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Standardization of milk mid-infrared spectrometers for the transfer and use of multiple models

Grelet, C., Pierna, J. A. Fernández, Dardenne, P., Soyeurt, H., Vanlierde, A., Colinet, F., Bastin, C., Gengler, N., Baeten, V., Dehareng, F.
Journal of dairy science 2017 v.100 no.10 pp. 7910-7921
dairy cows, equations, fresh cheeses, methane, milk, milk composition, models, physiological state, polyunsaturated fatty acids, prediction, spectrometers, statistical analysis
An increasing number of models are being developed to provide information from milk Fourier transform mid-infrared (FT-MIR) spectra on fine milk composition, technological properties of milk, or even cows' physiological status. In this context, and to take advantage of these existing models, the purpose of this work was to evaluate whether a spectral standardization method can enable the use of multiple equations within a network of different FT-MIR spectrometers. The piecewise direct standardization method was used, matching “slave” instruments to a common reference, the “master.” The effect of standardization on network reproducibility was assessed on 66 instruments from 3 different brands by comparing the spectral variability of the slaves and the master with and without standardization. With standardization, the global Mahalanobis distance from the slave spectra to the master spectra was reduced on average from 2,655.9 to 14.3, representing a significant reduction of noninformative spectral variability. The transfer of models from instrument to instrument was tested using 3 FT-MIR models predicting (1) the quantity of daily methane emitted by dairy cows, (2) the concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk, and (3) the fresh cheese yield. The differences, in terms of root mean squared error, between master predictions and slave predictions were reduced after standardization on average from 103 to 17 g/d, from 0.0315 to 0.0045 g/100 mL of milk, and from 2.55 to 0.49 g of curd/100 g of milk, respectively. For all the models, standard deviations of predictions among all the instruments were also reduced by 5.11 times for methane, 5.01 times for polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 7.05 times for fresh cheese yield, showing an improvement of prediction reproducibility within the network. Regarding the results obtained, spectral standardization allows the transfer and use of multiple models on all instruments as well as the improvement of spectral and prediction reproducibility within the network. The method makes the models universal, thereby offering opportunities for data exchange and the creation and use of common robust models at an international level to provide more information to the dairy sector from direct analysis of milk.