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Annual variation of alkaline phosphatase activity in goats' milk and its effect on the detection of unpasteurised milk

Authors: D.J. Williams, S.M. Nottingham, M. Petroff and S.J. Veldhoven


The levels of alkaline phosphatase (AP) were determined in bulk goats' milk collected at two-weekly intervals from two dairies over twelve months. The AP levels in milk from both dairies varied widely and inconsistently over the year. Seasons of the year had only a limited effect on AP levels, while milk yield, solids-not-fat and fat percentages had no influence. Low AP activities of these milks allowed sizeable amounts of raw milk i.e. up to 1.6%, to contaminate the pasteurised product without detection by the standard Aschaffenburg and Mullen test. The use of a modification to enhance the sensitivity of the test (Williams, 1986) together with a change in the failure criterion is suggested to minimise the problem.

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