Milking equipment cleanliness is vitally important. Every dairy farmer knows that poorly maintained and insufficiently cleaned equipment leads to a higher risk of Thermoduric bacteria and poorer milk quality. A bespoke cleaning routine needs to be implemented to ensure high standards of hygiene and reduce any risk of milk quality being compromised.
Milkstone is a very common factor in poor milk quality. It is a hard deposit of milk residue that accrues on imperfectly cleansed dairy utensils and serves as a substrate for bacteria, contributing to off-flavours in milk. Thorough targeted cleaning is necessary to avoid Milkstone build-up in equipment.
Farmers should carry out a descale (acid) wash every week to avoid milk residues accumulating. This wash needs to encompass both the milking machine and the bulk tank to ensure complete removal.
Descaling is very good practise as it also removes mineral deposits from water making it a dual-purpose routine. Fourtress Descale is an excellent routine descaling product. It dissolves Milkstone as well as removing any combination Calcium protein scales that have formed. The presence of surfactants within Fourtress Descale increases the contact of acid to the Milkstone, which aids dissolution.
It must be noted that high levels of water hardness will affect the cleaning ability of detergents. Hard water allows the build-up of bio-films on stainless steel surfaces, which makes it ideal for Thermoduric bacteria to thrive. As a result, farmers with hard water need to adapt their routine to address this issue and avoid comprising their milk quality.
Peracetic Acid is commonly used to combat the issue of hard water. It is often used as a replacement for Chlorine so it is suited to farmers adapting to a Chlorine-free routine. Peracetic Acid is used to sterilize milking equipment before milking or used as a disinfectant for clusters between cows. It is advised to use Peracetic Acid in the final rinse in hard water areas to avoid comprising water quality. If Peraceic Acid is advised, it is extremely important that two post-wash rinse cycles are carried out. The first wash is required to remove any traces of detergent while the second actually contains the Peracetic Acid to add to the water to aid microbial quality.
By following a stepped approach to milk equipment cleaning, farmers can avoid Milkstone build-up and all the damage that occurs with it. Bespoke solutions are more targeted so call Dairy Direct today to discuss your individual requirements 0818 303 081