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New Test to Detect Antibiotic Residues in Milk

01 September 2008

DENMARK - Meeting a rising demand for improved process control in the dairy industry Chr. Hansen has extended its range of antibiotic test kits to prevent the negative effects of tetracycline residues.

Chr. Hansen, the international distributor of Neogen Corporation’s dairy antibiotic tests, is now marketing TetraStar®, the quickest test available for tetracycline residues in milk. TetraStar® produces clear results in a market-best six minutes, and like BetaStar®, is an extremely simple dipstick test that requires only minimal training and equipment to produce consistently accurate results. TetraStar® enables testing at milk reception to verify that milk is a) in accordance with regulatory demands for maximum residue limits and b) that tetracycline remains in milk do not interfere with production cultures.

One Test for Tetracyclines, One for Beta-lactams

The tetracyclines group of dairy antibiotics is used to treat bovine mastitis, and includes tetracycline, chlortetracycline, and oxytetracycline. TetraStar® complements the widely used BetaStar® test for the beta-lactam group of dairy antibiotics, including amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephapirin, cloxacillin, and penicillin.

Higher Productivity Equals More Antibiotics

For many years, antibiotics have been used for the treatment of infectious diseases such as mastitis in cows. Over the years there has been an increase in demand for higher productivity from individual cows, often resulting in more infections and subsequently an increased use of antibiotic treatments. Under normal circumstances, treated cows must be isolated for a certain period before being milked. The normal quarantine period is 4-5 days but this may vary according to the type of antibiotic used and the applied dosage. If this quarantine period is not adhered to, farmers run a high risk of the antibiotic residue passing into the milk. Penalties for positive antibiotic residues are often severe.

Serious Consequences

"Antibiotic residues also pose a major problem to the dairy industry as they can inhibit starter cultures in yoghurt and cheese making," said Ole Madsen, Marketing Manager Dairy Enzymes and Tests, Chr. Hansen. "This could result in major losses to the dairy concerned. More importantly, and indeed more severe, are the consequences that affect human health. Residues can cause antibiotic resistance, allergy and hypersensitivity in human beings," Madsen said.

Great Interest within European Dairy Industry

As the European Union has set a maximum residue level of 100 parts per billion for tetracyclines in milk, European dairies are increasingly testing for tetracyclines — especially in Spain, where tetracyclines are widely used.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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