Dairy Products: Healthy vs. Health Risk?

We all remember the infamous marketing campaign promoting milk consumption, right? We would see all of our favorite athletes with a milk mustache in their uniforms dedicating their performance and strong bodies to proper dairy intake. But is that still true? Is dairy healthy, or a health risk?

While dairy isn’t essential for the human diet, there are a lot of necessary vitamins and proteins that keep us healthy. There are different elements in dairy products that help regulate our bodies, like Nitrate or Nitrite. However, too much can cause health issues and actually be harmful to our bodies.

Nitrates found in vegetables and other foods are converted to nitrites and then into nitric oxide, which helps regulate blood pressure and supports the immune and nervous systems. However, nitrate is also found in fertilizer. It is also possible for nitrate and nitrite to be introduced to milk and milk products (whey, powdered milk, infant formula, etc.) during the manufacturing process.

In the past milk powders and milk products manufactured in the US have been rejected because nitrite concentrations were greater than 2ppm. To date, concentrations of nitrates and nitrites in milk and plant-based powders in the US are unknown.

Increased nitrate and nitrite concentrations in milk are not only dangerous for adult human health but pose a threat to infants and young children if untreated milk is used in the production of baby food.

Nitrate reduces the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. And while adult bodies can quickly return to normal, infants and young children, however, are a different story. Babies who consume milk, or excessive levels of nitrates and nitrites may develop serious health conditions due to the lack of oxygen. This excess of nitrates and nitrites can cause Infant Methemoglobinemia, also known as Blue Baby Syndrome, which is deadly.

This explains the importance of controlling and monitoring levels of nitrate and nitrite in milk and infant formulas consumed by children during lactation, especially those without breast-feeding.

Dairy products should always be tested for these contaminants during QA/QC process, and for reporting values of exported products. Laboratories around the world work extremely hard to monitor these levels and produce the highest quality results. 

But because so many of the products need testing to ensure accuracy, analytical laboratories are struggling to keep up. Large quantities of determinations are to be completed, with the same level of accuracy and precision every single time. Unfortunately, it is impossible to with hand labor, simply because the procedures are slow, and human error plays a role. Ultimately, this creates a bottleneck in the laboratory and hinders laboratory productivity.  

We are proud to offer a solution to the issue and bring more automation, more accuracy and more precision to your laboratory!

For labs dealing with dairy products specifically, we have developed a method solely for your analysis! Our Nitrate (NO3) and Nitrite (NO2) in Milk and Milk Products method can be performed on our FS3700, a fully integrated continuous flow analyzer. This particular method automates ISO Method 14763-3, providing accurate results and significantly increasing sample throughput.

FS3700 OI Analytical

The FS3700 in conjunction with the easy-to-use software aptly named, FlowView, the analyst can edit and review results in real-time, reprioritize samples, or edit sample tables on the fly. And is able to automate the analysis of milk samples easily, and at a low cost. 

 Employing flow injection analysis or optional segmented flow analysis, we are able to meet your specific parameters. The nominal rate of NO3 and NO2 analysis in milk samples with the FS3700 platform is 30 samples per hour, and the detection range of the method is 0.5ppm-5.0ppm for NO3, 0.025ppb-0.400ppb for NO2.

The other nice thing about the FS3700 is the flexibility it provides to each lab. The range of each analysis can be modified by increasing or decreasing the size of the sample loop, increasing the cycle duration time, and adjusting the calibration range up so that the calibrants are closer to the concentration of the actual samples.

If you're looking for a method with a quick conversion from NO3 to NO2 analysis, you've found it. Why waste time analyzing milk samples for NO3 and NO2 by conventional and time-consuming methods when we offer an easier solution?

Xylem Lab Solutions has a variety of laboratory products that serve the food and beverage industry, which includes our Continuous Flow portfolio.

We have several methods available that provide brief insight on how to measure Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Phosphate, Cyanide, and others! If you want to know more about the product, reach out to one of our representatives today! 

Talk to an Xylem Lab Expert!

Relevant Application Notes:

FS3700 Method Abstract: Nitrate and Nitrite in Milk using FIA

FS3700 Method Abstract: Nitrate and Nitrite in Water using FIA & SFA

FS3700 Method Abstract: Silica by SFA


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