Arrabawn | Milk Quality Advisor – April 2019
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Milk Quality Advisor – April 2019

Ways to achieve and maintain a low thermoduric count

It is recommended to have cows’ teats clean and dry before milking, as the teat is the likely route of thermodurics into the milk.

  • In the milking machine it is important to have the rubber ware in good condition.
  • Liners need to be changed every 2,000 milking’s.
  • Long milk tubes, from the clusters up to the milk-line, have a life-span of about three years. Once they go beyond that, they’re going to crack.

No matter how good your wash routine is and your temperature of water, if you have worn, cracked rubber ware it’s going to be nearly impossible to keep it clean, and you’re going to have a high thermoduric count.

The most important aspect of the wash routine is the pre-rinse,

  • 14L of clean water per unit. The pre-rinse ensures that the machine is cleaned out of milk residues and will make the detergents work.
  • If you have a poor wash routine, thermoduric bacteria will find a home in the milk machine, and they will grow into huge numbers.

With inadequate cleaning, thermoduric bacteria in the m attach to the inside of the rubberware and milk-line forming a biofilm – a brown, waxy film. This biofilm builds and grows over time and the detergent will have no effect whatsoever.

If a biofilm is found in the milk-line, it indicates that the temperature of the hot wash is not hot enough.


  1. You need to be starting the hot wash at 75°
  2. With automatic systems, it is recommended to measure how much detergent is actually going through the machine every two months.
  3. It could be taking up only half the volume that it was set-up for
  4. You could have a very good TBC (total bacteria count) and then all of a sudden you have a high thermoduric count,
  5. If you keep the rubber ware right; cows’ teats clean and dry; proper detergent; and a proper hot wash, you won’t have an issue with it,

Thermoduric levels in milk can be minimised by:

  • presenting clean cows for milking;
  • replacing cracked rubberware; regular plant hot washes between 70° and 80°;
  • weekly acid descale of milking equipment.