Short communication: Prediction of milk coagulation and acidity traits in Mediterranean buffalo milk using Fourier-transform mid-infrared spectroscopy

C. L. Manuelian, G. Visentin, C. Boselli, G. Giangolini, M. Cassandro, M. De Marchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Milk coagulation and acidity traits are important factors to inform the cheesemaking process. Those traits have been deeply studied in bovine milk, whereas scarce information is available for buffalo milk. However, the dairy industry is interested in a method to determine milk coagulation and acidity features quickly and in a cost-effective manner, which could be provided by Fourier-transform mid-infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of FT-MIR to predict coagulation and acidity traits of Mediterranean buffalo milk. A total of 654 records from 36 herds located in central Italy with information on milk yield, somatic cell score, milk chemical composition, milk acidity [pH, titratable acidity (TA)], and milk coagulation properties (rennet coagulation time, curd firming time, and curd firmness) were available for statistical analysis. Reference measures of milk acidity and coagulation properties were matched with milk spectral information, and FT-MIR prediction models were built using partial least squares regression. The data set was divided into a calibration set (75%) and a validation set (25%). The capacity of FT-MIR spectroscopy to correctly classify milk samples based on their renneting ability was evaluated by a canonical discriminant analysis. Average values for milk coagulation traits were 13.32 min, 3.24 min, and 39.27 mm for rennet coagulation time, curd firming time, and curd firmness, respectively. Milk acidity traits averaged 6.66 (pH) and 7.22 Soxhlet-Henkel degrees/100 mL (TA). All milk coagulation and acidity traits, except for pH, had high variability (17 to 46%). Prediction models of coagulation traits were moderately to scarcely accurate, whereas the coefficients of determination of external validation were 0.76 and 0.66 for pH and TA, respectively. Canonical discriminant analysis indicated that information on milk coagulating ability is present in the MIR spectra, and the model correctly classified as noncoagulating the 91.57 and 67.86% of milk samples in the calibration and validation sets, respectively. In conclusion, our results can be relevant to the dairy industry to classify buffalo milk samples before processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7083-7087
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • buffalo cheese
  • mid-infrared spectrometry
  • milk coagulation property
  • milk quality


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