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The Microbiology of Ethiopian Milk and Milk products: Review

Author: 
Tolessa Muleta
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Milk is a translucent white liquid produced by mammary glands of mammals. The quality of milk and its product is highly affected because it is an excellent and perfect culture medium for the growth of many kinds of micro-organisms. The objective of the review was to assess the safety of milk and its products with respect to food-borne diseases, losses and improving quality and to suggest well developed milk marketing system as a majority of small scale producers’ access to market. Accordingly, In Ethiopia, milk marketing system is not well developed and for the majority of small scale producers, access to market is limited. The amount produced is subjected to high post-harvest losses. Losses of up to 20–35% have been reported for milk and its products from milking to consumption. Such loses are mainly attributed to highly perishable nature of milk and mishandling, contamination during milking and further handling coupled with long storage time at high ambient temperature before consumption; inefficient transportation and distribution systems; inefficient processing technologies; inadequate fresh milk outlet; and spillage losses during milking. The total bacterial count obtained from raw milk collected from Yabello District of Borena zone is generally high compared to the acceptable level of 1 x 105 bacteria per ml of raw milk. The total bacterial count obtained from dairy cooperative milk collection centers was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than milk samples collected from hotels, small shops/kiosks and small scale milk producers which might be due to further contamination of the milk during transportation, use of poorly cleaned milk containers and absence of cooling systems at milk selling points. It was concluded that the microbial quality of Ethiopian milk and milk products is not to the standard and subjected to post-harvest and pre-consumption spoilage which result in milk borne illness. Therefore, awareness on hygienic production and handling of milk and products and adequate production and processing technologies should be fulfilled.

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