There has been neither analytical methods nor specific parameters to define milk freshness, which is an important consumer and quality issue. This study identified 8 marker molecules as indicators of milk aging, using liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) followed by chemometric analysis. Thirty high-quality pasteurised liquid milk samples were collected directly from a production site over a 6 week period and analysed immediately, and after storage at 2 to 8°C for 7 days to determine the markers and establish the model. The markers were then validated by challenging the model with a set of 10 milk samples, not previously analysed, and were able to clearly distinguish between the fresh pasteurised milk samples (0 days) and the stored samples (7 days).
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