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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.

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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

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