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Report produced of an international project focusing on analytical harmonization in somatic cell counting, managed by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) and providing guidance for the production of suitable reference materials for somatic cell counting according to ISO 13366-2 | IDF 148-2. Reference materials are indispensable tools for milk testing laboratories to calibrate automated somatic cell counters either for routine testing or for reference transfer to other (secondary) reference materials. They constitute the basis of a reference system for the use of automated method for somatic cell counting, aiming to harmonize the calibration of these systems at international level.
The report provides guidance on: levels of sampling, determination of reference values, packaging and quality of samples, shipment and delivery, requirements for documentation, evaluation of fitness for purpose and an extensive treatment of the statistical analytical methods suitable for use in relation to the application of reference material in somatic cell counting.
Keywords: somatic cell counting, reference materials, sampling, shipping and documentation, statistical analysis.