On-line monitoring of milk electrical conductivity by fuzzy logic technology to characterise health status in dairy goats

Zaninelli, Mauro; Rossi, Luciana; Tangorra, Francesco Maria; Costa, Annamaria; Agazzi, Alessandro; Savoini, Giovanni
April 2014
Italian Journal of Animal Science;2014, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p340
Academic Journal
Intramammary infection affects the quality and quantity of dairy goat milk. Health status (HS) and milk quality can be monitored by electrical conductivity (EC). The aim of the study was to determine the detection potential of EC when measured on-line on a daily basis and compared with readings from previous milkings. Milk yields (MYs) were investigated with the same approach. To evaluate these relative traits, a multivariate model based on fuzzy logic technology - which provided interesting results in cows - was used. Two foremilk samples from 8 healthy Saanen goats were measured daily over the course of six months. Bacteriological tests and somatic cells counts were used to define the HS. On-line EC measurements for each gland and MYs were also considered. Predicted deviations of EC and MY were calculated using a moving-average model and entered in the fuzzy logic model. The reported accuracy has a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 69%. Conclusions show that fuzzy logic is an interesting approach for dairy goats, since it offered better accuracy than other methods previously published. Nevertheless, specificity was lower than in dairy cows, probably due to the lack of a significant decrease of MY in diseased glands. Still, results show that the detection of the HS characteristics with EC is improved, when measured on-line, daily and compared with the readings from previous milkings.


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