Smigic N, Djekic I, Tomasevic I, Stanisic N, Nedeljkovic A, Lukovic V, Miocinovic J. - - Br Food J 2017; 119: 366-76

Organic and conventional milk – insight on potential differences

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate if there is a difference in hygiene parameters of raw milk produced in organic and conventional farm of similar size. In parallel, the aim was to determine if there are differences in pasteurized organic and conventional milk samples delivered on the market. Design/methodology/approach Raw milk samples were analyzed for aerobic colony count (ACC), somatic cell count (SCC), acidity, temperature, fat and protein content. On the other side, final products of organic and conventional pasteurized milk with 2.8 percent declared milk fat were analyzed for Raman spectroscopy, color change and sensorial difference. Findings Results of raw milk analysis showed statistically significant differences in fat content, SCC, acidity, temperature and ACC (p<0.05). It is of note that ACC for organic milk were lower for approx. 1?log CFU/ml compared to conventional milk samples. Pasteurized organic milk samples had a significantly higher L* value than those samples originating from conventional farms, indicating that organic is “more white” compared to conventional milk. According to the results of triangle test, with 95 percent confidence no more than 10 percent of the population is able to detect a difference. Research limitations/implications A limitation of this research is the fact that good veterinary practices at farms, namely, animal health and adequate usage of medicine for treating the animals, animal welfare and animal feeding were not analyzed. Originality/value This study analyzed potential differences in organic and conventional milk at two important production stages of the milk chain – at receipt at dairy plant (raw milk) and perceived by consumers (final product).

Keywords: Organic food, Conventional food, Pasteurized milk, Raw milk