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Invited review: Mid-infrared spectroscopy as phenotyping tool for milk traits1

De Marchi, M., Toffanin, V., Cassandro, M., Penasa, M.
Journal of dairy science 2014 v.97 no.3 pp. 1171-1186
absorption, acidity, animal characteristics, coagulation, cost effectiveness, crossing, electromagnetic radiation, emissions, energy, equations, fatty acids, ketone bodies, livestock, methane, milk, milk quality, mineral content, models, phenotype, prediction, protein composition, spectroscopy
Interest in methods that routinely and accurately measure and predict animal characteristics is growing in importance, both for quality characterization of livestock products and for genetic purposes. Mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIRS) is a rapid and cost-effective tool for recording phenotypes at the population level. Mid-infrared spectroscopy is based on crossing matter by electromagnetic radiation and on the subsequent measure of energy absorption, and it is commonly used to determine traditional milk quality traits in official milk laboratories. The aim of this review was to focus on the use of MIRS to predict new milk phenotypes of economic relevance such as fatty acid and protein composition, coagulation properties, acidity, mineral composition, ketone bodies, body energy status, and methane emissions. Analysis of the literature demonstrated the feasibility of MIRS to predict these traits, with different accuracies and with margins of improvement of prediction equations. In general, the reviewed papers underlined the influence of data variability, reference method, and unit of measurement on the development of robust models. A crucial point in favor of the application of MIRS is to stimulate the exchange of data among countries to develop equations that take into account the biological variability of the studied traits under different conditions. Due to the large variability of reference methods used for MIRS calibration, it is essential to standardize the methods used within and across countries.