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Testing for Chlorate Residues in Milk


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Discover how a strategic partnership between Teagasc, Independent Milk Laboratory, FBA Labs, and Kerry Group led to a groundbreaking solution for detecting chlorate residues in milk. This case study explores the collaborative effort to uphold Ireland's esteemed dairy quality, particularly for infant formula, through innovative testing methods that safeguard health and enhance industry standards.



“Companies that are active in research, development and innovation are shown to perform better than their peers, and I would encourage businesses to consider collaboration with public research as a means to enhance their offering.”


- Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary, TD.



Case Highlights


  • Solution: Developing a rapid, sensitive testing method

  • Impact: Enhanced milk safety and industry standards




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milk cows

Challenge: Addressing Chlorate Residue Concerns in Milk

The dairy industry faces significant challenges regarding chlorate residues in milk, a by-product of chlorine-based disinfectants used in milking equipment and processing plants. With the abolition of milk production quotas and increasing global demand, ensuring the safety and quality of dairy products is crucial. Chlorate residues, particularly concerning for vulnerable groups like infants, have emerged as a pressing issue, threatening consumer confidence and industry reputation.


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Solution: Developing Novel Testing Method

To address these concerns, Teagasc responded with urgency, developing a novel testing method for chlorates in milk and dairy ingredients. Leveraging its laboratories and expertise, Teagasc engineered a high-throughput test capable of rapid and sensitive detection of chlorate residues. Through strategic investment in cutting-edge equipment and rigorous validation processes, Teagasc successfully brought this innovative testing method to fruition, empowering dairy processors with a reliable tool to safeguard product integrity.



milk cows

Impact: Enhancing Milk Quality and Consumer Safety

The implementation of Teagasc's chlorate testing method has yielded profound impacts on the dairy industry. By providing dairy processors with the means to swiftly identify and mitigate chlorate contamination risks, the testing method mitigates potential health hazards for consumers and mitigates revenue loss for processors. Moreover, the availability of sensitive testing in Ireland enhances the industry's resilience, fostering consumer trust and reinforcing Ireland's reputation as a leader in dairy product safety and quality assurance.




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Teagasc, Independent Milk Laboratories (IML), FBA Laboratories (FBA) and Kerry Group secured the Industry Engagement Award at the KTI Impact Awards 2022, for an enduring research partnership through which industry consulted with Teagasc in relation to specialist expertise in testing for chlorate residues. Learn more on this by pressing on the link to the video below.

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