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Although the volume of ingredients in ewe’s milk is substantially higher than in cow’s milk, its hygienic quality is lower. The weak quality of raw ewe’s milk limits the possibilities of processing and results in bad quality products. In our investigation we analysed the state of ewe’s milk processing at a typical medium size dairy firm. We investigated the collection, the amount and the quality of milk and the level of ingredients in milk throughout the purchasing period (lactation period).
The purchasing of ewe’s milk was limited to 5 months (from April to September). Although meat (lamb) provides the major source of income to sheep breeders the extension of the period of ewe’s milk production can be beneficial to shepherds and dairy firms. The amount of ewe’s milk ingredients found corresponded to published findings. However, the hygienic quality of ewe’s milk was varied greatly in the different milk samples and these deviations meant bad quality on average. Physiological factors, the circumstances of sheep breeding and milking, the slow cooling of the milk, the little amount of daily milk and the long storage before transportation to the dairy firm together cause poor hygienic quality. The main problem is the long storage time of milk, but our results raise the question of reconsidering the quality classes. Investigating the effect of the hygienic quality of raw milk on product quality, we can get correct data that can be really authoritative.