• Goat farm variability affects milk Fourier-transform infrared spectra used for predicting coagulation properties

      Dadousis, Christos; Gotet, Claudio Cipolat; Stocco, Giorgia; FERRAGINA, ALESSANDRO; Dettori, Maria L.; Pazzola, Michele; do Nascimento Rangel, Adriano Henrique; Vacca, Giuseppe M.; University of Sassari (Elsevier, 2021-02-13)
      Driven by the large amount of goat milk destined for cheese production, and to pioneer the goat cheese industry, the objective of this study was to assess the effect of farm in predicting goat milk-coagulation and curd-firmness traits via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Spectra from 452 Sarda goats belonging to 14 farms in central and southeast Sardinia (Italy) were collected. A Bayesian linear regression model was used, estimating all spectral wavelengths' effects simultaneously. Three traditional milk-coagulation properties [rennet coagulation time (min), time to curd firmness of 20 mm (min), and curd firmness 30 min after rennet addition (mm)] and 3 curd-firmness measures modeled over time [rennet coagulation time estimated according to curd firmness change over time (RCTeq), instant curd-firming rate constant, and asymptotical curd firmness] were considered. A stratified cross validation (SCV) was assigned, evaluating each farm separately (validation set; VAL) and keeping the remaining farms to train (calibration set) the statistical model. Moreover, a SCV, where 20% of the goats randomly taken (10 replicates per farm) from the VAL farm entered the calibration set, was also considered (SCV80). To assess model performance, coefficient of determination (R2VAL) and the root mean squared error of validation were recorded. The R2VAL varied between 0.14 and 0.45 (instant curd-firming rate constant and RCTeq, respectively), albeit the standard deviation was approximating half of the mean for all the traits. Although average results of the 2 SCV procedures were similar, in SCV80, the maximum R2VAL increased at about 15% across traits, with the highest observed for time to curd firmness of 20 mm (20%) and the lowest for RCTeq (6%). Further investigation evidenced important variability among farms, with R2VAL for some of them being close to 0. Our work outlined the importance of considering the effect of farm when developing Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy prediction equations for coagulation and curd-firmness traits in goats.