Environmental Management and Sustainability

Invited review: The consumer and dairy food waste: An individual plus policy, systems, and environmental perspective. Campbell CG, Feldpausch GL. J Dairy Sci. 2022 Mar 17:S0022-0302(22)00164-3.

  • An estimated 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted, which poses a significant barrier to achieving a sustainable future-so much so that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 12, to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” includes a goal to “halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along the production and supply chains by 2030.”
  • Annually, consumers waste approximately 90 billion pounds of food, equating to roughly 1 pound per person per day. More specifically, consumer waste is the largest contributor to the food waste problem when compared with other steps along the supply chain, such as production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing, and distribution. Furthermore, American families discard approximately 25% of the food and beverages they buy.
  • When considering the type of waste coming from households, fresh fruits and vegetables rank highest at 22%, with dairy products, at 19%, following in close second. A variety of factors contribute to why consumers waste so much food.
  • For dairy, commonly referenced reasons are related to the misunderstanding of date labels, poor planning of purchases, spoilage before consuming products, and improper storage. This wasted food accumulates in landfills and produces methane when decomposing, resulting in environmental consequences related to ozone depletion and climate change. Milk can have negative environmental impacts when disposed of down the drain.
  • This review will discuss the food waste problem, causes, and potential solutions at the consumer level, with particular focus on dairy waste. An individual plus policy, system, and environment approach will also be integrated to provide a well-rounded view of the issue.

Challenges and opportunities for manureshed management across U.S. dairy systems: Case studies from four regions. Dell C, Baker J, Spiegal S, Kleinman PJA, et al. J Environ Qual. 2022 Mar 4.

  • The manureshed represents cropland needed to safely assimilate manure nutrients from an animal feeding operation. Dairy manuresheds can be contained on-farm but may need to involve additional farms that can assimilate excess nutrients.
  • In this work, researchers present case studies reviewing challenges and opportunities to manureshed management in four major dairy producing states using available information on local manuresheds.
  • Manureshed requirements vary across regions, but increased import of feed and soil phosphorus accumulation constrains on-farm manure utilization across the US.
    • In Minnesota, a growing proportion of Jersey cattle and differences in continuous corn (Zea mays) versus corn/alfafa (Medicago sativa) rotations both contribute to the amount of land needed to absorb dairy manure nutrients.
    • Farm-gate budgets reveal that N-based manuresheds can be contained within Idaho dairies, but P-based manuresheds extend beyond the farm.
    • In New Mexico, relocation of surplus manure nutrients off the farm is common via informal networks, but incentives to strengthen these networks could ensure sustainable manureshed management.
    • Evaluation of manureshed requirements in Pennsylvania is often complicated by the need for additional nutrient management planning and greater understanding of nutrient balances on the preponderance of small dairies.
  • Nutrient imbalances with highly concentrated dairy production often lead to the need for manure transport off-farm. However, advances in herd and cropland management offer opportunities to improve on-farm nutrient efficiencies, and emerging networks and technologies promise to facilitate manure export when needed.

Lagoon, Anaerobic Digestion, and Composting of Animal Manure Treatments Impact on Tetracycline Resistance Genes. Agga GE, Couch M, Conte ED, et al. Antibiotics (Basel). 2022 Mar 15;11(3):391.

  • Increased demand for animal protein is met by increased food animal production resulting in large quantities of manure. Animal producers, therefore, need sustainable agricultural practices to protect environmental health.
  • Large quantities of antimicrobials are used in commercial food animal production. Consequently, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and the resistance genes emerge and are excreted through feces. Manure management is essential for the safe disposal of animal waste. Lagoons, with or without covers, and anaerobic digesters, with the primary purpose of methane production, and composting, with the primary purpose of producing organic fertilizer, are widely used methods of manure treatment.
  • For this study, researchers reviewed manure management practices and their impact on tetracycline resistance genes.
  • Lagoons are maintained at ambient temperatures; especially uncovered lagoons are the least effective in removing tetracycline resistance genes. However, some modifications can improve the performance of lagoons: sequential use of uncovered lagoons and the use of covered lagoons resulted in a one-log reduction, while post-treatments such as biofiltration following covered lagoon treatment resulted in 3.4 log reduction.
  • Mesophilic digestion of animal manure did not have any significant effect; only a 0.7 log reduction in tet(A) was observed in one study. While thermophilic anaerobic digesters are effective, if properly operated, they are expensive for animal producers. Aerobic thermophilic composting is a promising technology if optimized with its economic benefits.
  • Composting of raw animal manure can result in up to a 2.5 log reduction, and postdigestion composting can reduce tetracycline resistance gene concentration by >80%.
  • In general, manure management was not designed to mitigate antimicrobial resistance; future research is needed to optimize the economic benefits of biogas or organic fertilizer on the one hand and for the mitigation of foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance on the other.

Impact of nitrate and 3-nitrooxypropanol on the carbon footprints of milk from cattle produced in confined-feeding systems across regions in the United States: A life cycle analysis. Uddin ME, Tricarico JM, Kebreab E.J Dairy Sci. 2022 Mar 25:S0022-0302(22)00181-3.

  • It is estimated that enteric methane (CH4) contributes about 70% of all livestock greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Several studies indicated that feed additives such as 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) and nitrate have great potential to reduce enteric emissions.
  • The objective of this study was to determine the net effects of 3-NOP and nitrate on farmgate milk carbon footprint across various regions of the United States and to determine the variability of carbon footprint.
  • A cradle-to-farmgate life cycle assessment was performed to determine regional and national carbon footprint to produce 1 kg of fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM). Records from 1,355 farms across 37 states included information on herd structure, milk production and composition, cattle diets, manure management, and farm energy. Emissions were allocated between milk and meat using a biophysical allocation method. Impacts of nitrate and 3-NOP on baseline regional and national carbon footprint were accounted for using equations adjusted for dry matter intake and neutral detergent fiber.
  • Overall, the milk carbon footprint for the baseline, nitrate, and 3-NOP scenarios were 1.14, 1.09 (4.8% reduction), and 1.01 (12% reduction) kg of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq)/kg of FPCM across US regions. The greatest carbon footprint for the baseline scenario was in the Southeast (1.26 kg of CO2-eq/kg of FPCM) and lowest for the West region (1.02 kg of CO2-eq/kg of FPCM). Enteric CH4reductions were 12.4 and 31.0% for the nitrate and 3-NOP scenarios, respectively.
  • The uncertainty analysis showed that carbon footprint values ranged widely, suggesting the importance of site-specific estimates of carbon footprint. Considering that 101 billion kilograms of milk was produced by the US dairy industry in 2020, the potential net reductions of GHG from the baseline 117 billion kilograms of CO2-eq were 5.6 and 13.9 billion kilograms of CO2-eq for the nitrate and 3-NOP scenarios, respectively.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through genetic selection in the Australian dairy industry. Richardson CM, Amer PR, Pryce JE, et al. J Dairy Sci. 2022:S0022-0302(22)00116-3.

  • Animal breeding techniques offer potential to reduce enteric emissions of ruminants to lower the environmental impact of dairy farming.
  • This research explores possible options to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Australian dairy industry by (1) including an environmental component in the national breeding program and (2) estimating the economic and environmental impacts of implementation of the subsequent indexes.
  • A total of 12 possible selection indexes were considered. These indexes were developed to predict changes in gross per-animal methane production (using 3 scenarios depending on availability and efficacy of a direct methane trait breeding value prediction) with 4 different carbon prices, integrating them into an augmentation of the current conventional national selection index.
  • When including environmental traits within an index, if a relatively low percentage of economic gain or index progression is sacrificed, then approximately 40 to 50% of the maximum possible reductions in emissions may be achieved. This concurrent selection of estimated breeding values that have a correlated favorable response in emissions in addition to direct selection on a residual methane trait allows a high level of methane reduction to be achieved with a realized cost to farmers that is far lower than the economic value placed on carbon.
  • By implementing a GHG subindex in the national breeding program, we can achieve up to a 7.9% decrease in residual methane and 9 times the reduction in gross emissions in 10 years, compared with the current breeding program, with little to no cost to farmers.
  • By 2050, selection based on one of the more moderate index scenarios at a carbon price of AUD$250/t (AUD$1 = US$0.71), or opportunity cost to farmers of AUD$87.22, will reduce gross emissions by 8.23% and emissions intensity by 21.25%, therefore offering a mitigation strategy that will be effective at reducing emissions with little compromise to profit.

Climate solution or corporate co-optation? US and Canadian publics’ views on agricultural gene editing. Nawaz S, Satterfield T. PLoS One. 2022 Mar 21;17(3):e0265635.

  • The dexterity and affordability of gene-editing technologies promise wide-ranging applications in agriculture. Aiming to take advantage of this, proponents emphasize benefits such as the climate-mitigating promises of gene editing. Critics, on the other hand, argue that gene editing will perpetuate industrialized forms of agriculture and its concomitant environmental and social problems.
  • Across a representative sample of US and Canadian residents (n = 1478), researchers investigated public views and perceptions of agricultural gene editing. This work advances existing survey-based studies, which tend to focus on whether knowledge, familiarity, trust, or perceptions of naturalness predict views on gene editing.
  • Instead, the researchers examined whether broader societal concerns about industrialized food systems-a key claim about genetic engineering launched by critics-predicts comfort with gene editing. The researchers also explored the predictive power of views of climate change as an urgent problem, following proponent arguments. Survey results explore gene editing views in reference to specific cases (e.g., drought-tolerant wheat) and specific alternatives (e.g., versus pesticide use).
  • The researchers found that people critical of industrialized food systems were most likely to express overall absolute opposition to the technology, whereas those concerned with the imminence of climate change were more likely to support climate-relevant gene editing.
  • These findings suggest the need for further research into the conditions upon which public groups find gene editing compelling or not-namely, if applications enhance or counter industrial food systems, or offer particular climate adaptive benefits. Furthermore, the study authors argue that attention to broader societal priorities in surveys of perceptions may help address calls for responsible research and innovation as concerns gene editing.


Animal Health and Food Safety

Effects of drinking water provision on the behavior and growth rate of group-housed calves with different milk allowances. Lowe GL, Sutherland MA, Stewart M, Waas JR, Cox NR, Schütz KE. J Dairy Sci. 2022 Mar 10:S0022-0302(22)00148-5.

  • Despite the clear importance of drinking water, calves are not always provided water on farm for the first few weeks of life.
  • The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of water provision (access or no access) and milk allowance (high or low) on the behavior and growth rate of calves.
  • Fifty mixed-breed calves were each assigned to 1 of 4 treatments:
    1. water and high (10 L/d) milk allowance (n = 13)
    2. no water and high milk allowance (n = 12)
    3. water and low (5 L/d) milk allowance (n = 12)
    4. no water and low milk allowance (n = 13).
  • Visits to the water trough, water intake, milk drinking behavior (visits and drinking speed), proportion of observations eating hay and calf starter, and lying behavior were recorded from when the calves were, on average, 5 days of age for 4 consecutive weeks. Calves were weighed weekly.
  • Water intake increased with age for all calves that had access to it. This increase was greater for calves provided a high milk allowance. Water intake increased with ambient temperature, which highlights the importance of providing drinking water in warm conditions.
  • Overall, calves spent a greater proportion of observations eating hay and calf starter with age. The provision of drinking water was associated with a greater proportion of observations eating hay but less eating calf starter. The increase in the proportion of observations eating calf starter with age was greater for calves on a low milk allowance than of those provided a high milk allowance; this is likely due to calves on a low milk allowance searching for nutrients and energy. Calves on a high milk allowance grew faster and spent more time lying compared with calves with a low milk allowance, thus suggesting greater satiety of well-fed calves.
  • These results suggest that calves should have free access to drinking water from birth and that access to drinking water may aid in hay (fiber) intake and possibly rumen development.

A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the impact of indoor living space on dairy cow production, reproduction and behaviour. Thompson JS, Hudson CD, Green MJ, et al. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 9;12(1):3849.

  • The suitability and biological impacts of housing conditions for intensively farmed animals is a complex and emotive subject, yet poorly researched, meaning quantitative evidence to inform policy and legislation is lacking. Most dairy cows globally are housed for some duration during the year, largely when climatic conditions are unfavourable. However, the impact on biology, productivity and welfare of even the most basic housing requirement, the quantity of living space, remains unknown.
  • Researchers conducted a long-term (1-year), randomised controlled trial (CONSORT 10 guidelines) to investigate the impact of increased living space (6.5 m2vs 3 m2 per animal) on critical aspects of cow biology, behaviour and productivity.
  • Adult Holstein dairy cows (n = 150) were continuously and randomly allocated to a high or control living space group with all other aspects of housing remaining identical between groups.
  • Compared to cows in the control living space group, cows with increased space produced more milk per 305 days of lactation (primiparous: 12,235 L vs 11,592 L, P < 0.01; multiparous: 14,746 L vs 14,644 L, P < 0.01) but took longer to become pregnant after calving (primiparous: 155 d vs 83 d, P = 0.025; multiparous: 133 d vs 109 d).
  • In terms of behaviour, cows with more living space spent significantly more time in lying areas (high space group: 12.43 hr/day; control space group: 11.42 hr/day) and significantly less time in passageways (64 min/day), suggesting enhanced welfare when more space was provided. A key physiological difference between groups was that cows with more space spent longer ruminating each day.
  • This is the first long term study in dairy cows to demonstrate that increased living space results in meaningful benefits in terms of productivity and behaviour and suggests that the interplay between farmed animals and their housed environment plays an important role in the concepts of welfare and sustainability of dairy farming.

Critical review: Metabolomics in dairy science – Evaluation of milk and milk product quality. Suh JH. Food Res Int. 2022 Apr;154:110984.

  • Milk and milk products are nutritionally rich and consumed globally. Maintaining nutritional quality and ensuring safety of these products have become one of the major topics in dairy research.
  • Dairy products contain metabolites including key nutritional elements, which are derived from dairy animals and elsewhere (e.g. milk processing, fermentation). Since the level and type of metabolites can vary by diverse factors from farm to table dairy, metabolites may represent the quality of milk and milk products in terms of nutritional value, authenticity, safety, and so on.
  • In this review, researchers introduce metabolomics as a powerful tool to obtain a comprehensive snapshot of metabolite composition and dynamic changes, and focus on its recent progress and applications in dairy product quality. Factors (pre- and post-harvest effects, contamination, adulteration, etc.) affecting the quality and safety of products are dissected, and examples of related metabolomics works are provided.
  • Potential metabolite indicators and metabolic mechanisms associated with the quality factors of dairy products are presented. With cases of single metabolomics approach, current trends in the integration of metabolomics with other omics techniques (so called multi-omics) in dairy science, as well as future perspectives of metabolomics in the field are also explored and discussed.


The Influence of Bacteria Causing Subclinical Mastitis on the Structure of the Cow’s Milk Microbiome. Kaczorowski Ł, Powierska-Czarny J, Czarny J, et al. Molecules. 2022 Mar 11;27(6):1829.

  • Mastitis is the most expensive disease of dairy cattle across the world and is the main reason for the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.
  • The aim of this study was to analyze the microbiome of raw milk obtained from a semi-subsistence farm located in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Milk from healthy cows and from cows with subclinical mastitis was analyzed.
  • The following pathogenic bacteria were found in milk from individuals with subclinical mastitis: Escherichia colior Streptococcus agalactiae. Based on the conducted research, significant changes in the composition of the milk microbiome were found depending on the physiological state of the cows. The microbiome of milk from healthy cows differed significantly from the milk from cows with subclinical mastitis. Two phyla dominated in the milk from healthy cows: Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, in equal amounts.
  • On the contrary, in the milk from cows with diagnosed subclinical mastitis, one of the types dominated: either Firmicutes or Proteobacteria, and was largely predominant. Moreover, the milk microflora from the ill animals were characterized by lower values of the determined biodiversity indicators than the milk from healthy cows.
  • The presence of pathogenic bacteria in the milk resulted in a significant reduction in the share of lactic acid bacteria in the structure of the population of microorganisms, which are of great importance in the production technology of regional products.

Disease outbreaks linked to pasteurized and unpasteurized dairy products in Canada and the United States: a systematic review. Sebastianski M, Bridger NA, Featherstone RM, Robinson JL. Can J Public Health. 2022 Mar 11.

  • Pasteurization kills harmful microorganisms found in milk. While consumption of unpasteurized milk and its products is discouraged due to increased risk of infections, some individuals prefer unpasteurized dairy products.
  • The objective of this study was to estimate the burden of illness from outbreaks arising from consumption of unpasteurized and pasteurized dairy products in Canada and the United States.
  • Researchers conducted a systematic review of dairy-associated outbreaks in Canada and the USA from 2007 onward. They searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, TRIP Database for guidelines, and North American government agency websites up to October 2020. The analysis included outbreak reports where the pathogenic microbe was confirmed in both the patient and the dairy product through laboratory testing.
  • The results revealed 32 disease outbreaks that were linked to dairy consumption. Twenty outbreaks involving unpasteurized products resulted in 449 confirmed cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations, and five deaths. Twelve outbreaks involving pasteurized products resulted in 174 confirmed cases of illness, 134 hospitalizations, 17 deaths, and seven fetal losses. Listeria accounted for 10 out of 12 outbreaks from pasteurized products from 2007 through 2020.
  • In conclusion,public warnings about the risk of unpasteurized dairy consumption need to continue and pregnant women and immunocompromised hosts need to be made aware of foods at high risk of contamination with Listeria.


Human Nutrition and Health

The impact of low-fat and full-fat dairy foods on symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease: an exploratory analysis based on a randomized controlled trial. Fernando I, Schmidt KA, Cromer, Kratz M, et al. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Mar 16.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a widely prevalent condition. High consumption of dairy foods and dietary fat are associated with worse GERD symptoms. However, existing data are inconsistent and mostly based on observational studies.
  • The purpose of this exploratory analysis of a randomized controlled trial was to investigate the impact of low-fat and full-fat dairy food consumption on GERD symptoms.
  • Seventy-two participants with metabolic syndrome completed a 4-week wash-in diet during which dairy intake was limited to three servings of nonfat milk per week. Participants were then randomized to either continue the limited dairy diet or switch to a diet containing 3.3 servings per day of either low-fat or full-fat milk, yogurt and cheese for 12 weeks.
  • In the per-protocol analysis (n = 63), there was no differential intervention effect on a cumulative heartburn score, Similarly, the intervention groups did not differentially affect the odds of experiencing acid regurgitation. The intent-to-treat analyses (n = 72) yielded similar results.
  • In conclusion, these exploratory analyses suggest that, in men and women with the metabolic syndrome, increasing the consumption of either low-fat or full-fat dairy foods to at least three servings per day does not affect common symptoms of GERD, heartburn and acid regurgitation compared to a diet limited in dairy.

Relationships between Dairy and Calcium Intake and Mental Health Measures of Higher Education Students in the United States: Outcomes from Moderation Analyses. Du C, Hsiao PY, Ludy MJ, Tucker RM. Nutrients. 2022;14(4):775.

  • The prevalence of mental health concerns among university students in the United States (U.S.) continues to increase, while current treatments, including medication and counseling, present shortcomings. Higher dairy and calcium intakes are associated with protective effects on mental health; however, previous studies have focused on investigating singular relationships between dairy and calcium intakes and mental health measures. A more complex exploration of these relationships is warranted to better examine whether increasing dairy and calcium intakes could serve as an intervention to improve mental health.
  • The present study sought to further characterize the relationships between dairy and calcium intake, perceived stress, and a variety of mental health measures using linear regression and moderation analyses.
  • The present cross-sectional study involved students studying at three large U.S. universities, and data collection occurred from April to May 2020 when students were learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey comprising validated tools was distributed among students to assess dairy and calcium intake, perceived stress, anxiety, negative and positive moods, rumination, and resilience, sleep quality and duration, dietary risk, and physical activity.
  • A total of 1233 students completed the study. Higher dairy and calcium intake was coincident with lower perceived stress and higher positive mood scores, while higher calcium intake was also coincident with lower anxiety, rumination, and higher resilience scores. Additionally, as calcium intake increased, the relationship between perceived stress and anxiety and the relationship between perceived stress and negative mood weakened. Dairy intake did not have this effect.
  • Based on the results, and considering that calcium is a shortfall nutrient, universities should consider initiating programs and public health campaigns to promote dairy and calcium intake among this population.

Consumption of a fermented dairy beverage improves hippocampal-dependent relational memory in a randomized, controlled cross-over trial. Cannavale CN, Mysonhimer AR, Khan NA, et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2022 Mar 13:1-10.

  • Investigations involving the gastrointestinal microbiome have rapidly increased over the last few years, in part due to the emerging knowledge linking the microorganisms resident in the gut and their metabolites to brain function, also known as the microbiota-gut-brain axis.
  • Therefore, investigators aimed to determine whether consumption of a fermented dairy beverage containing probiotic microorganisms influences negative mood states, stress, and hippocampal memory performance in healthy adults.
  • Adults (25-45 yrs, N = 26) free of gastrointestinal and mental illness were enrolled in a single-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Participants completed testing prior to and after 4-week consumption, with a 2-4 week washout between treatments of:
    1. 8 oz of a dairy-based fermented beverage containing 25-30 billion colony forming units of live and active kefir cultures
    2. 8 oz isocaloric, non-fermented, 1% low-fat lactose-free dairy-based control beverage.
  • Hippocampal-dependent relational memory was assessed using a spatial reconstruction task. Negative mood states of depression and anxiety were assessed using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-42 (DASS-42). Pooled 24-hour urine samples were analyzed. Fecal microbiota composition was assessed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
  • The results showed that Lactobacilluswas increased by 235% following fermented dairy consumption compared to the control. Furthermore, the fermented dairy beverage improved performance on two metrics of relational memory, misplacement (p = .04) and object-location binding (p = .03).
  • Urinary cortisol and DASS-42 scores were not significantly changed by either arm of the intervention. No correlations were observed between the change in Lactobacillusand memory performance.
  • In sum, fermented dairy consumption increased the presence of certain microorganisms in the gut and improved relational memory in healthy adults. However, the benefits observed for relational memory were not related to changes in Lactobacillus.

Consumption of ultra-processed food and cognitive decline among older adults with type-2 diabetes.
Weinstein G, Vered S, Ivancovsky-Wajcman D, Springer RR, Heymann A, Zelber-Sagi S, Shahar DR, Schnaider Beeri M. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022 Mar 19:glac070.

  • Ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption is related to increased morbidity and mortality. However, knowledge on its association with cognitive function is lacking.
  • In this longitudinal study, researchers examined the associations between UPF intake and cognitive decline in older adults with type-2 diabetes (T2D).
  • The sample included initially non-demented T2D older adults (≥65y), from the Israel Diabetes and Cognitive Decline (IDCD) study, who had complete information on nutrition at baseline and at least three cognitive assessments (mean follow-up 5.3±1.5y). Nutritional intake was evaluated by a validated Food-Frequency Questionnaire and foods were categorized as UPF based on NOVA classification.
  • Of the total sample of older adults (N=568), 141 consumed >31%kcal from UPF (top quartile). Greater intake of ultra-processed meat was associated with a faster decline in executive functions and global cognition. Additionally, consumption of ultra-processed oils/spreads was associated with faster decline in executive functions and global cognition.
  • Total UPF consumption and UPF derived from dairy products and bread/pastries/starch were not associated with cognitive change.
  • This study suggests that a high intake of ultra-processed meat and oils/spreads may be associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older individuals with T2D.

The association between dairy intake and migraine odds among pediatrics and adolescents: A case-control study. Ariyanfar S, Razeghi Jahromi S, Torkan Z, et al. Iran J Child Neurol. 2022 Winter;16(1):105-122.

  • Migraine is recognized as a disease with unknown etiology and various pathophysiologic pathways which are not fully understood. Due to the relation between dairy intake and various chronic conditions in children and also the paucity of data on the probable role of dairy intake on pediatrics’ odds of having migraine, this study was designed.
  • The present study was a population-based case-control design that was accomplished in a tertiary headache clinic. 290 children (aged from 7 to 14 years old) were included in this study. A definite diagnosis of migraine was performed by a neurologist; concerning the 2018 international classification of headache disorder 3 (ICHD3) criteria. Also, demographic and anthropometric characteristics were obtained. In addition, the usual dietary intake of participants was evaluated using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
  • Those children in the case group significantly had higher age and BMI means. In the second regression model, odds of migraine were 48% lower in the second tertile and 53% in the third tertile of low-fat dairy intake. In the fully adjusted model, the achieved migraine odds ratios were as followings: 0.48 in the second tertile and 0.46 in the third tertile, respectively. Children with more high-fat dairy intake also consumed higher amounts of energy, pastries, simple sugar, unhealthy snacks, and hydrogenated oil.
  • This study results proposed that a greater amount of low-fat dairy intake may attenuate the odds of having migraine attacks in pediatrics and adolescents who might be at risk of headache, which can be attributed to the micronutrient and also to the bioactive content of these dietary components.

Cow’s Milk Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Korean Postmenopausal Women. Ha AW, Kim WK, Kim SH. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 5;14(5):1092.

  • Numerous studies have reported conflicting results associated with cow’s milk intake and coronary heart disease (CHD). However, studies involving postmenopausal women are very limited.
  • This study was therefore undertaken to identify the relationship between cow’s milk intake and CHD risk in postmenopausal women, using data from the 6th period of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013-2015).
  • A total of 1825 postmenopausal women, aged 50-64 years old, were included in the final analysis. The frequency of cow’s milk consumption for each subject was determined using the semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and was classified into four groups:
    • Q1, group that did not drink milk (no milk, n = 666)
    • Q2, 0 < frequency of milk intake per week ≤ 1 (n = 453)
    • Q3, 1 < frequency of milk intake per week ≤ 3 (n = 319)
    • Q4, frequency of milk intake > 3 times per week (n = 387)
  • General characteristics, such as education, living area, household income, and obesity level, were compared between the four groups. Percentages of daily nutrient intake compared to the dietary reference intake for Koreans (KDRIs) were determined, and the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), atherogenic index (AI), and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) were determined as the CHD risk indicators.
  • Except household income, no significant difference was obtained among the four groups with respect to age, education, living area, or obesity. Compared to KDRIs, the intake ratio of calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin were significantly higher in the Q4 group than in the Q1-Q3 groups.
  • Blood HDL-cholesterol was significantly higher in Q4 than in Q1. The CHD risk factors FRS (%), AI, and AIP were significantly lower in the Q4 group as compared to the other groups. FRS was determined to be significantly and positively correlated to AI or AIP, and negatively correlated with the cow’s milk intake frequency and calcium intake.
  • In conclusion, compared to women who do not consume cow’s milk, postmenopausal women who consume cow’s milk frequently have a better nutritional status of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12, higher HDL levels, and a lower level of CHD risk indicators, such as FRS, AI, and AIP, contributing to decreased CHD risk in a 10-year period.
  • Therefore, to prevent the risk of CHD in postmenopausal women, there needs to be a greater emphasis for cow’s milk consumption four or more times per week.

Milk Intake in Early Life and Later Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis. Gil H, Chen QY, Khil J, Park J, Na G, Lee D, Keum N. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 15;14(6):1233.

  • Dairy consumption in adulthood has been demonstrated to influence cancer risk. Although childhood and adolescence represent critical periods of rapid growth, the relationship between milk intake in early life and later cancer risk is unclear.
  • Thus, researchers examined this relationship by conducting a meta-analysis of the observational studies.
  • PubMed and Embase were searched for relevant articles that were published throughout December 2021.
  • The summary relative risk (RR) for the highest vs. lowest milk intake was 0.83 in 7 studies for breast cancer, 0.98 in four studies for prostate cancer, and 0.90 in 3 studies for colorectal cancer. No evidence of an association emerged in subgroup analyses of menopausal status, cancer stage, fat content of milk, life stage of milk intake, or study design. Consistent results were observed in the meta-analyses using total dairy intake.
  • In conclusion, milk intake during childhood and adolescence might not be associated with risks of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer later in life. Given the small number of studies that were included in our meta-analysis, and the high heterogeneity, more studies are warranted for a definitive conclusion.

Efficacy of low-fat milk and yogurt fortified with vitamin D3 on systemic inflammation in adults with abdominal obesity. Sharifan P, Rashidmayvan M, Mobarhan MG, et al . J Health Popul Nutr. 2022 Mar 2;41(1):8.

  • The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is increasing globally and is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, and cardiovascular disease. Vit D deficiency is also associated with increased systemic inflammation.
  • The current study aimed to determine the efficacy of low-fat milk and yogurt fortified with 1500 IU nano-encapsulated vitamin D, on systemic inflammation in abdominal obese participants.
  • This multi-center study was conducted using a 2.5-month parallel total-blind randomized clinical trial design. 289 subjects were allocated to four groups:
    • low-fat milk fortified by 1500 IU nano-encapsulated vitamin D3(200 mL/day)
    • simple milk (200 mL/day)
    • low-fat yogurt fortified by 1500 IU nano-encapsulated vitamin D3(150 g/day)
    • simple yogurt (150 g/day)
  • The results showed that serum levels of neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets and red blood cell distribution width (RDW) were significantly lower before and after the intervention in fortified dairy groups. The results showed that serum levels of neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets, and RDW before and after intervention in the fortified dairy groups were significantly lower. The values of = neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelets to lymphocyte ratio, and RDW to platelets ratio (RPR) reduced significantly in the fortification group.
  • In conclusion, fortification with nano-encapsulated vitamin D3of dairy products may decrease inflammation in individuals with abdominal obesity.

Associations of fermented and non-fermented dairy consumption with serum C-reactive protein concentrations – A cross-sectional analysis. Voutilainen EK, Hantunen S, Ruusunen A, Tuomainen TP, Virtanen JK. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2022 Apr;48:401-407.

  • The results of epidemiological studies on dairy products and low-grade inflammation are scarce and inconsistent. Some studies have suggested that the associations may vary depending on the type of dairy product consumed.
  • The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the associations between intake of fermented and non-fermented dairy products and separately butter and serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a common inflammation marker, among a population with high dairy intake.
  • The study included 1338 generally healthy men aged 42-60 years and serum hs-CRP ≤10 mg/L from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factory Study, examined in 1984-1989. Dietary intakes were assessed using 4-day food records. ANCOVA and linear and logistic regression were used for analyses.
  • The reported mean intakes of fermented and non-fermented dairy products and butter were 189 (SD ± 217), 522 (SD ± 330) and 33 (SD  ± 27) g/d, respectively. In the model adjusted for age, year of examination and energy intake (Model 1), higher intake of total dairy, total non-fermented dairy, total milk and butter were associated with higher concentration of serum hs-CRP, whereas fermented dairy intake was not associated with serum hs-CRP.
  • After further adjustment for potential confounders, only higher butter intake remained statistically significantly associated with increased serum hs-CRP. The odds ratio for elevated hs-CRP (>3 mg/L) in the highest vs. the lowest quartile was 2.50.
  • Overall,these results suggest that high intake of butter, but not other dairy products may be associated with increased low-grade inflammation.


Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Addressing Data Bottlenecks in the Dairy Farm Industry. Fadul-Pacheco L, Wangen SR, da Silva TE, Cabrera VE. Animals (Basel). 2022 Mar 12;12(6):721.

  • A better understanding of the current challenges and opportunities regarding data management and data governance in the dairy industry is key to design and define effective data utilization.
  • Thus, a survey was conducted to understand the attitudes of farmers and non-farmers exploring the challenges and opportunities for dairy farm data management and governance.
  • The survey was completed by 73 farmers and 96 non-farmers. Although 91% of them find data sharing beneficial, 69% are unfamiliar with data collection protocols and standards, and 66% of farmers feel powerless over their data chain of custody.
  • Although 58% of farmers share data, only 19% of them recall having signed a data share agreement. 52% percent of respondents agree that data collected on farm belongs only to the farmer, with 25% of farmers believing intellectual property products are being developed with their data, and 90% of all said companies should pay farmers when making money from their data.
  • Farmers and non-farmers are somewhat concerned about data ownership, security, and confidentiality, but non-farmers were more concerned about data collection standards and lack of integration. 62% of farmers integrate data from different sources.
  • Farmers’ most used technologies are milk composition (67%) and early disease detection (56%); most desired technologies are body condition score (56%) and automatic milking systems (46%); most abandoned technologies are temperature and activity sensors (14%) and automatic sorting gates (13%).
  • A better understanding of these issues is paramount for the industry’s long-term sustainability.

Integration of Multiplied Omics, a Step Forward in Systematic Dairy Research. Zhu Y, Bu D, Ma L. Metabolites. 2022 Mar 4;12(3):225.

  • Due to their unique multi-gastric digestion system highly adapted for rumination, dairy livestock has complicated physiology different from monogastric animals. However, the microbiome-based mechanism of the digestion system is congenial for biology approaches.
  • The rumen microbiome can digest dietary components into utilizable sugars, proteins, and volatile fatty acids, contributing to the energy intake and feed efficiency of dairy animals, which has become one target of the basis for omics applications in dairy science.
  • Different omics and their integration have been widely applied in the dairy sciences since the previous decade for investigating their physiology, pathology, and the development of feed and management protocols.
  • Rumen, liver, and mammary gland are also frequently targeted in omics because of their crucial impact on dairy animals’ energy metabolism, production performance, and health status.
  • The application of omics has made outstanding contributions to a more profound understanding of the physiology, etiology, and optimizing the management strategy of dairy animals, while the multi-omics method could draw information of different levels and organs together, providing an unprecedented broad scope on traits of dairy animals.
  • This article reviewed recent omics and multi-omics researches on physiology, feeding, and pathology on dairy animals and also performed the potential of multi-omics on systematic dairy research.

Milk exosomes in nutrition and drug delivery. Ngu A, Wang S, Wang H, Khanam A, Zempleni J. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 Mar 23.

  • Exosomes are natural nanoparticles that originate in the endocytic system. Exosomes play an important role in cell-to-cell communication by transferring RNAs, lipids and proteins from donor cells to recipient cells or by binding to receptors on the recipient cell surface.
  • The concentration of exosomes and the diversity of cargos is high in milk, and they resist degradation in the gastrointestinal tract and during processing of milk in dairy plants, are absorbed and accumulate in tissues following oral administrations, cross the blood-brain barrier, and dietary depletion and supplementation elicit phenotypes.
  • These features have sparked the interest of the nutrition and pharmacology communities for exploring milk exosomes as novel bioactive food compounds and for delivering drugs to diseased tissues.
  • This review discusses the current knowledgebase, uncertainties, and controversies in these lines of scholarly endeavor and health research.

Innovative and Healthier Dairy Products through the Addition of Microalgae: A Review. Hernández H, Nunes MC, Prista C, Raymundo A.Foods. 2022 Mar 5;11(5):755.

  • In recent years, the development of healthier foods, richer in nutraceutical or functional compounds, has been in great demand. Microalgae are attracting increasing attention, as their incorporation in foods and beverages can be a promising strategy to develop sustainable foods with improved nutritional profiles and a strong positive impacts on health.
  • Despite the increasing market demand in plant-based foods, the popularity of fermented dairy foods has increased in the recent years since they are a source of microorganisms with health-promoting effects. In this context, the incorporation of microalgae in cheeses, fermented milks and other dairy products represents an interesting approach towards the development of innovative and added-value hybrid products based on animal proteins and enriched with vegetable origin ingredients recognized as extremely valuable sources of bioactive compounds.
  • The effect of the addition of microalgal biomass (Chlorella vulgarisArthrospira platensisPavlova lutheri, and Diacronema vlkianum, among others) and its derivates on the physicochemical composition, colorimetric and antioxidant properties, texture and rheology behavior, sensory profile, and viability of starter cultures and probiotics in yogurt, cheese and ice cream is discussed in the current work.
  • This review of the literature on the incorporation of microalgae in dairy products aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential use of these unique food ingredients in the development of new sustainable products and of their beneficial effects on health. Considering the importance of commercialization, regulatory issues about the use of microalgae in dairy products are also discussed.

Ingredients, Processing, and Fermentation: Addressing the Organoleptic Boundaries of Plant-Based Dairy Analogues. Pua A, Tang VCY, Goh RMV, Sun J, Lassabliere B, Liu SQ. Foods. 2022 Mar 18;11(6):875.

  • Consumer interest and research in plant-based dairy analogues has been growing in recent years because of increasingly negative implications of animal-derived products on human health, animal wellbeing, and the environment. However, plant-based dairy analogues face many challenges in mimicking the organoleptic properties of dairy products due to their undesirable off-flavors and textures.
  • This article thus reviews fermentation as a viable pathway to developing clean-label plant-based dairy analogues with satisfactory consumer acceptability. Discussions on complementary strategies such as raw material selection and extraction technologies are also included.
  • An overview of plant raw materials with the potential to be applied in dairy analogues is first discussed, followed by a review of the processing steps and innovative techniques required to transform these plant raw materials into functional ingredients such as plant-based aqueous extracts or flours for subsequent fermentation.
  • Finally, the various fermentation (bacterial, yeast, and fungal) methodologies applied for the improvement of texture and other sensory qualities of plant-based dairy analogues are covered. Concerted research efforts would be required in the future to tailor and optimize the presented wide diversity of options to produce plant-based fermented dairy analogues that are both delicious and nutritionally adequate.

Nutritional Profiles of Non-Dairy Plant-Based Cheese Alternatives. Craig WJ, Mangels AR, Brothers CJ. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 16;14(6):1247.

  • With the growing interest in non-dairy products, there has been a surge of interest in consumers seeking plant-based cheese alternatives spurred by a desire to improve individual health and achieve a more sustainable food supply.
  • The aim of this study was to conduct a cross-sectional survey of non-dairy cheese alternatives available in the United States and to evaluate their nutritional content. A total of 245 non-dairy plant-based cheese alternatives were analyzed using their nutritional facts labels.
  • The various cheese alternatives were based upon coconut oil (n= 106), cashews and coconut (n = 61), cashews (n = 35), oats (n = 16), almonds (n = 7), soy (n = 6), palm fruit oil (n = 5), and other blends (n = 9).
  • Only 3% of these cheese alternatives had 5 g or more of protein, while 19%, 14%, and 1% were fortified with calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, respectively. Almost 60% had high levels of saturated fat, while 15% had low sodium levels.
  • The products based on cashews alone more commonly had the highest protein levels and the lowest sodium and saturated fat levels. Those containing coconut oil more commonly had higher saturated fat and sodium levels and were most frequently fortified with vitamin B12. Few of these products could be considered good dietary sources of either protein or calcium.

Perspective: Soy-Based Meat and Dairy Alternatives, Despite Classification as Ultra-Processed Foods, Deliver High-Quality Nutrition on Par With Unprocessed or Minimally Processed Animal-Based Counterparts. Messina M, Sievenpiper JL, Williamson P, Kiel J, Erdman JW.Adv Nutr. 2022 Mar 23:nmac026.

  • In many non-Asian countries, soy is consumed via soy-based meat and dairy alternatives, in addition to the traditional Asian soyfoods, such as tofu and miso. Meat alternatives are typically made using concentrated sources of soy protein, such as soy protein isolate (SPI) and soy protein concentrate (SPC). Therefore, these products are classified as ultra-processed foods (UPFs, Group 4) according to NOVA (not an acronym), an increasingly widely used food classification system that classifies all foods into one of four groups according to the processing they undergo.
  • Furthermore, most soymilks, even those made from whole soybeans, are also classified as UPFs because of the addition of sugars and emulsifiers. Increasingly, recommendations are being made to restrict the consumption of UPFs because their intake is associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes.
  • Critics of UPFs argue these foods are unhealthful for a wide assortment of reasons. Explanations for the proposed adverse effects of UPFs include their high energy density, high glycemic index (GI), hyper-palatability, and low satiety potential. Claims have also been made that UPFs are not sustainably produced. However, this perspective argues that none of the criticisms of UPFs apply to soy-based meat and dairy alternatives when compared to their animal-based counterparts, beef and cow’s milk, which are classified as unprocessed or minimally processed foods (group 1).
  • Classifying soy-based meat and dairy alternatives as UPFs may hinder their public acceptance, which could detrimentally affect personal and planetary health. In conclusion, the NOVA classification system is simplistic and does not adequately evaluate the nutritional attributes of meat and dairy alternatives based on soy.

Overcoming Technical and Market Barriers to Enable Sustainable Large-Scale Production and Consumption of Insect Proteins in Europe: A SUSINCHAIN Perspective. Veldkamp T, Meijer N, , van der Fels-Klerx HJ, et al. Insects. 2022 Mar 12;13(3):281.

  • The expected global population growth to 9.7 billion people in 2050 and the significant change in global dietary patterns require an increase in global food production by about 60%. The protein supply for feed and food is most critical and requires an extension in protein sources.
  • Edible insects can upgrade low-grade side streams of food production into high-quality protein, amino acids and vitamins in a very efficient way. Insects are considered to be the “missing link” in the food chain of a circular and sustainable economy. Insects and insect-derived products have entered the European market since first being acknowledged as a valuable protein source for feed and food production in around 2010.
  • However, today, scaling up the insect value chain in Europe is progressing at a relatively slow pace. The mission of SUSINCHAIN (SUStainable INsect CHAIN)-a four-year project which has received funding from the European Commission-is to contribute to novel protein provision for feed and food in Europe by overcoming the remaining barriers for increasing the economic viability of the insect value chain and opening markets by combining forces in a comprehensive multi-actor consortium.
  • The overall project objective is to test, pilot and demonstrate recently developed technologies, products and processes, to realize a shift up to Technology Readiness Level 6 or higher. In addition to these crucial activities, the project engages with stakeholders in the insect protein supply chain for feed and food by living labs and workshops.
  • These actions provide the necessary knowledge and data for actors in the insect value chain to decrease the cost price of insect products, process insects more efficiently and market insect protein applications in animal feed and regular human diets that are safe and sustainable. This paves the way for further upscaling and commercialization of the European insect sector.

Consumers’ acceptance of the first novel insect food approved in the European Union: Predictors of yellow mealworm chips consumption. Petrescu-Mag RM, Rastegari Kopaei H, Petrescu DC. Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Jan 18;10(3):846-862.

  • Climate and environmental-related challenges are high on the agenda of the European Union (EU). One priority is to redesign the existing food system into a more sustainable one, where the link between healthy people and a balanced environment is considered.
  • The EU bets on the role of insect farming in supporting the transition toward healthier and future-proof diets. Following this orientation, we investigated consumers’ attitude toward yellow mealworm chips (YMC) and identified the predictors of YMC consumption.
  • The causal relationships between constructs were explored using the structural equation modeling (SEM) based on partial least squares (PLS) using SmartPLS software. The perceived lower environmental impact of YMC compared to meat was the most appreciated characteristic of YMC.
  • The study identified five predictors of YMC consumption, among which the perceived characteristics of YMC have the strongest influence on the consumption probability. Against the expectations of the authors, disgust with the accidental encounter of insects in foods did not influence the probability of eating YMC. Age was another predictor of YMC consumption.
  • It is known that food preferences and eating behaviors are mainly developed during childhood and tend to manifest in adult life. Consequently, it can be inferred that acceptance and preference for insect-based foods (IBF) should be stimulated from early childhood. Finally, practical implications are advanced as possible solutions to overcome the obstacles toward YMC consumption.