Here are the research offerings from July! 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


Selected Publications on Animal Health, Food Safety, and Sustainability

Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks – United States, 2009-2015. Dewey-Mattia D1, Manikonda K1, Hall AJ2, Wise ME1, Crowe SJ1. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018 Jul 27;67(10):1-11. d

  • Known foodborne disease agents are estimated to cause approximately 9.4 million illnesses each year in the United States. Although only a small subset of illnesses are associated with recognized outbreaks, data from outbreak investigations provide insight into the foods and pathogens that cause illnesses and the settings and conditions in which they occur.
  • The Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS) collects data on foodborne disease outbreaks, which are defined as the occurrence of two or more cases of a similar illness resulting from the ingestion of a common food. Since the early 1960s, foodborne outbreaks have been reported voluntarily to CDC by state, local, and territorial health departments using a standard form.
  • During 2009-2015, FDOSS received reports of 5,760 outbreaks that resulted in 100,939 illnesses, 5,699 hospitalizations, and 145 deaths. Among 2,953 outbreaks with a single confirmed etiology, norovirus was the most common cause of outbreaks (1,130 outbreaks [38%]) and outbreak-associated illnesses (27,623 illnesses [41%]), followed by Salmonella with 896 outbreaks (30%) and 23,662 illnesses (35%). Outbreaks caused by Listeria, Salmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) were responsible for 82% of all hospitalizations and 82% of deaths reported.
  • Among 1,281 outbreaks in which the food reported could be classified into a single food category, fish were the most commonly implicated category (222 outbreaks [17%]), followed by dairy (136 [11%]) and chicken (123 [10%]). The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were chicken (3,114 illnesses [12%]), pork (2,670 [10%]), and seeded vegetables (2,572 [10%]).
  • Norovirus remains the leading cause of foodborne disease outbreaks, highlighting the continued need for food safety improvements targeting worker health and hygiene in food service settings. Outbreaks caused by Listeria, Salmonella, and STEC are important targets for public health intervention efforts. Strengthening the capacity of state and local health departments to investigate and report outbreaks will assist with these efforts through identification of the foods, etiologies, and settings linked to these outbreaks.

Decoupling Livestock from Land Use through Industrial Feed Production Pathways. Pikaar I, Matassa S, Bodirsky BL, et al. Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Jul 3;52(13):7351-7359.

  • One of the main challenges for the 21st century is to balance the increasing demand for high-quality proteins while mitigating environmental impacts. In particular, cropland-based production of protein-rich animal feed for livestock rearing results in large-scale agricultural land-expansion, nitrogen pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In this paper, the researchers analyze the long-term potential of alternative animal feed supply routes based on industrial production of microbial proteins.
  • The analysis reveals that by 2050, microbial proteins can replace, depending on socio-economic development and microbial proteins production pathways, between 10-19% of conventional crop-based animal feed protein demand. As a result, global cropland area, global nitrogen losses from croplands and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions can be decreased by 6%, 8%, and 7%, respectively.
  • Overall, the results show that production of microbial proteins can alleviate a set of critical limitations in the agricultural food supply chain by decoupling livestock production from land-based production of protein-rich animal feed. This can already be achieved with only minor changes to animal diets and based on feeding technologies ready for application already today.
  • Also, further structural changes in the food system can be foreseen, like the use of insects, microalgae, seaweed, or technologies to increase feed digestibility (e.g., by the use of fungus). The development of technologies that can effectively recover used reactive nitrogen and organics embedded in waste streams as substrates for microbial proteins production are essential to further reduce the environmental impact and creating a more sustainable and cyclic use of nutrient resources.

Sodium Persulfate and Potassium Permanganate Inhibit Methanogens and Methanogenesis in Stored Liquid Dairy Manure. Habtewold J, Gordon R, Voroney P, Sokolov V, VanderZaag A, Wagner-Riddle C, Dunfield K. J Environ Qual. 2018 Jul;47(4):786-794.

  • Stored liquid dairy manure is a hotspot for methane (CH) emission, thus effective mitigation strategies are required.
  • This study assessed sodium persulfate (NaSO), potassium permanganate (KMnO), and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) for impacts on the abundance of microbial communities and CH production in liquid dairy manure.
  • Unlike bacterial abundance, methanogen abundance and CH/CO ratios varied with treatments. Addition of 1 to 9 g L slurry of sodium persulfate and potassium permanganate reduced methanogen abundance (up to ∼28%) and peak CH/CO ratios (up to 92-fold). Except at the lowest rate, chemical combinations also reduced the abundance of methanogens (up to ∼17%) and CH/CO ratios (up to 9-fold), although no impacts were observed when 3% NaOCl was used alone.
  • Results suggest that sodium persulfate (NaSO) and potassium permanganate (KMnO), may offer alternative options to reduce CH emission from stored liquid dairy manure, but this warrants further assessment at larger scales for environmental impacts and characteristics of the treated manure.

Assessment of acoustic pulse therapy (APT), a non-antibiotic treatment for dairy cows with clinical and subclinical mastitis. Leitner G, Zilberman D, Papirov E, Shefy S. PLoS One. 2018 Jul 10;13(7):e0199195.

  • Clinical and subclinical mastitis affects 30% of cows and is regarded as the most significant economic burden on the dairy farm reducing milk yield and quality and increasing culling rate.
  • A proprietary Acoustic Pulse Therapy (APT) device was developed specifically for treating dairy cows. The APT device was designed to produce deep penetrating acoustic pulses that are distributed over a large treated area at a therapeutic level.
  • The clinical mastitis study group included 29 infected cows that were submitted either to a gold standard antibiotic treatment subgroup of 16 cows (n = 16) or to an APT treatment subgroup of 13 cows (n = 13). A cure of 18.7% was shown for the antibiotic treatment. A cure of 76.9% was shown for the APT treatment.
  • In the subclinical mastitis group, a 116 cows from 3 herds were identified with subclinical intramammary infection and enrolled in the study; 78 cows were assigned to the treatment group and 38 cows to the control group.
  • Significant differences were found where 70.5% of the cows in the treatment group returned to normal milk production, compared with only 18.4% of the control group. Daily milk yields of the treated cows increased significantly and the percentage of cows with log somatic cell count under 5.6 cells/mL was significantly higher.
  • Of the treated cows with identified bacteria, 52.6% of the quarters were cured, while in the control group only 25.0% were cured. Specifically, all cows identified with Escherichia coli in the treatment group were cured, with 66.6% cured with no intervention in the control.

Metabolomics integrated with transcriptomics reveals a subtle liver metabolic risk in dairy cows fed different crop by-products. Sun HZ, Wang DM, Liu HY, Liu JX. Proteomics. 2018 Jul 23:e1800122.

  • Ruminants make large contributions to sustainable agriculture by converting crop by-products into agricultural food. Multi-omics integrative analysis helps to uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms.
  • The researchers first demonstrated the liver metabolome-transcriptome interface (LMTI) in dairy cows, including 3938 significant correlations among 772 genes, 306 metabolites, and 305 microRNAs. They further analyzed how different crop by-products, corn stover and rice straw, affected the liver metabolic functions based on the LMTI.
  • Compared to the corn stover-fed cows, 13 out of 24 metabolites had lower relative concentrations, and 51 out of 68 genes were down-regulated in the rice straw group. Integrated analysis of metabolomics and transcriptomics revealed that lipid metabolism was most enriched including 14 sub-pathways.
  • The above results indicate the foreseeable liver metabolic disorders when rice straw is fed to cows. These findings provide new insights into the liver metabolic mechanism and into crop by-products utilization using integrative omics technologies.

Are They Buying It? United States Consumers’ Changing Attitudes toward More Humanely Raised Meat, Eggs, and Dairy. Spain CV, Freund D, Mohan-Gibbons H, Meadow RG, Beacham L. Animals (Basel). 2018 Jul 25;8(8). pii: E128.

  • This survey research sampled 1000 US (United States) consumers of meat, eggs, and dairy on their attitudes towards the welfare of farm animals and the willingness to pay for products with trustworthy welfare certifications.
  • Most respondents (70%) reported paying attention to labels that indicate how the animals were raised and 78% believed there should be an objective third party to ensure farm animal welfare.
  • In addition, 57% of respondents reported they would be likely to choose a restaurant because it serves welfare-certified animal products and are also willing to pay ≥$5.00 extra per entrée. These findings suggest that many US consumers, particularly millennials, would be willing to seek out higher welfare products if they trust the label claims.


Selected Articles on Dairy Intake and Human Health

The effects of a probiotic milk drink on bacterial composition in the supra- and subgingival biofilm: a pilot study. Becirovic A, Abdi-Dezfuli JF, Hansen MF, Lie SA, Vasstrand EN, Bolstad AI. Benef Microbes. 2018 Jul 25:1-10.

  • Probiotics can convert a dysbiotic bacterial environment into a healthy one.
  • The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of daily intake of a probiotic milk drink on the composition of bacterial species in dental supra- and subgingival biofilms.
  • Sixteen dental students were enrolled into this study with a crossover, within subject, design. The participants were asked to allow plaque accumulation by refraining from cleaning their molars during two separate periods, each lasting three weeks.
  • Each period consisted of an initial professional dental cleaning procedure done at the university clinic, then a 3 week plaque accumulation period, followed by a return to the clinic for supra- and subgingival plaque sampling. The first period served as a control, and during the second plaque accumulation period the participants drank 200 ml probiotic milk beverage each day.
  • Three weeks consumption of a probiotic beverage led to a significant reduction in 15 of 20 bacterial species present in supragingival plaque and a reduction in 4 of 20 bacterial species in subgingival plaque.
  • This study showed a favorable effect of probiotics on periodontopathic bacteria in dental biofilms. The potential influence of this kind of probiotic in prevention or treatment of periodontal inflammation deserves further study.

Anti-Fatigue Effects of Yogurt Fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 in Healthy People Suffering from Summer Heat Fatigue: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Seiya Makino, Jun Hemmi, Hiroshi Kano , Mari Kashiwagi , Kenichi Hojo  and Yukio Asami. Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 798.

  • Fatigue caused by summer heat is a typical indefinite complaint along with anorexia, loss of sleep, stress, lack of motivation and, in some cases, catching a cold.
  • Yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 has been shown to stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of catching colds.
  • Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to investigate whether ingesting this yogurt could ameliorate summer heat fatigue in 49 healthy males (median age 40.0 ± 6.0 years) who felt fatigued every summer.
  • After 12 weeks of ingestion in early autumn, the fatigue scores in the yogurt group were lower than those of the placebo group. These results indicate that yogurt fermented with L. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 can ameliorate summer heat fatigue lasting up to early autumn.

Effect of Supplementation of a Whey Peptide Rich in Tryptophan-Tyrosine-Related Peptides on Cognitive Performance in Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Masahiro Kita, Kuniaki Obara, Sumio Kondo, Satoshi Umeda and Yasuhisa Ano. Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 899.

  • Previous epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that dairy products have beneficial effects on cognitive decline and dementia. Enzymatic digestion of whey protein produces a whey peptide rich in tryptophan-tyrosine-related peptides which improve cognitive performance in mice.
  • Researchers evaluated the effects of whey peptides on cognitive functions in healthy adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. 101 healthy adults (45 to 64 years), with a self-awareness of cognitive decline received either whey peptide or placebo supplements for 12 weeks.
  • Verbal fluency test score changes tended to be higher in the whey peptide group compared with the placebo at 12 weeks. Subgroup analysis classified by the degree of subjective fatigue showed that changes in the verbal fluency test as well as the Stroop and subjective memory function tests between baseline and 6 weeks of intervention were significantly better in subjects with high-level fatigue from the whey peptide group as compared to the placebo group.
  • Intake of whey peptide might improve cognitive function in healthy middle- and older-aged adults with high subjective fatigue levels. Further studies will elucidate the relationship among cognitive improvement, whey peptides, and psychological fatigue.

Comparative Metabolomics Elucidates Postprandial Metabolic Modifications in Plasma of Obese Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome. Xu M, Zhong F, Bruno RS, Ballard KD, Zhang J, Zhu J. J Proteome Res. 2018 Jul 17.

  • Although higher intakes of dairy milk are associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), the underlying protective mechanism remains unclear.
  • This study investigated the dynamic metabolic profile shift following the ingestion of low-fat milk or an isocaloric volume of rice milk in obese individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS).
  • In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, postprandial plasma samples (n = 266) were collected from 19 MetS participants. Plasma samples were analyzed by a targeted metabolomics platform which specifically detects 117 metabolites from 25 metabolic pathways.
  • The comprehensive time-course metabolic profiling in MetS participants indicated that the postprandial metabolic profiles distinguish low-fat milk and rice milk consumption in a time-dependent manner. Metabolic biomarkers, such as orotate, leucine/isoleucine and adenine, showed significantly different trends in the two test beverages.
  • Bayesian statistics identified 12 metabolites associated with clinical characteristics of postprandial vascular endothelial function, such as flow-mediated dilation, postprandial plasma markers of oxidative stress and nitric oxide status.
  • Metabolic pathway analysis based on these metabolite data indicated the potential utility of metabolomics to provide mechanistic insights of dietary interventions to regulate postprandial metabolic excursions.

Higher Longitudinal Milk Intakes Are Associated with Increased Height in a Birth Cohort Followed for 17 Years. Marshall TA, Curtis AM, Cavanaugh JE, Warren JJ, Levy SM. J Nutr. 2018 Jul 1;148(7):1144-1149.

  • Height is an indicator of nutritional status; linear growth faltering has recognized consequences for cognitive, emotional, and chronic disease risk. Although height is routinely studied in developing countries, less attention is given to height in the United States.
  • The objective of this study was to identify longitudinal associations between childhood and adolescent beverage intakes, nutrient adequacy, or energy intake and height in a birth cohort.
  • Data for participants through ages 2-17 y (n = 717; 353 males, 364 females) recruited at birth were used in the current cohort analyses.
  • Milk intake adjusted for mean adequacy ratio, energy intake, and baseline socioeconomic status was associated with height; for each additional 8 ounces (236 mL) of milk consumed per day throughout childhood and adolescence, height increased, on average, by 0.39 cm .
  • Participants’ height increased by 0.39 cm for each additional 8 ounces (236 mL) of milk consumed throughout childhood and adolescence. The clinical implications of the mild linear growth faltering observed in healthy youth are unknown.

Effect of gender on the acute effects of whey protein ingestion on energy intake, appetite, gastric emptying and gut hormone responses in healthy young adults. Giezenaar C, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Hutchison AT, Lange K, Hausken T, Jones KL, Horowitz M, Chapman I, Soenen S. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Jul 13;8(1):40.

  • Protein supplements, usually drinks rich in whey protein, are used widely for weight loss purposes in overweight adults. Information comparing the effects of whey protein on appetite and energy intake in men and women is limited.
  • The objective of this study was to compare the acute effects of whey-protein intake on energy intake, appetite, gastric emptying and gut hormones in healthy young men and women.
  • 8 healthy young men and women ingested 30 g (120 kcal) or 70 g (280 kcal) whey protein, or a flavored-water control drink (~2 kcal).
  • There was a protein-load effect on gastric emptying, blood glucose, plasma insulin, glucagon, ghrelin, CCK, GIP and GLP-1 concentrations, and perceptions of hunger, desire to eat and prospective food consumption. Ad libitum energy intake and hunger were suppressed more by whey-protein ingestion in men than women.
  • There was no difference in suppression of energy intake between the 30 and 70 g protein loads. Consequently, total energy intake (protein drink plus buffet meal) increased more compared to control in women than men. The drinks emptied more slowly, and plasma glucagon, CCK and GLP-1 increased less after the protein drinks, in women than men.
  • The acute effects of whey protein ingestion on appetite, energy intake, gastric emptying and gut hormone responses are influenced by gender in healthy young adults.