Assessing use of the Mazzican to transport and improve milk quality in Tanzania
Plastic milk containers commonly used in milk handling and transportation of raw milk by traditional farmers and milk traders contribute to the poor bacteriological quality of milk commonly observed in smallholder dairy value chains in Tanzania. These plastic containers are often not made from food grade plastic material or designed for milk handling but they are commonly used because they are more affordable than recommended metal containers. A new and more affordable food grade plastic container (the “Mazzican“) that was developed and shown to be an appropriate vessel for improving the hygiene of milk handling during milking and transportation to the market in other countries of East Africa was tested. This report (PDF) from the CGIAR Livestock and Fish research program presents results of field testing performed in Mvomero District in Morogoro Region in Tanzania to assess acceptability and validate the efficacy of the Mazzican for improving the bacteriological quality of milk when the vessel is used for handling and transportation of raw milk by agro-pastoralists and smallholder farmers in the area. Results showed that there was a dramatic reduction of 76.3% in the total plate count (TPC) in raw milk samples from the pastoralist farmers as a result of switching from jerry cans to the use of Mazzicans. The reduction in TPC in milk was salso dramatics but lightly lower (69.5%) among the smallholder farmers. Total coliform counts (TCC) also reduced upon switching but the reduction was less dramatic (42.3%) compared to TPC. The results confirm that the Mazzican is a much better container than plastic jerry cans for use in milking, transportation of raw milk and maintaining good bacteriological milk quality under smallholder and traditional cattle milk producer’s conditions in Tanzania.