Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


As laid down in the EEC Regulation (4154/87) the milk fat content in food is based on the determination of butyric acid, expressed as weight percentage in relation to 100 g fat. The amount of butyric acid is then multiplied by a factor of 27 resulting immediately in the amount of milk fat, expressed in g milk fat in 100 g fat. This factor of 27 results from the assumption, that the milk fat contains a constant amount of 3.7% butyric acid (g butyric acid in 100 g fat). However, data available indicate that the amount of butyric acid in milk fat is neither constant nor at the level on 3.7% any longer. The composition of milk fat strongly depends on several factors, such as feeding conditions, geographical origin, seasonal and genetical variations and lactation period. In this report the facts are summarized and indicate that there is a strong need for a change of the conversion factor of 27 to 29.4 based on the determination of the free butyric acid in milk fat. The conversion factor of 29.4 is deriving from a mean butyric acid content of 3.4% in butter fat. In addition, it is proposed to use only one method for the determination of the milk fat content for both goods, imported and exported. This could be based either on the determination of the free butyric acid with an conversion factor of 29.4 or on that of the butyric acid methyl ester with an appropriate conversion factor.

Additional information

Authors: ANKLAM E, JRC Ispra (IT);LIPP M, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17318 EN (1997) 24pp., FS
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT), Fax: +39-332-785818
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