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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Filtration

Keep Milk MOOving: Monitoring Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN) with the CDR FoodLab®

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Dairy farms across the world are doing their part to ensure their herds are being fed optimal feed rations to maintain a harmonious balance of protein in feed, healthy cows, and limiting excess nitrogen in consumer's milk. The CDR FoodLab® brings affordable and fast milk urea nitrogen (MUN) testing directly to the front line of the dairy production process with the CDR FoodLab® for Milk and Dairy.

Milk Urea Nitrogen Cycle in Cows
Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN) Cycle in Cows

Urea nitrogen is produced in the liver and is derived from the breakdown of protein in the rumen of the cow. Bacteria in the rumen captures and utilizes this urea nitrogen, but when it is in excess, it will be absorbed through the rumen wall and become toxic. Excess urea nitrogen is then excreted into the milk of the cow and becomes measurable. Conversely, a protein deficiency causing a decrease in a cow’s milk production can be measured as a very low MUN value.

Therefore, MUN testing on the CDR FoodLab® for Milk and Dairy can be used to monitor the acceptable amount of protein required in a dairy cow’s feed ration to improve the efficiency of protein intake to milk production.

Urea Reference Method VS CDR FoodLab®
CDR FoodLab® vs Reference Method

The CDR FoodLab® analyzers come pre-calibrated and ready to use. The CDR FoodLab® is calibrated in correlation to the official methods. For MUN, the official method referenced is NF EN ISO 14637.

In 2019, the Standard Latte Laboratory, which is part of the Associazione Italiana Allevatori (Italian Breeders Association) ran 2,500 tests to assess the CDR FoodLab® method. The full study validating the analysis methods can be viewed here.

The CDR FoodLab® utilizes pre-filled, ready to use reagent kits. For MUN, the urea is converted into ammonia by urease enzyme. The ammonium ions then react with a phenolic derivative and form a blue-green colored complete whose intensity, measured at 700nm, is directly proportional to the concentration of urea in the sample.

MUN reaction CDR FoodLab®

With CDR FoodLab® MUN can be measured in 8 minutes, with a repeatability of 0.6 mg/dL. The CDR FoodLab® does not require a fume hood, can be used on the go, and does not require a trained lab technician to run the analyses.

View the test procedure for testing MUN here.

Measuring range and repeatability for Urea and MUN on the CDR FoodLab®
Measuring Ranges on the CDR FoodLab®

In addition to MUN, the CDR FoodLab® is able to test a number of other parameters in milk and dairy products such as: lactose, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Ammonia, and more. You can find our analyzer options and tests available in our Buyer’s Guide.

Want to keep your milk mooving with the CDR FoodLab®? Contact Us!

Please visit us at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin on October 2nd-6th, Booth Number #578. For more information or to register ➝

Visit CDR FoodLab® at the World Dairy Expo 2023


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