BRUSSELSThe International Dairy Federation (IDF) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) teamed up to expand the scope of the Kjeldahl method, an international standard used worldwide to measure the protein content of cow's milk.
The Kjeldahl method now encompasses milk from other species, as well as internationally traded dairy products covered by Codex standards. The revised standard reconfirms the crucial role of the Kjeldahl method in trade harmonization and enhances consumer protection safeguards.
This method plays a pivotal role in national and international trade, which includes calculating fair milk payments for dairy farmers, controlling manufacturing processes and checking regulatory compliance.
"This standard is about the determination of one of the major components in milk and many milk products, in fact, the component that accounts for over 50% of the market value of milk," said Harrie van den Bijgaart, chair of the ISO Technical Committee on Milk and Milk Products.
This, combined with the fact that international collaborative studies of the method had been conducted for liquid bovine whole milk only thus far, illustrated the need to validate the method for products other than bovine whole milk.
IDF and ISO experts have now successfully modified and scientifically validated the method so that it applies to a wide range of dairy products," said Jaap Evers, chair of the IDF Methods Standards Steering Group.
In addition to liquid bovine whole milk, the method can also be applied to bovine milk with reduced fat content, goat whole milk, sheep whole milk, cheese, dried milk and dried milk products (milk-based infant formula, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, casein and caseinate), Evers added. The validation of this method for more products will also provide better guarantees to consumers that the labeled content of milk products was determined with globally standardized methodology," said van den Bijgaart.
The global impact of IDF/ISO analytical methods is illustrated by the fact that many of these methods are referenced in national and regional regulations, and that over 60 have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius. These methods have become the international references for the testing of milk and dairy products.
The next step is to submit the revised Kjeldahl method for endorsement to Codex Alimentarius," Evers said. "One of the major benefits of international adoption of the revised method is that it will result in greater harmonization of protein analysis across the globe, thereby minimizing the risk of trade disputes resulting from differences in analytical test results."
Evers added that the increasing global demand for milk products makes standardization even more important to ensure safety, quality and fairness in trade.