PROJECT TITLE : Organic milk: understanding intrinsic characteristics and their origin and develop novel analytical techniques
Project duration: . September 2014 – September 2018
Organic milk is drawing more and more attention in recent years because of its ecology, sustainability and safety. However it is also susceptible to fraud considering its high retail price and the strict requirements for organic products. Since the quality of milk is affected by many factors, such as seasons, environment, lactation stage, feed, cow species, etc., it is challenging to distinguish organic milk analytically from conventional milk. In order to regulate the organic milk market, protect the commercial rights of customers and the rights of organic milk producers, there is a need to elucidate the differences between organic milk and conventional milk, the reasons which lead to these differences, and design methods to detect these differences.
The objective of this project is thus to find the intrinsic characteristics of organic milk, the origin of these characteristics and how to distinguish organic milk based on these characteristics. The project can be divided into five sub-projects that aim to:
• To make an inventory of the rules about organic livestock and the key factors which can affect the characteristics of milk significantly
• To find the chemical and physical characteristics of organic retail milk, and try to build a stable link between chemical characteristics and physical characteristics with chemo metrics algorithms;
• To find the characteristics of organic feed, and the relationship between organic feed and organic milk;
• To evaluate the impact of different management activities in organic and conventional dairy farming on the chemical and physical characteristics of the produced milk;
• To confirm the traceable markers for feed and management, and to develop novel detection methods for organic milk based on the these markers for rapid screening and confirming purposes;
The final results will make it much more easy, fast and accurate to confirm the authenticity of organic milk.