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Transfer of 121I and 137Cs from cow milk to cheese and other products

Authors: F. Vosinakos, A. Moumtizis, A. Kesidou, S. Ganatsios, A. Bizopoulos and P. Karakoltsidis

Abstract:

The transfer of artificially added 121I and 137Cs, from cow milk, to cheese curd, cheese whey, mytzithra (a traditional Greek whey cheese) and lactose serum was studied. The contamination was introduced directly to the milk in doses amounting to those Greece received during the Chernobyl's accident. The average values recovered for 121I in cheese curd and cheese whey were 28.9% and 71.1% respectively. The average values for 137Cs were 17.6% and 82.4%. In mytzithra production the amount of radioactivity transferred was 17.1% for 121I and 21.1% for 137Cs with the rest remaining in lactose serum. The results of our work demonstrate that these radioisotopes follow the water phase during processing of contaminated milk. They also show that as the contamination of milk increases the higher proportion of 137Cs and 121I is retained in the cheese curd. The radioactivity does used were up to 6000 Bq/kg.

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