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  • 1 Second Medical Clinic for Ruminants and Swine, Milk Technology and Food Science, University for Veterinary Science 1210 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, Austria
  • | 2 Second Medical Clinic for Ruminants and Swine, Milk Technology and Food Science, University for Veterinary Science 1210 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, Austria
  • | 3 Clinic for Ruminants, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
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Difficulties in measuring the urea content in sheep's milk often occur with spectral photometry due to the high protein and fat concentrations of the milk. In this study an enzymatic flow procedure (QuickChem 8000 Ion Analyser, Lachat Instruments, Milwaukee, USA) to determine the urea content in ovine and bovine milk was evaluated. Urea content is determined by the Berthelot reaction after splitting it enzymatically with urease. The free ammonia diffuses through a teflon membrane into a stream of reagent solutions. Detection takes place by means of a reaction between the ammonium ions with hypochlorite and salicylate producing a green colour, which is measured spectrometrically in a flow meter at 660 nm. By using a diffusion cell chemical deproteinisation of milk is not necessary and capacity is high. The assessed procedure exhibited high accuracy and precision and reached a sample capacity of 55 samples an hour. Storage of the milk samples for several days as well as chemical preservation with bronopol had no effect on the measurement procedure. Due to the complexity of the apparatus and the costs associated therewith, the device proves less suitable for routine diagnostics but rather serves as a reference method for the measurement of urea concentration in milk.

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