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Teagasc Milk and Product Quality Workshop

A workshop on Milk and Product Quality was held at Teagasc Moorepark on Tuesday, 4 December and is being repeated today, Thursday in Cavan.

At the workshop, information on milk quality issues was provided to key industry stakeholders. Over 140 delegates will attend the workshop over the two days. Ireland is recognised internationally as a producer of high quality milk and dairy products and it is important that this position is maintained.

Head of the Food BioSciences Department, Teagasc, Dr Tom Beresford said; ”Quality standards are continually increasing and if Ireland is to remain a major player in international traded dairy products and ingredients we need to ensure that our industry attains these evolving standards. The dairy industry is going through a very exciting period with an expectation of major expansion in milk output in the years ahead, as a consequence of the removal of EU milk production quotas in 2015.”

Teagasc operates a very dynamic research sub-programme on milk and product quality. It should be seen as a national resource in this area due to its unique capacity to undertake research along the complete milk pipeline from “Farm to Fork”. The expertise and infrastructure in milk production systems, within the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Programme is coupled with its capacity to convert milk into a wide range of dairy products and ingredients within the Teagasc Food Programme.

Indeed the fact that most of this capacity is located at a single site at Moorepark, Fermoy, makes Teagasc one of the few organisations internationally that can undertake this type of research. The research sub-programme on milk and product quality that operates at Teagasc is designed based on regular feedback from industry stakeholders who are members of the “Milk and Product Quality Working Forum” who meet twice annually to discuss the ongoing research programme and identify new and emerging issues of potential interest.

The main topics for discussion at the workshop this week included new data on monitoring and controlling residues in milk, detergent use and washing systems within the milking parlour and factors influencing bacterial and somatic cell count levels in milk. There was a strong focus on the practical application of the knowledge and how it could be applied in a realistic manner at farm level.

In addition to Teagasc speakers, the workshop was also addressed by Micheál Cosgrove from Glanbia and John Harrison from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and by Finola McCoy, Teagasc, who works on an Animal Health Ireland project on Somatic cell count reduction.