Definition Definition

What Is Breed Count? Procedure and Purpose of Breed Count

What Is Breed Count?

Breed count is a microbiological technique used to enumerate bacteria in a dried, stained film of a sample, such as milk. It involves creating a thin film of the sample on a glass slide, staining it with appropriate dyes, and then observing and counting the bacteria under a microscope. This method provides valuable information about the microbial population in the sample, aiding in quality control and safety assessment.

Definition 2

Breed count quantifies a sample's bacteria by examining a dried, stained film. It is beneficial in microbiological analysis, allowing for the identification and enumeration of bacteria present in various samples, including milk. By determining the bacterial load, breed count helps assess the quality and suitability of the sample for consumption or further processing.

More Thorough Understanding of the Term

Breed count is a microscope method of counting bacteria in a dried, stained film of milk. Under a high-power microscope, the stained bacteria can be observed, counted, and categorized based on their characteristics. The breed count method provides valuable insights into the microbial population present in milk, facilitating the assessment of its quality, safety, and suitability for consumption.

The breed count procedure involves several steps to ensure reliable and reproducible results. Here is a simplified outline of the process:

  • Sample collection
  • Preparation of glass slides
  • Film preparation
  • Staining
  • Microscopic examination
  • Calculation of breed count

Sample Collection

A representative milk sample is collected using a sterile container, taking care to avoid any external contamination.

Preparation of Glass Slides

Clean glass slides are sterilized and dried thoroughly to prevent interference with the bacterial count.

Film Preparation

A small, standardized volume of the milk sample is spread evenly on the glass slide, creating a thin film. This film is then allowed to dry completely.


The dried milk film is stained using specific bacterial dyes, such as crystal violet or methylene blue. The stain enhances the visibility of bacteria under the microscope.

Microscopic Examination

The stained slide is observed under a high-power microscope, typically at 1000x magnification. Bacterial cells are identified, counted, and categorized based on morphological features.

Calculation of Breed Count

The breed count is determined by averaging the number of bacteria observed in several fields of view. This average count represents the bacterial concentration in the original milk sample.

Purpose of Breed Count

By accurately quantifying the bacterial load in milk samples, breed count aids in identifying potential contaminants, such as pathogenic bacteria, and helps assess the overall hygiene and safety of the milk. 

This technique enables dairy producers and regulatory authorities to monitor and maintain the desired standards for milk products, ensuring consumer health and satisfaction. The breed count method offers several advantages, making it a preferred choice for bacterial enumeration in milk:

  • Accuracy
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Speed
  • Versatility


Breed count allows for precise quantification of bacteria, enabling a thorough assessment of milk quality and safety.


The materials and equipment required for breed count are relatively affordable and readily available, making it a cost-effective option for routine microbiological analysis.


With proper preparation and expertise, breed count can be performed efficiently, providing rapid results for timely decision-making.


Breed count applies to various types of milk, including raw milk, pasteurized milk, and milk-based products, making it a versatile method for microbial analysis.

Real-Life Examples

Milk Quality Control: In the dairy industry, by performing breed counts on milk samples, dairy producers can determine the bacterial load, identify any potential contaminants, and take necessary measures to maintain hygiene standards. For instance, if the breed count reveals an elevated bacterial count, it may indicate poor sanitation during milk production or handling, prompting corrective actions to prevent harmful bacteria in the final product.

Environmental Monitoring: Breed count is also valuable in ecological monitoring, especially in areas where microbial contamination poses a risk. For instance, in hospitals, breed count can be performed on surfaces, air samples, or water sources to assess the presence and concentration of bacteria. This information aids in implementing effective sanitation protocols and minimizes infection risk. 

In Sentences

  • Breed count represents a valuable and effective method for counting bacteria in dried, stained milk films.
  • By employing breed count, dairy producers, and regulatory bodies can ensure consumer health safety.
Category: Microbiology
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