Milk cell test

Cell count – a benchmark for healthy udders

Milk always contains a certain number of cells. In a healthy cow, this cell count is well under 100,000 cells. Milk with an increased cell count (over 100,000 cells) comes from unhealthy udders, which:

  • produce inferior quality milk
  • produce less milk
  • incur high treatment costs
  • can reduce the price of the milk
  • often cause cows to deteriorate prematurely.

While automatic cell counting procedures succeed in determining the cell count in the milk being tested, the RAIDEX milk cell test is a reliable method for monitoring the health of each cow's udders, which is also easy to apply in the cowshed. Above a value of approx. 100,000 cells/ml the test solution visibly reacts with the milk sample.

The time required for testing one udder (four quarters) is less than a minute. One bottle (1000 ml testing solution) is sufficient for approx. 100 applications.

When should you perform the milk cell test?

  • For regular monitoring of udder health in the herd
  • For identifying sick cows and quarters, which have lead to complaints about the milk delivered and a withholding of quality payments because the cell count is too high
  • When buying or selling lactating cows
  • Initially: 10 to 14 days before the dry phase to check how the udder has withstood the lactation
  • 8 days after calving to check how the udder has withstood the dry phase
  • After the udder has been treated, to check whether healing has been successful

The test solution should be stored in a safe place well away from heat, light and cold temperatures. Solutions that have become cloudy due to the cold must be warmed before use in order to restore their effectiveness.

In partnership with the University of Hohenheim, we have identified the factors required to produce the most precise and cost-effective milk cell test possible.

Conventional milk cell tests contain a chemical indicator. This is normally a dye which is used to determine a particular pH value by changing colour.

However, due to the high pH value of conventional milk tests, this attribute is useless and the function of the indicator is reduced to that of a very expensive dye.
However, in order to improve the readability of the test results in the white testing bowls, a dye is required as a contrast medium.

Conventional milk cell tests are set to a very high pH value of approx. 11. This demands a great deal of care in handling the testing solution.  In our research, we discovered that the indicator has no influence on the precision of the test and the effect of the high pH value tends to be negative.

For many years we have had a colourless test in our range, alongside the conventional milk cell tests, and this is easy to read in a black testing bowl (also available from us).  In studies, this test revealed and showed even the slightest differences.

We have built on this result: By adding dyes, which are also used in other areas for marking animals, we have created a cost-effective alternative to the conventional tests.
The result can also be read in a white testing bowl - yet without colouring it. In addition, the RAIDEX milk cell test 2003 is pH neutral, making it easier to handle.

How to perform the RAIDEX milk cell test:

  • The first 2 or 3 squirts of milk must be placed in a pre-milking container, as these contain a higher level of germs and cells anyway.
  • Milk a little milk from each quarter into the four corresponding testing bowl sections. Avoid foaming the milk.
  • Tip the testing bowl to allow the milk to flow out and make the base of the bowl clearly visible. This reduction of the quantity being tested is necessary because the reaction can be better interpreted in a thin layer.
  • Add approx. 2 ml of the testing solution to the milk in each testing bowl section. This is approx. the same amount of test solution as milk remaining in the test sections.
  • Thoroughly mix the contents of each section by moving the bowl in a circular movement. The reaction takes place after just a few seconds and can be recorded in a list.
  • Changes in consistency (gelling / formation of small piles) allow you to draw conclusions about the cell count of the milk.
  • Clean the testing bowl after using it by quickly swirling it in water. 


  • The cost-effective alternative: RAIDEX Milk Cell Test 2003 red, blue and colourless
  • The tried and trusted convention: milk cell test (mastitis test) with red & violet indicator
  • Accessories: Test bowls in white & black for performing the milk test

Delivery form:

  • 250ml bottles*
  • 500ml round bottle*
  • 1l round bottle*
  • 5l cannister

* Round bottles supplied with spray cap