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New Test For Detecting Fake Organic Milk

Date:
March 4, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Germany are reporting development of a new, more effective method to determine whether milk marketed as "organic" is genuine or just ordinary milk mislabeled to hoodwink consumers.

German scientists have developed a test to differentiate real organic milk from fake.
Credit: Max Rubner Institute

Scientists in Germany are reporting development of a new, more effective method to determine whether milk marketed as "organic" is genuine or just ordinary milk mislabeled to hoodwink consumers.

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In the study, Joachim Molkentin and colleagues point out that organic milk has soared in popularity in many countries. Sales in Germany, for instance, rose by almost one-third between 2006 and 2007. Consequently, crooks may take advantage of the situation by marketing increasing quantities of fake organic milk. That situation created a need for better tests to detect the fraud.

To address the issue, the scientists developed a test based on an analysis of milk fat for the ratio of stable isotopes of carbon. They used it to identify milk samples from cows raised on feed containing a higher ration of maize. Such a feeding regimen is typical of conventional milk production.

Organically raised cows are fed less maize but more pasture feed. In addition, the team identified a significant difference in the alpha-linolenic acid content of milk fat between organic and conventional milk samples. Organic milk typically has a higher alpha-linolenic acid content than conventional milk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joachim Molkentin. Authentication of Organic Milk Using d13C and the a-Linolenic Acid Content of Milk Fat. Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009, 57 (3), pp 785%u2013790 DOI: 10.1021/jf8022029

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Test For Detecting Fake Organic Milk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302130037.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, March 4). New Test For Detecting Fake Organic Milk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302130037.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Test For Detecting Fake Organic Milk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302130037.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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