Dairy Research Bulletin – March 2021

The Dairy Research Bulletin delivers a brief synopsis of the most current Human, Animal, and Environmental dairy research that is going on in the World, and also that which is of special interest to California dairy producers and consumers alike.

If you would like to peruse the most pertinent dairy research from months past, then visit the Dairy Research Bulletin Archive.

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Environmental Management and Sustainability

The carbon footprint of dietary guidelines around the world: a seven country modeling study. Kovacs B, Miller L, Heller MC, Rose D. Nutr J. 2021 Mar 1;20(1):15.

  • Do the environmental impacts inherent in national food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) vary around the world, and, if so, how? Most previous studies that consider this question focus on a single country or compare countries’ guidelines without controlling for differences in country-level consumption patterns.
  • To address this gap in information, researchers modeled the carbon footprint of the dietary guidelines from seven different countries (Germany, India, the Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and the United States). All guidelines were scaled to a 2000-kcal diet.
  • The greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) used to produce the foods in these consumption patterns were constructed from an exhaustive review of the life cycle assessment literature.
  • The results showed that daily recommended amounts of dairy foods ranged from a low of 118 ml/d for Oman to a high of 710 ml/d for the US. The GHGE associated with these two recommendations were 0.17 and 1.10 kg CO2-eq/d, respectively.
  • Overall, US recommendations had the highest carbon footprint at 3.83 kg CO2-eq/d, which is 4.5 times that of the recommended diet for India, which had the smallest footprint.
  • Despite our common human biology, FBDG vary tremendously from one country to the next, as do the associated carbon footprints of these guidelines. Understanding the carbon footprints of different recommendations can assist in future decision-making to incorporate environmental sustainability in dietary guidance.

The role of nitrogen in achieving sustainable food systems for healthy diets. Leip A, Bodirsky BL, Kugelberg S. Glob Food Sec. 2021 Mar;28:100408. 

  • The ‘food system’ urgently needs a sustainable transformation. Two major challenges have to be solved: the food system has to provide food security with healthy, accessible, affordable, safe and diverse food for all, and it has to do so within the safe operating space of the planetary boundaries, where the pollution from reactive nitrogen turned out to be the largest bottleneck.
  • In this paper, the researchers argue that thinking strategically about how to balance nitrogen flows throughout the food system will make current food systems more resilient and robust. Looking from a material and a governance perspective on the food system, the researchers highlight major nitrogen losses and policy blind spots originating from a compartmentalization of food system spheres.
  • The researchers conclude that a participatory and integrated approach to manage nitrogen flows throughout the food system is necessary to stay within regional and global nitrogen boundaries and will additionally provide synergies with a sustainable and healthy diet for all.

Climate neutral in agricultural production system: a regional case from China. Chen R, Zhang R, Han H. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Mar 1.

  • The concept of climate neutral has been introduced in the agricultural production system to re-examine the connotation of agricultural carbon footprint (CF).
  • Researchers built an integrated accounting framework of agricultural carbon footprints, then selected a farm from China, and carried out the climate economic effect quantitative analysis of the agricultural production system.
  • The results indicated that CO2emissions accounted for the largest percentage of total carbon emissions by 52.05%, which was driven strongly by the application of agricultural fertilizers and consumption of diesel oil and CH4 emissions from cattle fed intestinal fermentation.
  • The driving force behind carbon sequestration was derived from the woody cash crops of carbon sequestration by vegetation and the input of residual carbon from straw returning to field and root stubble in the soil carbon pool.
  • The carbon sink finally realized in the agricultural production system and the agricultural carbon footprint index reflected the surplus of 1.801 Mt C in the study area. In addition, the researchers used the indicators of carbon density, carbon intensity, and carbon efficiency to judge the trade-offs of cost-benefit between the agroecosystem and economic system, so as to put forward some potential mitigation strategies for the study area.
  • The mitigative effect of agricultural production system on climate neutral need to be further estimated in a more rigorous manner while controlling for more uncertainties in the future.

Red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) supplementation reduces enteric methane by over 80 percent in beef steers. Roque BM, Venegas M, Kinley RD, de Nys R, Duarte TL, Yang X, Kebreab E. PLoS One. 2021 Mar 17;16(3):e0247820.

  • The red macroalgae (seaweed) Asparagopsis spp. has shown to reduce ruminant enteric methane (CH4) production up to 99% in vitro.
  • The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Asparagopsis taxiformis on CH4 production, yield, intensity, average daily gain, feed conversion efficiency, and carcass and meat quality in growing beef steers.
  • Twenty-one Angus-Hereford beef steers were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: 0% (Control), 0.25% (Low), and 0.5% (High) A. taxiformis inclusion based on organic matter intake. Steers were fed 3 diets: high, medium, and low forage total mixed ration (TMR) representing life-stage diets of growing beef steers.
  • The Low and High treatments over 147 days reduced enteric CH4 yield 45 and 68%, respectively. However, there was an interaction between TMR type and the magnitude of CH4 yield reduction. Supplementing low forage TMR reduced CH4 yield 69.8% for Low and 80% for High treatments.
  • Hydrogen yield increased 336 and 590% compared to Control for the Low and High treatments, respectively. Carbon dioxide yield increased 13.7% between Control and High treatments. No differences were found in average daily gain, carcass quality, strip loin proximate analysis and shear force, or consumer taste preferences.
  • Dry matter intake tended to decrease 8% in the Low treatment and decreased 14% in the High treatment. Conversely, feed conversion efficiency tended to increase 7% in Low and increased 14% in High treatment compared to Control.
  • The persistent reduction of CH4 by A. taxiformis supplementation suggests that this is a viable feed additive to significantly decrease the carbon footprint of ruminant livestock and potentially increase production efficiency.

The potential of dairy manure and sewage management pathways towards a circular economy: A meta-analysis from the life cycle perspective. Zhang J, Wang M, Yin C, Dogot T. Sci Total Environ. 2021 Mar 12;779:146396.

  • The global dairy farming sector has markedly expanded and intensified over the past decades due to the growing demand for milk and dairy products. The interest in implementing life cycle assessments of various manure and sewage management (MSM) strategies is increasing on a global scale, which is motivated by the concerns of environmental degradation caused by unsustainable MSM and growing awareness of circular economy.
  • Life cycle thinking concept has been widely introduced to favor the comparative studies of different MSM strategies, with the aim of identifying suitable MSM strategies and formulating related policies. This meta-analysis presented comparative results of publicly available dairy MSM pathways, including waste-to-energy, composting, recycling, and other management pathways, aiming to explore potential benefits towards a circular economy.
  • Results showed a consensus that waste-to-energy pathway significantly reduced global warming, eutrophication, and ecotoxicity potential. More specifically, the comparative performances of various detailed technologies belonging to a specified pathway were analyzed.
  • Results indicated that anaerobic mono-digestion decreased global warming and eutrophication remarkably; its integrated management technologies reduced global warming considerably and an obvious decrease in eutrophication potential was observed. It revealed that most of current MSM strategies had limited potential and uncertain consequences to reduce environmental impacts and costs.
  • In terms of influence factors, determinants including location, country income level, and farm scale were proved to affect mitigation potential of some specific impacts. Overall, it is necessary for the scientific community and policy-makers to focus on more possible trade-offs of different life cycle performances towards sustainability and circularity.

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Animal Health and Food Safety

Influence on the implementation of biosecurity measures in dairy cattle farms: Communication between veterinarians and dairy farmers. Moya S, Chan KWR, Allepuz A, et al. Prev Vet Med. 2021 Mar 18;190:105329.

  • This study was carried out in two regions in Spain (Catalonia and Galicia) through eight focus groups; four for dairy farmers and four for veterinarians.
  • The results showed that dairy farmers and veterinarians attributed responsibility to one another for not following biosecurity practices.
  • The study brings to light contradictions among veterinarians and certain individual veterinary practices that participated in the study, which lead to doubt and confusion on the part of dairy farmers.
  • Distinct perceptions were also identified of the role that government authorities should play in relation both to training and sanctions as a means of improving biosecurity on dairy farms. Additionally, the participants expressed varying opinions as to whether biosecurity measures ought to be made mandatory or remain voluntary.
  • Results from this study highlight the need to promote initiatives through which distinct stakeholders such as veterinarians, government authorities, and dairy farmers can develop consensus-based messages on the implementation of biosecurity practices.

Longitudinal health outcomes for enteric pathogens in preweaned calves on Ohio dairy farms. Barkley JA, Pempek JA, Bowman AS, Nolting JM, Lee J, Lee S, Habing GG. Prev Vet Med. 2021 Mar 5;190:105323.

  • Calf gastrointestinal disease remains one of the main causes of productivity and economic losses on dairy operations. The majority of pre-weaned calf mortality is attributed to diarrhea or other digestive problems.
  • Five enteric pathogens are commonly associated with diarrhea in dairy calves, including bovine rotavirus, bovine coronavirus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Cryptosporidium parvum. Pathogen-associated differences in health outcomes and case fatality rates have not been well-characterized.
  • For this cohort study, fecal samples were collected from 276 clinically ill calves across 5 central Ohio dairy farms on the first day of diarrheal diagnosis.
  • Rotavirus was the most frequently identified at 68.1 % (188/276), followed by F5 (K99)+ coli at 42.5 % (114/268), C. parvum at 28.4 % (66/232), coronavirus at 5.8 % (16/276), and Salmonella had the lowest prevalence at 3.7 % (10/268).
  • Risk of mortality tended to be higher for calves infected with Salmonella, however, the time to return to a healthy clinical status was not different for different pathogens. The median duration of signs substantially varied between 2 and 7 days.
  • The results suggest that the prevalence and distribution of rotaviral infections is higher than reported in prior studies. With the exception of infections caused by Salmonella spp., pathogen diagnosis on the first day of diarrhea was a poor predictor of the outcome and duration of disease. These results are critical to guide the implementation of prevention measures to detect, treat, and prevent calf diarrhea.

Effect of enhanced hygiene on transmission of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Streptococcus dysgalactiae in dairy herds with automatic milking systems. Skarbye AP, Krogh MA, Denwood M, Bjerring M, Østergaard S. J Dairy Sci. 2021 Mar 10:S0022-0302(21)00403-3.

  • Automated milk feeders (AMF) are computerized systems that provide producers with a tool that can be used to more efficiently raise dairy calves and allow for easier implementation of a high plane of nutrition during the milk feeding phase. Automated milk feeders also have the ability to track individualized behavioral data, such as milk consumption, drinking speed, and the number of rewarded and unrewarded visits to the feeder, that could potentially be used to predict disease development.
  • The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of hygiene measures in automatic milking units on the transmission of 3 mastitis pathogens considered to be mainly or partly transmitted from cow to cow during milking events.
  • Two studies were conducted as within-herd experimental trials in 2 Danish commercial dairy herds (A and B) with automatic milking systems. Interventions to enhance hygiene were implemented on the automatic milking units. The 2 studies evaluated separate interventions.
    • In herd A, the hygiene interventions were manual wash with the Lely foam unit and adjustments on the brush-mediated teat cleaning procedure.
    • In herd B, the hygiene intervention included automatic disinfection spray on the upper surface of the brush motor and daily change of brushes.
  • Composite milk samples were collected longitudinally at 3- or 4-week intervals from all lactating cows. For analysis, 701 samples from 156 cows were used for herd A, and 1,349 samples from 390 cows were used for herd B.
  • In the intervention group in herd B, transmission of Streptococcus agalactiae was reduced to 19% of the transmission in the control group, whereas transmission of Streptococcus dysgalactiae was reduced to 17% of transmission in the control group.
  • This suggests that automatic spray on the upper surface of the brush motor with disinfectant along with daily change of brushes collectively reduced transmission of Strep. agalactiae and Strep. dysgalactiae. Results on Staphylococcus aureus in herd B and results on manual foam cleaning and brush-mediated teat cleaning adjustments in herd A were inconclusive.

Antibiotic Resistance in Agricultural Soil and Crops Associated to the Application of Cow Manure-Derived Amendments From Conventional and Organic Livestock Farms. Jauregi L, Epelde L, Alkorta I, Garbisu C. Front Vet Sci. 2021;8:633858.

  • The application of organic amendments to agricultural soil can enhance crop yield, while improving the physicochemical and biological properties of the recipient soils. However, the use of manure-derived amendments as fertilizers entails environmental risks, such as the contamination of soil and crops with antibiotic residues, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs).
  • In order to delve into these risks, researchers applied dairy cow manure-derived amendments (slurry, fresh manure, aged manure), obtained from a conventional and an organic farm, to soil. Subsequently, lettuce and wheat plants were grown in the amended soils.
  • The absolute abundance of ARGs and MGE-genes differed between treatments (amended vs. unamended), origins of amendment (conventional vs. organic), and types of amendment (slurry vs. fresh manure vs. aged manure).
  • Regarding ARG-absolute abundances in the amendments themselves, higher values were usually found in slurry vs. fresh or aged manure. These abundances were generally higher in soil than in plant samples, and higher in wheat grain than in lettuce plants. Lettuce plants fertilized with conventional amendments showed higher absolute abundances of tetracycline resistance genes, compared to those amended with organic amendments.
  • No single treatment could be identified as the best or worst treatment regarding the risk of antibiotic resistance in soil and plant samples. Within the same treatment, the resistome risk differed between the amendment, the amended soil and, finally, the crop.
  • In other words, according to this data, the resistome risk in manure-amended crops cannot be directly inferred from the analysis of the amendments themselves. The researchers concluded that, depending on the specific question under study, the analysis of the resistome risk should specifically focus on the amendment, the amended soil or the crop.

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Human Nutrition and Health

Dairy consumption, plasma metabolites, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Drouin-Chartier JP, Salas-Salvadó J, Hu FB, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Mar 19:nqab047.

  • Epidemiologic studies have reported a modest inverse association between dairy consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Whether plasma metabolite profiles associated with dairy consumption reflect this relationship remains unknown.
  • Researchers aimed to identify the plasma metabolites associated with total and specific dairy consumption, and to evaluate the association between the identified multi-metabolite profiles and T2D.
  • The discovery population included 1833 participants from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) trial. The confirmatory cohorts included 1522 PREDIMED participants at year 1 of the trial and 4932 participants from the Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS), Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII), and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study US-based cohorts.
  • Total dairy intake was associated with 38 metabolites. C14:0 sphingomyelin (positive coefficient), C34:0 phosphatidylethanolamine (positive coefficient), and γ-butyrobetaine (negative coefficient) were associated in a directionally similar fashion with total and specific (milk, yogurt, cheese) dairy consumption. After adjusting for T2D risk factors, a higher total dairy intake-related metabolite profile score was associated with a lower T2D risk.
  • In conclusion, total dairy intake was associated with 38 metabolites, including 3 consistently associated with dairy subtypes (C14:0 sphingomyelin, C34:0 phosphatidylethanolamine, γ-butyrobetaine). A score based on the 38 identified metabolites showed an inverse association with T2D risk in Spanish and US populations.

Multi-omics analyses reveal relationships among dairy consumption, gut microbiota and cardiometabolic health. Shuai M, Zuo LS, Zheng JS, et al. EBioMedicine. 2021 Mar 19;66:103284.

  • Little is known about the interplay among dairy intake, gut microbiota and cardiometabolic health in human prospective cohort studies.
  • The present study included 1780 participants from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study. Researchers examined the prospective association between habitual dairy consumption (total dairy, milk, yogurt) and gut microbial composition.
  • There was a significant overall difference in gut microbial community structure (β-diversity) comparing the highest with the lowest category for each of total dairy, milk and yogurt. The researchers observed that dairy-associated microbes and α-diversity indices were inversely associated with blood triglycerides, while positively associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
  • A follow-up metabolomics analysis revealed the association of targeted serum metabolites with dairy-microbial features and cardiometabolic traits. Specifically, 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid, 2-hydroxybutyric acid and L-alanine were inversely associated with dairy-microbial score, while positively associated with triglycerides.
  • In summary, dairy consumption is associated with the gut microbial composition and a higher α-diversity, which provides new insights into the understanding of dairy-gut microbiota interactions and their relationship with cardiometabolic health.

The effect of dairy products and non-dairy snacks on food intake, subjective appetite and cortisol levels in children: A randomized control study. Gheller B, Li A, Luhovyy BL, et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2021 Mar 16.

  • Dairy snacks are available in various physical forms and their consumption is linked to improved metabolic health.
  • The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dairy snacks of different physical forms on short-term food intake, subjective appetite, and the stress hormone, cortisol, in children.
  • Following a repeated-measures crossover design, 40 children aged 9-14 years randomly consumed one of five isoenergetic (180 kcal) snacks per study session. These snacks included:
    • solid: potato chips, cookies, and cheese
    • semi-solid: Greek yogurt
    • fluid: 2% fat milk snacks
  • Food intake did not differ between snacks. The Greek yogurt and cheese snacks reduced average appetite compared to the 2% fat milk snack. Salivary cortisol levels were not affected by snack.
  • This study demonstrates that dairy snacks are as effective as other popular snacks at influencing subsequent food intake however, solid and semi-solid dairy snacks are more effective at repressing subjective appetite than a fluid dairy snack.

Application of Comparative Lipidomics to Elucidate Postprandial Metabolic Excursions Following Dairy Milk Ingestion in Individuals with Prediabetes. Chen L, Zhang S, Zhu J, et al. J Proteome Res. 2021 Mar 15.

  • Nutrient-dense dairy foods are an important component of a healthy diet. Recommendations, however, advise non- and low-fat dairy foods despite controversy concerning whether full-fat dairy foods adversely impact cardiometabolic health.
  • Therefore, in this study, the objective was to examine the differential plasma lipidomic responses to non-fat or full-fat milk ingestion during postprandial hyperglycemia.
  • Seven adults with prediabetes completed a randomized cross-over study in which glucose was consumed alone or with non-fat or full-fat dairy milk. Plasma samples collected at 90 min and 180 min post milk ingestion were used to perform untargeted lipidomics analysis.
  • A total of 332 lipids from 20 classes and five lipid categories were detected at different time points during the postprandial period. Dairy milk, especially non-fat milk, protected against lipid changes otherwise induced by glucose ingestion. Co-ingestion of dairy milk with glucose, regardless of fat content, significantly altered lipid profiles although full-fat milk more substantially modulated lipid profiles.
  • For the identified lipid biomarkers, 68.0% and 66.7% of the lipids significantly increased at 90 and 180 min, respectively, while phosphatidylcholines contributed most for the significant increase. Comparative lipidomics analysis indicated that both types of dairy milk induced significant changes in several lipid pathways, including glycerophospholipid metabolism and α-linolenic acid metabolism, to protect against postprandial hyperglycemia.
  • In summary, these comparative lipidomics results suggest that dairy milk-mediated lipid modulation may be an effective dietary approach to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases among those with prediabetes.

Dairy Consumption and Incidence of Breast Cancer in the ‘Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra’ (SUN) Project. Aguilera-Buenosvinos I, Fernandez-Lazaro CI, Toledo E, et al. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):687.

  • Dairy products might influence breast cancer risk. However, evidence is inconsistent.
  • For this study, researchers sought to examine the association between dairy product consumption-and their subtypes-and incident BC in a Mediterranean cohort.
  • The SUN (“Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra”) Project is a Spanish dynamic ongoing cohort of university graduates. Dairy product consumption was estimated through a previously validated 136-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
  • Incident breast cancer was reported in biennial follow-up questionnaires and confirmed with revision of medical records and consultation of the National Death Index. Among 123,297 women-years of follow-up (10,930 women, median follow-up 12.1 years), there were 119 confirmed breast cancer cases.
  • The researchers found a nonlinear association between total dairy product consumption and BC incidence and a significant inverse association for women with moderate total dairy product consumption, and with moderate low-fat dairy product consumption.
  • In further analyses, the researchers found a significant inverse association between intermediate low-fat dairy product consumption and premenopausal breast cancer and between medium total dairy product consumption and postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Thus, dairy products, especially low-fat dairy products, may be considered within overall prudent dietary patterns.

The Effect of Kefir Supplementation on Improving Human Endurance Exercise Performance and Antifatigue. Lee MC, Jhang WL, Huang CC, et al. Metabolites. 2021; 11(3):136.

  • Kefir is an acidic, carbonated, and fermented dairy product produced by fermenting milk with kefir grains. The Lactobacillusspecies constitutes an important part of kefir grains. In a previous animal study, kefir effectively improved exercise performance and had anti-fatigue effects.
  • The purpose of this research was to explore the benefits of applying kefir to improve exercise performance, reduce fatigue, and improve physiological adaptability in humans.
  • The test used a double-blind crossover design and supplementation for 28 days. Sixteen 20-30 year-old subjects were divided into two groups in a balanced order according to each individual’s initial maximal oxygen uptake and were assigned to receive a placebo (equal flavor, equal calories, 20 g/day) or SYNKEFIR™ (20 g/day) every morning. After the intervention, there were 28 days of wash-out, during which time the subjects did not receive further interventions.
  • After supplementation with SYNKEFIR™, the exercise time to exhaustion was significantly greater than that before ingestion and higher than that in the Placebo group by 1.29-fold. In addition, compared with the Placebo group, the SYNKEFIR™ administration group had significantly lower lactate levels in the exercise and recovery.
  • No significant difference was observed in the changes in the gut microbiota. Although no significant changes in body composition were found, SYNKEFIR™ did not cause adverse reactions or harm to the participants’ bodies.
  • In summary, 28 days of supplementation with SYNKEFIR™ significantly improved exercise performance, reduced the production of lactic acid after exercise, and accelerated recovery while also not causing any adverse reactions.

A dietary pattern rich in fruits and dairy products is inversely associated to gestational diabetes: a case-control study in Iran. Roustazadeh A, Mir H, Erfanian S, et al. BMC Endocr Disord. 2021 Mar 4;21(1):41.

  • Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) causes many problems for mother and her neonate. A healthy diet plays an important role in preventing GDM. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between major dietary patterns and the GDM.
  • 386 healthy and 306 GDM pregnant women (total 693) completed this case-control study. Basic information and anthropometric indices were recorded, and a food frequency questionnaire was completed.
  • Four dietary patterns were identified: “fruits and dairy products”, “red meat and plant-based foods”, “snacks and high-fat foods” and “carbohydrate-rich foods”. Among these major dietary patterns, “fruits and dairy products” showed an inverse association to GDM for highest vs. lowest quartile of intake.
  • It seems using a healthy dietary pattern such as “fruits and dairy products” may decrease GDM risk.

Changes in intake of dairy product subgroups and risk of type 2 diabetes: modelling specified food substitutions in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Ibsen DB, Overvad K, Jakobsen MU, et al. Eur J Nutr. 2021 Mar 4.

  • Current dietary recommendations to the general population and for prevention of type 2 diabetes recommend low-fat dairy products instead of whole-fat dairy products. However, meta-analyses of randomized interventions have found no clear effect of increasing the total intake of dairy products on glucose metabolism or insulin sensitivity and no effect of increasing the intake of low-fat or high-fat dairy products on cardiometabolic risk markers.
  • Researchers investigated the association between an increased intake of one dairy product subgroup at the expense of another within a 5-year period and the subsequent 10-year risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The cohort included 39,393 adults with two measurements of diet assessed using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) administered in 1993-1997 and 1999-2003. Dairy products were milk (skimmed, semi-skimmed, whole fat), buttermilk, low-fat yogurt, whole-fat yogurt, cheese and butter. Type 2 diabetes cases were ascertained from the Danish National Diabetes Register.
  • Among participants aged 56-59 years at completion of the follow-up FFQ, increased intake of whole-fat yogurt in place of skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole-fat milk was associated with a reduced risk. Among participants aged 60-64 and 65-72, substitution of skimmed milk for semi-skimmed milk was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Similar patterns of associations were found after adjustment for potential mediators.
  • These results suggest that substitution of whole-fat yogurt for milk among those aged 56-59 decreases risk of type 2 diabetes and substitution of skimmed milk for semi-skimmed milk may increase the risk among those aged 60-64 and 65-72.

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Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Milk fat globule membrane in infant nutrition: a dairy industry perspective. Silva RCD, Colleran HL, Ibrahim SA. J Dairy Res. 2021 Mar 16:1-12.

  • In recent years, MFGM has been extensively studied for the purpose of enhancing the efficacy of infant nutrition formula. For example, infant formulas supplemented with bovine MFGM have shown promising results with regard to neurodevelopment and defense against infections.
  • This review provides an overview of the composition, structure, and biological activities of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) compounds with focus on the future application of this compound as a food ingredient.
  • MFGM is a particular component of mammalian milks and is comprised of a tri-layer of polar lipids, glycolipids and proteins. Components of MFGM have been shown to present several health benefits as the proteins of the membrane have shown antiviral activity and a reduction in the incidence of diarrhea.
  • Moreover, the presence of sphingomyelin, a phospholipid, implies beneficial effects on human health such as enhanced neuronal development in infants and the protection of neonates from bacterial infections.
  • The development of a lipid that is similar to human milk fat would represent a significant advance for the infant formula industry and would offer high technology formulas for those infants that depend on infant formula.
  • The complexity of the structure of MFGM and its nutritional and technological properties is critically examined in this review with a focus on issues relevant to the dairy industry.

What Is New in the Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Dairy Products as Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods? Khalaf AT, Wei Y, Liu X, et al. Biomed Res Int. 2021 Feb; 2021:8823222.

  • The dairy product industry is well positioned to develop and take advantage of the functional food market. As individuals come to be more health-conscious and more aware of the role nutrition plays in their diets, this opportunity is further enhanced. Consumers want to get further control over their health.
  • Dairy products may be included in the functional food group due to their calcium content, different proteins that improve health, sphingolipids, butyric acid, conjugated linoleic acid, and probiotic cultures.
  • A principal feature of dairy products is that customers already know them, and many accept that dairy products are healthy natural products. Milk and dairy products make up one of the four predominant groups of meals that form a balanced diet. Moreover, milk is a significant source of protein, B-group vitamins, and calcium in a varied diet and contains vitamin A, thiamine B1, niacin B3, dimethylglycine B16, folate B9, magnesium, and zinc.
  • Gastrointestinal functions are among the most promising aims for functional foods, involving those that control the transit time, intestinal habits, and motility of the intestinal mucosa as well as those that modulate epithelial cell proliferation. Digestive functions are also promising goals related to balanced microflora related to controlling the bioavailability of nutrients, modulating the immune activity of the digestive system, or mediating endocrine activity of the digestive system.
  • Nutraceutical products are expected to play a major role in potential therapeutic development. Nutraceuticals are developing in clinical practice, but advanced studies need to address the importance of pharmaceutical and clinical issues.

Current trends in non-dairy based synbiotics. Mishra A, Chakravarty I, Mandavgane S. Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2021 Mar 21:1-18.

  • Probiotics provide many beneficial effects to the human body. Traditionally, food products used to deliver bacterial cells are fermented dairy products, among which yogurt is the most common. However, many people suffer from lactose intolerance and indigestion, who need nutrients from non-dairy products without using animal proteins.
  • Thus, there is a need to develop synbiotics based on non-dairy food matrices. This paper reviews the potential and emerging candidates of pre and probiotic groups. The criteria for qualifying bacteria as probiotics and nutrients as prebiotics are discussed.
  • One of the promising prebiotics explored in the recent past is the dietary fibers in the peels of potato, apples, and other fruits. This paper summarizes methods for the preparation of dietary fiber-based non-dairy synbiotics such as microencapsulation, freeze-drying, and spray drying.
  • Synbiotics not only favor the survival of probiotics in the gastric conditions of the human gut but also exhibit antimicrobial activity, which confirms their ability to protect the human body from infection. Many fiber-based non-dairy synbiotic products are available in the market and these are also highlighted.

Sensory Acceptability and Proximate Composition of 3-Blend Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives. Oduro AF, Saalia FK, Adjei MYB. Foods. 2021; 10(3):482.

  • Limitations of plant-based dairy alternatives as sustainable foods are their relatively low protein content and low sensory appeal.
  • In this study, researchers used a consumer-led product development approach to improve the sensory appeal of existing prototypes of 3-blend dairy alternatives produced from melon seeds, peanuts and coconut.
  • The researchers used Relative Preference Mapping (RPM) and consumer acceptance testing using the 9-point hedonic scale to respectively identify innovative flavors and deduce the effect of ingredient components on consumer sensory appeal.
  • Mixture design was used as the formulation tool to obtain optimized prototypes of the 3-blend dairy alternatives. Proximate analysis of the new prototypes, instrumental color assessment and consumer testing provided a basis to select a sustainable 3-blend dairy alternative.
  • This prototype had a relatively high protein content (2.16%), was considered innovative by target consumers and also had a moderate liking score (6.55 ± 1.88) on the 9-point hedonic scale. Prototypes with higher protein content had low sensory appeal and were not considered innovative. Other prototypes with innovative sensory appeal had low protein content.
  • By combining different plant raw materials and utilizing different sensory testing methods, researchers were able to design sustainable plant-based dairy alternatives which can be further optimized.

Non-animal proteins as cutting-edge ingredients to reformulate animal-free foodstuffs: Present status and future perspectives. Boukid F, Rosell CM, Rosene S, Bover-Cid S, Castellari M. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Mar 27:1-31.

  • Consumer interest in protein rich diets is increasing, with more attention being paid to the protein source. Despite the occurrence of animal proteins in the human diet, non-animal proteins are gaining popularity around the world due to their health benefits, environmental sustainability, and ethical merit.
  • These sources of protein qualify for vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets. Non-animal proteins are versatile, derived mainly from cereals, vegetables, pulses, algae (seaweed and microalgae), fungi, and bacteria.
  • This review’s intent is to analyze the current and future direction of research and innovation in non-animal proteins, and to elucidate the extent (limitations and opportunities) of their applications in food and beverage industries.
  • In the current food landscape, beyond conventionally used plant sources, other plant proteins are gaining traction as alternative ingredients to formulate animal-free foodstuffs (e.g., meat alternatives, beverages, baked products, snack foods, and others). Microbial proteins derived from fungi and algae are also food ingredients of interest due to their high protein quantity and quality, however there is no commercial food application for bacterial protein yet.
  • In the future, key points to consider are the importance of strain/variety selection, advances in extraction technologies, toxicity assessment, and how this source can be used to create food products for personalized nutrition.

Cellular Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges. Eibl R, Senn Y, Eibl D, et al. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2021 Mar 25;12:51-73.

  • Cellular agriculture is the controlled and sustainable manufacture of agricultural products with cells and tissues without plant or animal involvement. Today, microorganisms cultivated in bioreactors already produce egg and milk proteins, sweeteners, and flavors for human nutrition as well as leather and fibers for shoes, bags, and textiles.
  • Furthermore, plant cell and tissue cultures provide ingredients that stimulate the immune system and improve skin texture, with another precommercial cellular agriculture product, in vitro meat, currently receiving a great deal of attention.
  • All these approaches could assist traditional agriculture in continuing to provide for the dietary requirements of a growing world population while freeing up important resources such as arable land.
  • Despite early successes, challenges remain and are discussed in this review, with a focus on production processes involving plant and animal cell and tissue cultures.