteristics in Southern Brazil. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, v.36, n.1, p.1991-1998, 2015. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n3Supl1p1991 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n3Supl1p1991.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2015...
). Small farmers had a greater negligence of the management control and hygienic milk as compared to medium and large farmers (PAIXÃO et al., 2017PAIXÃO, M. G. et al. Milk quality and financial management at different scales of production on dairy farms located in the south of Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Revista Ceres, v.64, n.3, p.213-221, 2017. Available from: <Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-737x201764030001 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020. doi: 10.1590/0034-737x201764030001.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-737x20176...
).

If we consider that little technical evolution has occurred on the farms and that the new Brazilian legislation (BRASIL, 2018), that provides suspension of milk collection from producers if they do not meet the Brazilian regulations (300,000 cfu mL-1 and 500,000 cells mL-1 for TPC and SCC, respectively), we can assume that the number of producers who will not be able to meet these requirements can be elevated. Arguably, this may result in a concentration of milk production by large producers, who have production systems that are usually more specialized. This has the potential to have social and economic impacts on family farming in the region. However, the success of the new legislation will largely depend on the intensification of inspection of commercial milk receiving units, which are responsible for the qualification of milk suppliers and field technicians (BRASIL, 2018BRASIL. Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento. 2018. Instrução Normativa n. 76 e n. 77, de 26 de novembro de 2018. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília, DF, 30 nov. 2018. Available from: <Available from: http://pesquisa.in.gov.br/imprensa/jsp/visualiza/index.jsp?data=30/11/2018&jornal=515&pagina=9&totalArquivos=318 >. Accessed: Apr. 13, 2020.
http://pesquisa.in.gov.br/imprensa/jsp/v...
).

It was evidenced in this study that smallholder dairy farms in the Southern of Brazil produce milk with an adequate standard for the main chemical indicators. However, there is an important gap in compliance with hygienic-sanitary practices, leading to high levels of chilled raw milk that does not meet the limits established by Brazilian regulations.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) -Finance Code 001.

REFERENCES

  • CR-2020-0337.R1

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    28 Aug 2020
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    13 Apr 2020
  • Accepted
    04 June 2020
  • Reviewed
    20 July 2020
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