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Yellow Stain on Sediment Discs: 3. Scanning Electron Microscope Studies of Milk Sediment Discs

Authors: Elizabeth A. Kernohan


Scanning electronmicrographs were made of the upper surfaces of lintine sediment test discs through which various kinds of milk had passed. Normal milk and that with a high cell count which did not cause a yellow stain did not affect the porosity of the discs. Milk that produced a yellow stain caused the build-up of a matrix on the fibres, as did goats colostrum and milk from cows with clinical mastitis.

Homogenization and serial filtration of milk samples that produced a yellow stain destroyed their ability to form this matrix and to stain the disc yellow.

Defatting of this matrix with 2:1 (v/v) chloroform:methanol revealed another substance which was tentatively identified as fibrin. This substance was removed from the fibres of the discs by incubation with fibrinolysin.

It is suggested that leakage of plasma fibrinogen into milk and its polymerization to form a fibrin during periods of high vascular and epithelial permeability, leads to the formation of a matrix on milk sediment test discs. Lodgement of fat and associated B-carotene in this matrix causes the formation of yellow stain.

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