The assumption that metabolites derived from the activity of the mammary gland epithelial cells reflects changes in milk secretion and its coagulation properties was tested in dairy cows. The experiment included cows with uninfected udders and cows with one of the glands infected by different bacteria specie. Analysis were carried at the cow level (including all four glands), or at the gland level. High and significant correlations among the concentrations of lactose, glucose, glucose-6-posphate, milk related respiratory index (the ratio between the concentrations of citrate/lactate+malate in milk) and milk-derived glycolytic index (the ratio between glucose-6-phosphate and glucose in milk) and milk clotting parameters were found. The physiological basis for these relations and their ability to predict the deterioration in milk quality in subclinically infected glands and in glands previously clinically infected with Escherichia coli are discussed.