The objective with this research was to compare milk quality parameters among herds characterized by different levels of milk production. The research involved 1080 bulk milk samples collected from 30 dairy herds, which produce milk for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, during three years. Each milk sample was analysed for fat, crude protein, titratable acidity, total bacterial count, somatic cells, coliform bacteria, and Clostridia spores. Least mean values were obtained by ANOVA using milk production intervals from 6000 to 7999 (L-group), from 8000 to 9999 (M-group), and from 10000 to 12000 kg/cow/lactation (H-group) as fixed milk production classes. Increased milk production was associated with a reduction in milk fat content (from 3.54 in the L-group milk to 3.29 g/100 g in the H-group milk). An improvement in the hygienic-sanitary quality of milk was observed with increasing milk production. In fact, a progressive decrease in the total bacterial count (from 95 in the L-group milk to 45 103 cfu/mL in the H-group milk), number of coliforms (from 2294 in the L-group milk to 1342 cfu/mL in the H-group milk), and somatic cell number (from 382 in the L-group milk to 209 103 cells/mL in the H-group milk) was observed with the increase in milk production level. Finally, it appears that higher milk yield is connected with significant positive effects on the lactodynamometric properties of milk.
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