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Interpretive Summary: Technical note: colorimetric methods for accurate determination of nutrient composition in beef cow colostrum and milk

By: Abigail R Rathert-Williams, Ann L Kenny, Bongkosh Vardhanabhuti, Thomas B McFadden, Allison M Meyer

The purpose was to develop laboratory methods to measure lactose, fat, protein, and urea nitrogen in beef cow colostrum (first milk) and milk and to validate single-quarter colostrum yield as a predictor of total colostrum yield. Additionally, new methods were compared with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), which is the primary method of dairy cow milk nutrient analysis. New laboratory methods were determined to be accurate for beef cow colostrum and milk analysis, and single-quarter colostrum yield was successful in predicting total colostrum yield. Overall, our data suggest that beef cow colostrum cannot be accurately analyzed by FTIR instruments, and accuracy of FTIR for beef cow milk analysis varies with nutrients and may be affected by the day of lactation.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.