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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Paape, Max
item Nelson, T
item Bowman, Mary
item Contreras, A
item Kobayashi, H

Submitted to: Journal of Industrias Lacteas Espanolas
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2000
Publication Date: 5/1/2001
Citation: Paape, M.J., Nelson, T.K., Bowman, M.E., Contreras, A., Kobayashi, H. 2001. Will bromelain reduce milk somatic cell counts for goats as it did for cows? Journal of Industrias Lacteas Espanolas. 267:54-55.

Interpretive Summary: Milk quality is based on the white blood cell count in milk. U.S. dairy producers get paid an extra 20 cents per 100 pounds for milk having a white blood cell count under a specified level. That level ranges from about 200,000 to 300,000 per milliliter. Producers can't sell milk with cell counts that exceed the legal limit. In the United States, that limit is 750,000/ml. Scientists in the Immunology and Disease Resistance Laborator at the USDA, Beltsville, fed bromelain, a mix of enzymes extracted from the stems of pineapple plants, to cows with intramammary infections to see if it would reduce counts in milk. When compared to control cows, bromelain reduced cell counts by 100,000. Moreover, cell counts never exceeded the legal limit for cows fed bromelain. With bromelain, dairy producers will have more days with cell counts in the premium price range, under 300,000/ml.

Technical Abstract: To determine effects on milk somatic cell counts (MSCC) bromelain, a conglomeration of proteolytic enzymes derived from the stem of the pineapple plant, was fed to lactating dairy cows. Two groups of five cows each were involved in a repeated measures crossover design. Group 1 was fed 75 g of bromelain in pellet form for 24 days while group 2 served as a control. This was followed by a 7 day wash out period, and by another 24 day experimental period. During this period the groups were switched, where group 1 was now the control group and group 2 the bromelain. For experimental period 1, control cows MSCC exceeded 350,000/ml 34 times compared to only 19 times for bromelain fed cows (P < 0.02). For experimental period 2, control cows MSCC exceeded 350,000/ml 26 times compared to only 17 times for the bromelain fed cows (P > 0.05). For the entire study control cows exceeded 350,000 cells/ml of milk 60 times compared to only 36 times for bromelain fed cows (P < 0.007). Feeding bromelain to lactating dairy cows reduced the MSCC when compared to controls.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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