Dairy Research Bulletin – Selected Articles from Aug 2022

Environmental Management and Sustainability

CDRF-Funded Research Symposium review: Defining a pathway to climate neutrality for US dairy cattle production. Place SE, McCabe CJ, Mitloehner FM. Journal of Dairy Science. 2022 Aug 30.

  • The US dairy industry has made substantial gains in reducing the greenhouse gas emission intensity of a gallon of milk. At the same time, consumer and investor interest for improved environmental benefits or reduced environmental impact of food production continues to grow.
  • Following a trend of increasing greenhouse gas emission commitments for businesses across sectors of the economy, the US dairy industry has committed to a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Paris Climate Accord’s goal is to reduce warming of the atmosphere to less than 1.5 to 2°C based on preindustrial levels, which is different from emission goals of historic climate agreements that focus on emission reduction targets.
  • Most of the emissions that account for the greenhouse gas footprint of a gallon of milk are from the short-lived climate pollutant CH4, which has a half-life of approximately 10 yr. The relatively new accounting system Global Warming Potential Star and the unit CO2warming equivalents gives the industry the appropriate metrics to quantify their current and projected warming impact on future emissions.
  • Incorporating this metric into potential future emissions pathways can allow the industry to understand the magnitude of emissions reductions needed to no longer contribute additional warming. Deterministic modeling was performed across the dairy industry’s emission areas of enteric fermentation, manure management, feed production, and other upstream emissions necessary for dairy production.
  • By reducing farm-level absolute emissions by 23% based on current levels, there is the opportunity for the US dairy industry to realize climate neutrality within the next few decades.

Dairy Trade Helps to Alleviate Global Carbon Emission Pressure. Wu Y, Mao X, Lu J, Wang M, Zhang Q, Song P, Liu Z, Gong W. Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Aug 9.

  • Global dairy production, consumption, and trade are growing rapidly, driven by population and per capita income growth and increasing health concerns mainly from developing countries, which has aroused concerns about the related carbon emission (mostly in the form of methane) increase.
  • If all of the dairy products consumed were produced locally/domestically in the developing countries/economies (a counterfactual scenario), the carbon emissions in 2018 would be 28 Mt CO2-equiv higher than its status quo (a factual scenario).
  • The present study indicates that unlike in many global trade cases in which carbon leakages are from developed to developing countries, global dairy trade is characterized by net embodied carbon flows from developed to developing countries/economies due to the fact that there is an overwhelming one-way-flow of dairy products from developed to developing countries/economies.
  • The differences in the carbon emission factors between the developed and developing countries/economies provide an opportunity that global dairy trade and production specialization can help to reduce carbon emissions from increasing dairy product demand, and the total reduction potential is estimated to be about 414 Mt CO2-equiv from 2018 to 2030.
  • Free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will incentivize larger carbon emission reduction benefits through promoting dairy trade.

Up in smoke: California’s greenhouse gas reductions could be wiped out by 2020 wildfires. Jerrett M, Jina AS, Marlier ME.Environ Pollut. 2022 Aug 5;310:119888.

  • In this short communication, researchers estimate that California’s wildfire carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from 2020 are approximately two times higher than California’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions since 2003.
  • Without considering future vegetation regrowth, CO2e emissions from the 2020 wildfires could be the second most important source in the state above either industry or electrical power generation.
  • Regrowth may partly of fully occur over a long period, but due to exigencies of the climate crisis most of the regrowth will not occur quickly enough to avert greater than 1.5 degrees of warming. Global monetized damages caused by CO2e from in 2020 wildfire emissions amount to some $7.1 billion USD.
  • This analysis suggests that significant societal benefits could accrue from larger investments in improved forest management and stricter controls on new development in fire-prone areas at the wildland-urban interface.

Climate change is increasing the risk of a California megaflood. Huang X, Swain DL. Sci Adv. 2022 Aug 12;8(32):eabq0995.

  • Despite the recent prevalence of severe drought, California faces a broadly underappreciated risk of severe floods.
  • Here, researchers investigate the physical characteristics of “plausible worst case scenario” extreme storm sequences capable of giving rise to “megaflood” conditions using a combination of climate model data and high-resolution weather modeling.
  • Using the data from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble, the researchers find that climate change has already doubled the likelihood of an event capable of producing catastrophic flooding, but larger future increases are likely due to continued warming.
  • The researchers further find that runoff in the future extreme storm scenario is 200 to 400% greater than historical values in the Sierra Nevada because of increased precipitation rates and decreased snow fraction.
  • These findings have direct implications for flood and emergency management, as well as broader implications for hazard mitigation and climate adaptation activities.

Proof of concept for developing novel feeds for cattle from wasted food and crop biomass to enhance agri-food system efficiency. Dou Z, Toth JD, Baker LD, et al. Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 10;12(1):13630. 

  • Modern agri-food systems generate large amounts of crop-based biomass that are unfit for direct human consumption but potentially suitable for livestock feeding in production of meats, milk, and eggs.
  • This study aims to develop novel feeds for cattle from some of those biomass materials through the natural microbial-driven processes of ensiling.
  • Fruit and vegetables resembling supermarket discards were ensiled alone or co-ensiled with corn crop residues, mushroom wastes, etc. via laboratory experiments. Longitudinal sample analyses showed that (co-)ensiling was successful, with pH and fermentation acids changing rapidly into desirable ranges (pH < 4.5, the acids 5-13% DM with lactic acid dominating).
  • The (co-)ensiled products had key nutritional parameters comparable to those of good quality forages commonly used on dairy farms. Additionally, in vitro incubation experiments indicated that the ensiled products could substitute certain conventional feeds while maintaining diet digestibility.
  • Findings from this pilot study provide a proof of principle that quality novel feeds for cattle can be generated by co-ensiling food discards and low-value crop residues. Future research and animal feeding trials to demonstrate the utility of this approach can help societies more effectively utilize untapped biomass resources, strengthening the regenerative capacity of agri-food systems towards a more sustainable food future.

UCD-led Research Prediction of nitrogen excretion from data on dairy cows fed a wide range of diets compiled in an intercontinental database: A meta-analysis. Bougouin A, Hristov A, Dijkstra J, Kebreab E, et al. J Dairy Sci. 2022 Sep;105(9):7462-7481.

  • Manure nitrogen (N) from cattle contributes to nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching. Measurement of manure N outputs on dairy farms is laborious, expensive, and impractical at large scales; therefore, models are needed to predict N excreted in urine and feces. Building robust prediction models requires extensive data from animals under different management systems worldwide.
  • Thus, the study objectives were (1) to collate an international database of N excretion in feces and urine based on individual lactating dairy cow data from different continents; (2) to determine the suitability of key variables for predicting fecal, urinary, and total manure N excretion; and (3) to develop robust and reliable N excretion prediction models based on individual data from lactating dairy cows consuming various diets.
  • A raw data set was created based on 5,483 individual cow observations, with 5,420 fecal N excretion and 3,621 urine N excretion measurements collected from 162 in vivo experiments conducted by 22 research institutes mostly located in Europe (n = 14) and North America (n = 5). A sequential approach was taken in developing models with increasing complexity by incrementally adding variables that had a significant individual effect on fecal, urinary, or total manure N excretion.
  • Simple models requiring dry matter intake (DMI) or N intake performed better for predicting fecal N excretion than simple models using diet nutrient composition or milk performance parameters. Simple models based on N intake performed better for urinary and total manure N excretion than those based on DMI, but simple models using milk urea N (MUN) and N intake performed even better for urinary N excretion.
  • The full model predicting fecal N excretion had similar performance to simple models based on DMI but included several independent variables (DMI, diet crude protein content, diet neutral detergent fiber content, milk protein), depending on the location, and had root mean square prediction errors as a fraction of the observed mean values of 19.1% for intercontinental, 19.8% for European, and 17.7% for North American data sets.
  • Complex total manure N excretion models based on N intake and MUN led to prediction errors of about 13.0% to 14.0%, which were comparable to models based on N intake alone. Intercepts and slopes of variables in optimal prediction equations developed on intercontinental, European, and North American bases differed from each other, and therefore region-specific models are preferred to predict N excretion.
  • In conclusion, region-specific models that include information on DMI or N intake and MUN are required for good prediction of fecal, urinary, and total manure N excretion. In absence of intake data, region-specific complex equations using easily and routinely measured variables to predict fecal, urinary, or total manure N excretion may be used, but these equations have lower performance than equations based on intake.

Ammonia and greenhouse emissions from cow’s excreta are affected by feeding system, stage of lactation and sampling time.
Rodrigues ARF, Maia MRG, Miranda C, Cabrita ARJ, Fonseca AJM, Pereira JLS, Trindade H. J Environ Manage. 2022 Aug 8;320:115882.

  • Decomposition of dairy cows’ excreta on housing floor leads to ammonia and greenhouse gases production, yet factors affecting total emissions have not been fully disclosed.
  • This work aimed to assess the impact of lactation stage, feeding system and sampling time on gaseous emission potential of cow’s feces and urine in laboratory chambers systems.
  • Individual feces and urine were collected from two groups of four cows, at peak and post peak lactation, from three commercial farms with distinct feeding systems: total mixed ration (TMR), total mixed ration plus concentrate at robot (TMR + robot), and total mixed ration plus concentrate in automatic feeders (TMR + AF). Samples were collected before a.m. (T8h), at middle day (T12h), and before p.m. (T17h) milking.
  • In a laboratory chambers system, feces and urine were mixed in a ratio of 1.7:1, and ammonia and greenhouse gases emissions were monitored during 48-h. Cumulative N-N2O emissions were the highest in TMR + robot system, post peak cows and sampling time T17h.
  • An interaction between stage of lactation and sampling time was detected for N-NH3and N-N2O (g/kg organic soluble N) emissions. Post peak cows also produced the highest cumulative N-NH3 Overall results contribute for the identification of specific on-farm strategies to reduce gaseous emissions from cows’ excreta.

Smart reprograming of plants against salinity stress using modern biotechnological tools. Raza A, Tabassum J, Fakhar AZ, Sharif R, Chen H, Zhang C, Ju L, Fotopoulos V, Siddique KHM, Singh RK, Zhuang W, Varshney RK. Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2022 Aug 15:1-28.

  • Climate change gives rise to numerous environmental stresses, including soil salinity. Salinity/salt stress is the second biggest abiotic factor affecting agricultural productivity worldwide by damaging numerous physiological, biochemical, and molecular processes.
  • In particular, salinity affects plant growth, development, and productivity. Salinity responses include modulation of ion homeostasis, antioxidant defense system induction, and biosynthesis of numerous phytohormones and osmoprotectants to protect plants from osmotic stress by decreasing ion toxicity and augmented reactive oxygen species scavenging.
  • As most crop plants are sensitive to salinity, improving salt tolerance is crucial in sustaining global agricultural productivity. In response to salinity, plants trigger stress-related genes, proteins, and the accumulation of metabolites to cope with the adverse consequence of salinity.
  • Therefore, this review presents an overview of salinity stress in crop plants. We highlight advances in modern biotechnological tools, such as omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) approaches and different genome editing tools (ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas system) for improving salinity tolerance in plants and accomplish the goal of “zero hunger,” a worldwide sustainable development goal proposed by the FAO.

Animal Health and Food Safety

UCD Vet Med Research Evaluation of antimicrobial resistance and risk factors for recovery of intrauterine Escherichia coli from cows with metritis on California commercial dairy farms. Basbas C, Garzon A, Silva-Del-Rio N, Byrne BA, Karle B, Aly SS, Champagne JD, Williams DR, Lima FS, Machado VS, Pereira RV. Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 17;12(1):13937.

  • In North America, metritis impacts 10 to 30% of post-partum dairy cows. Within the U.S., metritis is the fourth most common health issue in cows, as identified by producers. Metritis has a complex etiology with various bacteria including Escherichia coli, Trueperella pyogenes, Fusobacterium necrophorum, and Bacteroides associated with post-partum uterine infections.
  • Metritis negatively impacts milk production, reproductive performance, and increases the risk of culling. The economic impacts of these production issues cost producers a mean of $511 per case of metritis.
  • The most common systemic antimicrobial treatment for metritis in California is ceftiofur (CEFT), a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum activity. Ceftiofur is the only antimicrobial approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) for the treatment of metritis that does not require milk to be discarded during treatment. The second and third most popular antimicrobials used to treat metritis in California are ampicillin (AMP) and penicillin, respectively. A survey of Midwestern dairy farms also identified CEFT as the preferred treatment for metritis, followed by AMP.
  • The goals of this study were to evaluate factors affecting recovery and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in intrauterine E. coli in post-partum dairy cows with and without metritis from commercial California dairy farms.
  • Using a cross-sectional study design, a total of 307 cows were sampled from 25 farms throughout California, from which a total of 162 intrauterine E. coli isolates were recovered. During farm visits, cows within 21 days post-partum were categorized in one of three clinical presentation groups before enrollment: metritis (MET, n = 86), defined as a cow with watery, red or brown colored, and fetid vaginal discharge; cows with purulent discharge (PUS, n = 106), defined as a non-fetid purulent or mucopurulent vaginal discharge; and control cows, (CTL, n = 115) defined as cows with either no vaginal discharge or a clear, non-purulent mucus vaginal discharge.
  • Cows diagnosed as MET had significantly higher odds for recovery of coli compared to cows diagnosed as CTL (OR = 2.16), with no significant difference observed between PUS and CTL, and PUS and MET. An increase in days in milk (DIM) at the time of sampling was significantly associated with a decrease in the odds ratio for E. coli recovery from intrauterine swabs (OR = 0.94).
  • All intrauterine coli were resistant to ampicillin (AMP), with an AMR prevalence of 30.2% and 33.9% observed for chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline, respectively. Only 8.6% of isolates were resistant to ceftiofur (CEFT).
  • No significant difference in the prevalence of AMR was observed among clinical groups at the individual cow level. At the farm level, a significantly higher odds for isolating intrauterine coli resistant to chlortetracycline (OR: 2.6) or oxytetracycline (OR: 1.9) was observed at farms that used an intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline as a treatment for metritis when compared to those farms that did not use this practice.
  • Findings from this study indicate the need for further research supporting a broader understanding of farm practices driving AMR in cows with metritis, as well as data to increase the accuracy of breakpoints for AMR classification of intrauterine coli from cattle.

Invited review: Selective use of antimicrobials in dairy cattle at drying-off. McCubbin KD, de Jong E, Barkema HW, et al. J Dairy Sci. 2022 Sep;105(9):7161-7189.

  • Administering intramammary antimicrobials to all mammary quarters of dairy cows at drying-off [i.e., blanket dry cow therapy (BDCT)] has been a mainstay of mastitis prevention and control. However, as udder health has considerably improved over recent decades with reductions in intramammary infection prevalence at drying-off and the introduction of teat sealants, BDCT may no longer be necessary on all dairy farms, thereby supporting antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
  • This narrative review summarizes available literature regarding current dry cow therapy practices and associated impacts of selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) on udder health, milk production, economics, antimicrobial use, and antimicrobial resistance. Various methods to identify infections at drying-off that could benefit from antimicrobial treatment are described for selecting cows or mammary quarters for treatment, including utilizing somatic cell count thresholds, pathogen identification, previous clinical mastitis history, or a combination of criteria. Selection methods may be enacted at the herd, cow, or quarter levels. Producers’ and veterinarians’ motivations for antimicrobial use are discussed.
  • Based on review findings, SDCT can be adopted without negative consequences for udder health and milk production, and concurrent teat sealant use is recommended, especially in udder quarters receiving no intramammary antimicrobials. Furthermore, herd selection should be considered for SDCT implementation in addition to cow or quarter selection, as BDCT may still be temporarily necessary in some herds for optimal mastitis control. Costs and benefits of SDCT vary among herds, whereas impacts on antimicrobial resistance remain unclear.
  • In summary, SDCT is a viable management option for maintaining udder health and milk production while improving antimicrobial stewardship in the dairy industry.

Effects of prolonged lock-up time on milk production and health of dairy cattle. Papinchak L, Paudyal S, Pinerio J.Vet Q. 2022 Aug 30:1-12.

  • Self-locking feed stanchions provide ease and reduce the amount of time spent handling cattle on free-stall dairy barns. These stanchions assist with routine farm activities such as pregnancy diagnosis, artificial insemination, and various health-related practices.
  • “Lock-up time” refers to the amount of time a cow is restrained in the barn within one day and the producers suggest to keep this duration of time as minimal as possible.
  • This review paper looks at various effects of extended length of lock-up time with regards to milk production, reproductive performance, and dairy cattle health. The objective is to investigate potential effects of extended lock-up time and suggest optimal lock-up time as discussed in the literature.
  • Authors have observed an average lockup time of approximately 1-4 hours per day in the farms in southwest USA. Restraint in self-locking head stanchions for extended period (> 4h per day) could lead to multiple detrimental effects in dairy cow performance.
  • The focus should be to manage the farm adequately by minimizing the restraint time to less than 4 hours per day, and avoid use of headlocks during late morning and afternoon hours of the summer months.
  • Different studies infer that longer lock-up time presents animals with significant stress situations and represents one of the major issue in dairy industry that needs immediate attention.

New insights into the raw milk microbiota diversity from animals with a different genetic predisposition for feed efficiency and resilience to mastitis. Tarrah A, Callegaro S, Pakroo S, Finocchiaro R, Giacomini A, Corich V, Cassandro M. Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 5;12(1):13498.

  • Milk contains different types of microorganisms. The most predominant microorganisms that compose milk microbiota include various species of Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas, Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, and yeast. Other microbial groups in raw milk belong to the Leuconostoc, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Clostridium, Listeria, and
  • Based on recent studies, milk microbiota composition can contribute to milk quality to a great extent; notably, some bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria, can play a critical role in high milk quality.
  • The main objective of this study was to assess the microbiota diversity in milk samples collected from Holstein cows with different estimated breeding values for predicted feed efficiency, milk coagulation, resilience to mastitis, and consequently, to study its effects on milk quality.
  • One hundred and twenty milk samples were collected in two seasons (summer and winter) from different commercial dairy farms. For each trait, 20 animals divided into two groups of the high (10 cows) and the low (10 cows) were selected to study the microbiota profile using 16S rRNA metabarcoding sequencing.
  • The alpha and beta diversity analysis revealed significant differences between the high and the low groups for feed efficiency and resilience to mastitis, while no significant difference was detected for milk coagulation.
  • Moreover, remarkable differences among the taxa were detected between the two seasons, where the winter was more diverse than summer when applied the Chao1 index.
  • Lastly, the analysis indicated Aerococcus, Corynebacterium, Facklamia, and Psychrobacter taxa with more abundance in the high group of feed efficiency, whereas, in resilience to mastitis, only two genera of Mycoplana and Rhodococcus were more abundant in the low group. In addition, the analysis between the seasons showed significant differences in the abundance of Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, Corynebacterium, Escherichia, Citrobacter, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and
  • These findings indicate that the different genetic predisposition for feed efficiency and resilience to mastitis could affect the raw milk microbiota and, consequently, its quality. Moreover, the researchers found more abundance of mastitis-associated bacteria in the milk of dairy cows with a higher feed efficiency index.

Current progress of emerging technologies in human and animals’ milk processing: Retention of immune-active components and microbial safety. Liu Y, Hettinga K, Liu D, Zhang L, Zhou P. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2022 Aug 29.

  • Human milk and commercial dairy products play a vital role in humans, as they can provide almost all essential nutrients and immune-active components for the development of children. However, how to retain more native immune-active components of milk during processing remains a big question for the dairy industry.
  • Nonthermal technologies for milk processing are gaining increasing interest in both academic and industrial fields, as it is known that thermal processing may negatively affect the quality of milk products.
  • Thermosensitive components, such as lactoferrin, immunoglobulins (Igs), growth factors, and hormones, are highly important for the healthy development of newborns. In addition to product quality, thermal processing also causes environmental problems, such as high energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • This review summarizes the recent advances of UV-C, ultrasonication (US), high-pressure processing (HPP), and other emerging technologies for milk processing from the perspective of immune-active components retention and microbial safety, focusing on human, bovine, goat, camel, sheep, and donkey milk.
  • Also, the detailed application, including the instrumental design, technical parameters, and obtained results, are discussed. Finally, future prospects and current limitations of nonthermal techniques as applied in milk processing are discussed.
  • This review thereby describes the current state-of-the-art in nonthermal milk processing techniques and will inspire the development of such techniques for in-practice applications in milk processing.

Human Nutrition and Health

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health is an opportunity for transformational change. Mozaffarian D, Andrés JR, Cousin E, Frist WH, Glickman DR.Nat Food. 2022;3(8):561-563.

  • The announcement of the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health represents a historic moment in US food and nutrition policy and, by extension, given US influence, in global food and nutrition policy.
  • More than 50 years have passed since the nation came together to address food, and it is now facing very different issues and goals. The 2022 conference provides an opportunity for a new national roadmap with clear, actionable recommendations to radically transform hunger, nutrition and health and that will be implemented by the administration, Congress, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
  • There is hope that the 2022 conference will build the foundation for a twenty-first century food system that is nourishing, equitable and sustainable. A resilient, equitable and nutrition-focused food system will end hunger and advance well-being, reduce healthcare spending, support racial and economic equity, catalyze new jobs and small businesses, advance minority-owned businesses and rural development, enhance military readiness, reduce climate change, preserve the globe’s natural resources, and provide for greater security and prosperity for all nations.

Debunking the vegan myth: The case for a plant-forward omnivorous whole-foods diet. O’Keefe JH, O’Keefe EL, Lavie CJ, Cordain L. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2022 Aug 6:S0033-0620(22)00083-4.

  • Vegan diets are widely promoted as protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, removing all animal foods from a human’s diet usually causes unfavorable health consequences.
  • Our hominin ancestors began consuming meat, fish, seafood, and eggs >2 million years ago. Consequently, humans are genetically adapted to procure nutrients from both plant and animal sources.
  • In contrast, veganism is without evolutionary precedent in Homo sapiens species. Strict adherence to a vegan diet causes predictable deficiencies in nutrients including vitamins B12, B2,D, niacin, iron, iodine, zinc, high-quality proteins, omega-3, and calcium.
  • Prolonged strict veganism increases risk for bone fractures, sarcopenia, anemia, and depression. A more logical diet is a plant-forward omnivorous eating pattern that emphasizes generous consumption of natural, unprocessed foods predominantly from plants.
  • To balance this diet, modest amounts of wholesome animal foods, such wild-caught fish/seafood, pasture-raised meat and eggs, and fermented unsweetened dairy should be consumed regularly.

Theoretical attributable risk analysis and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) based on increased dairy consumption. Cohen SS, Bylsma LC, Movva N, Alexander DD.BMC Public Health. 2022 Aug 27;22(1):1625.

  • Identification of modifiable risk factors that may impact chronic disease risk is critical to public health.
  • This study objective was to conduct a theoretical population attributable risk analysis to estimate the burden of disease from low dairy intake and to estimate the impact of increased dairy intake on United States (US)-based disability adjusted life years (DALYs).
  • Researchers conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify statistically significant summary relative risk estimates (SRREs) from recent meta-analyses of dairy consumption and key chronic disease outcomes. Statistically significant SRREs were identified in recent meta-analyses of total dairy consumption in relation to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), stroke, and hypertension.
  • In this theoretical analysis, nearly 850,000 DALYs (or 5.0% of estimated years of healthy life lost) due to CVD and 200,000 DALYs (4.5%) due to T2D may be prevented by increased dairy consumption.
  • Approximately 100,000 DALYs due to breast cancer (7.5%) and approximately 120,000 DALYs (8.5%) due to colorectal cancer may be prevented by high dairy intake.
  • The numbers of DALYs for stroke and hypertension that may be prevented by increased dairy consumption were approximately 210,000 (6.0%) and 74,000 (5.5%), respectively.
  • In conclusion,consumption of dairy products has been associated with decreased risk of multiple chronic diseases of significant public health importance. The burden of disease that may potentially be prevented by increasing dairy consumption is substantial, and population-wide improvement in meeting recommended daily dairy intake goals could have a notable public health impact.

Associations between total dairy, high-fat dairy and low-fat dairy intake, and depressive symptoms: findings from a population-based cross-sectional study. Hockey M, Mohebbi M, Ruusunen A, et al. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Aug 10.

  • Evidence on the association between dairy intake and depression is conflicting.
  • Given numerous dietary guidelines recommend the consumption of low-fat dairy products, this study examined associations between total dairy, high-fat dairy, and low-fat dairy intake and the prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms. Associations between dairy products, which differed in both fat content and fermentation status, and depressive symptoms were also explored.
  • This cross-sectional study included 1600 Finnish adults (mean age 63 ± 6 years) recruited as part of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Dairy intake was assessed using 4-day food records. Elevated depressive symptoms were defined as having a score ≥ 5 on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III Depression Scale, and/or regularly using one or more prescription drugs for depressive symptoms.
  • In total, 166 participants (10.4%) reported having elevated depressive symptoms. Using multivariate logistic regression models, intake in the highest tertile of high-fat dairy products (OR 0.64) and high-fat non-fermented dairy products (OR 0.60) were associated with reduced odds for having elevated depressive symptoms. Whereas no significant association was observed between intake of total dairy, low-fat dairy, or other dairy products, and depressive symptoms.
  • In conclusion,higher intake of high-fat dairy and high-fat non-fermented dairy products were associated with reduced odds for having elevated depressive symptoms in middle-aged and older Finnish adults. Given the high global consumption of dairy products, and widespread burden of depression, longitudinal studies that seek to corroborate these findings are required.

The effects of kefir consumption on human health: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Kairey L, Leech B, El-Assaad F, Bugarcic A, Dawson D, Lauche R. Nutr Rev. 2022 Aug 1:nuac054.

  • Kefir, a traditional, fermented-milk beverage, has increasingly been promoted for various health benefits. The evidence from systematic reviews, however, is limited.
  • The objective of this study was to collect evidence from randomized controlled trials testing oral consumption of fermented-milk kefir on any outcome of human health or disease.
  • A total of 18 publications reporting the results of 16 studies were included. Per the narrative analysis, fermented-milk kefir may have potential as a complementary therapy in reducing oral Streptococcus mutans, thereby reducing dental caries risk, and in Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy.
  • Kefir may further aid treatment of adult dyslipidemia and hypertension, although evidence was very limited.
  • In conclusion, kefir is a dairy product with a unique microbiological profile that appears to be a safe for generally healthy populations to consume. However, more research is necessary before any recommendations may be made for conditions of the oral and gastric microbiota and metabolic health.

Dairy Milk Casein and Whey Proteins Differentially Alter the Postprandial Lipidome in Persons with Prediabetes: A Comparative Lipidomics Study. Chen L, Xu R, McDonald JD, Bruno RS, Choueiry F, Zhu J. J Agric Food Chem. 2022 Aug 24;70(33):10209-10220.

  • Dairy milk, likely through its bioactive proteins, has been reported to attenuate postprandial hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress responses implicated in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). However, how its major proteins, whey and casein, alter metabolic excursions of the lipidome in persons with prediabetes is unclear.
  • Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine whey or casein protein ingestion on glucose-induced alternations in lipidomic responses in adults (17 males and 6 females) with prediabetes.
  • In this clinical study, participants consumed glucose alone, glucose + nonfat milk (NFM), or glucose with either whey (WHEY) or casein (CASEIN) protein, and plasma samples were collected at multiple time points. Lipidomics data from plasma samples was acquired using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry-based platform.
  • These results indicated that glucose ingestion alone induced the largest number of changes in plasma lipids. WHEY showed an earlier and stronger impact to maintain the stability of the lipidome compared with CASEIN.
  • WHEY protected against glucose-induced changes in glycerophospholipid and sphingolipid (SP) metabolism, while ether lipid metabolism and SP metabolism were the pathways most greatly impacted in CASEIN.
  • Collectively, the findings from this study suggested that dairy milk proteins are responsible for the protective effect of non-fat milk on glucose-induced changes in the lipidome, which may potentially influence long-term CVD risk.

Milk polar lipids composition and functionality: a systematic review. Venkat M, Chia LW, Lambers TT. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Aug 23:1-45.

  • Polar lipids including glycerophospholipids and sphingophospholipids are important nutrients and milk is a major source, particularly for infants.
  • This systematic review describes the human and bovine milk polar lipid composition, structural organization, sources for formulation, and physiological functionality.
  • Bovine milk is a good source of polar lipids, where yield and composition are highly dependent on the choice of dairy streams and processing. In milk, polar lipids are organized in the milk fat globule membrane as a tri-layer encapsulating triglyceride.
  • The role of milk polar lipids in human health has been demonstrated in several areas and critical review indicated that brain, immune and effects on lipid metabolism are best substantiated areas.
  • Moreover, insights related to the milk fat globule membrane structure-function relation as well as superior activity of milk derived polar lipid compared to plant-derived sources are emerging areas of interest regarding future research and food innovations.

Colon microbiota modulation by dairy-derived diet: new strategy for prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. Gomes S, Teixeira-Guedes C, Silva E, Baltazar F, Preto A. Food Funct. 2022 Aug 23.

  • An unbalanced diet is one of the well-known risk factors for the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). This type of cancer is currently the main cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, urging the need for new and more effective preventive and therapeutic approaches.
  • It is already known that CRC patients have alterations in the microbial community and metabolism. In this regard, a concept that has been recently attracting the attention of the scientific community is the development of functional food or nutraceuticals, as a new and more effective strategy to overcome CRC patient-associated dysbiosis.
  • Particularly, dairy product enriched diets are the major dairy source of dietary calcium, vitamin D and folate intake, which are well-known to have a protective effect against CRC development. In addition, these products are rich in both pre- and probiotics, constituting a double strategy to modulate both the intestinal microbiota composition and the production of microbial metabolites.
  • Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), namely, acetate, butyrate, and propionate, are major contributors to colonic homeostasis since they regulate several biological and metabolic processes.
  • In this review, resesarchers performed a state of art study concerning the use of dietary patterns, specifically the dairy-derived diet, in the modulation of the human microbiota and their potential use as pre-, pro- or synbiotics for the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies for CRC.


Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Prospects for Simultaneously Capturing Carbon Dioxide and Harvesting Water from Air. Dods MN, Weston SC, Long JR. Adv Mater. 2022 Aug 18:e2204277.

  • Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change is expected to require large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal strategies. Prominent among these strategies is direct air capture with sequestration (DACS), which encompasses the removal and long-term storage of atmospheric CO2by purely engineered means.
  • Because it does not require arable land or copious amounts of freshwater, DACS is already attractive in the context of sustainable development, but opportunities to improve its sustainability still exist.
  • Leveraging differences in the chemistry of CO2and water adsorption within porous solids, here, the prospect of simultaneously removing water alongside CO2 in direct air capture operations is investigated. In many cases, the co-adsorbed water can be desorbed separately from chemisorbed CO2 molecules, enabling efficient harvesting of water from air.
  • Depending upon the material employed and process conditions, the desorbed water can be of sufficiently high purity for industrial, agricultural, or potable use and can thus improve regional water security. Additionally, the recovered water can offset a portion of the costs associated with DACS.
  • In this Perspective, molecular- and process-level insights are combined to identify routes toward realizing this nascent yet enticing concept.

Milk protein-based active edible packaging for food applications: An eco-friendly approach. Chaudhary V, Kajla P, Kumari P, Bangar SP, Rusu A, Trif M, Lorenzo JM. Front Nutr. 2022 Jul 26;9:942524.

  • Whey and casein proteins, in particular, have shown considerable promise in replacing fossil-based plastics in a variety of food applications, such as for O2susceptible foods, thereby, rendering milk proteins certainly one of the most quality-assured biopolymers in the packaging discipline.
  • Properties like excellent gas barrier properties, proficiency to develop self-supporting films, adequate availability, and superb biodegradability have aroused great attention toward whey and other milk proteins in recent years. High thermal stability, non-toxicity, the ability to form strong inter cross-links, and micelle formation, all these attributes make it a suitable material for outstanding biodegradability.
  • The unique structural and functional properties of milk proteins make them a suitable candidate for tailoring novel active package techniques for satisfying the needs of the food and nutraceutical industries. Milk proteins, especially whey proteins, serve as excellent carriers of various ingredients which are incorporated in films/coatings to strengthen barrier properties and enhance functional properties viz. antioxidant and antimicrobial.
  • In this review, the latest techniques pertaining to the conceptualization of active package models/ systems using milk proteins have been discussed. Physical and other functional properties of milk protein-based active packaging systems are also reviewed. This review provides an overview of recent applications of milk protein-sourced active edible packages in the food packaging business.

Giant Magnetoresistance Biosensors for Food Safety Applications. Liang S, Sutham P, Wu K, Mallikarjunan K, Wang JP. Sensors (Basel). 2022 Jul 28;22(15):5663.

  • Nowadays, the increasing number of foodborne disease outbreaks around the globe has aroused the wide attention of the food industry and regulators. During food production, processing, storage, and transportation, microorganisms may grow and secrete toxins as well as other harmful substances. These kinds of food contamination from microbiological and chemical sources can seriously endanger human health.
  • The traditional detection methods such as cell culture and colony counting cannot meet the requirements of rapid detection due to some intrinsic shortcomings, such as being time-consuming, laborious, and requiring expensive instrumentation or a central laboratory.
  • In the past decade, efforts have been made to develop rapid, sensitive, and easy-to-use detection platforms for on-site food safety regulation. Herein, we review one type of promising biosensing platform that may revolutionize the current food surveillance approaches, the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) biosensors.
  • Benefiting from the advances of nanotechnology, hundreds to thousands of GMR biosensors can be integrated into a fingernail-sized area, allowing the higher throughput screening of food samples at a lower cost. In addition, combined with on-chip microfluidic channels and filtration function, this type of GMR biosensing system can be fully automatic, and less operator training is required.
  • Furthermore, the compact-sized GMR biosensor platforms could be further extended to related food contamination and the field screening of other pathogen targets.

BoMiProt 2.0: An update of bovine Milk proteins database. Das A, Giri K, Behera RN, Maity S, Ambatipudi K. J Proteomics. 2022 Aug 19:104696.

  • Milk is a biofluid with various functions, containing carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Owing to its importance and availability of vast proteomics information, our research group designed a database for bovine milk proteins (N = 3159) containing the primary and secondary information called BoMiProt.
  • Due to the gaining interest and intensively published literature in the last three years, BoMiProt has been upgraded with newer identified proteins (N = 7459) from peer-reviewed journals, significantly expanding the database from different milk fractions (e.g., whey, fat globule membranes, and exosomes).
  • Additionally, class, architecture, topology, and homology, structural classification of proteins, known and predicted disorder, predicted transmembrane helices, and structures have been included.
  • Each protein entry in the database is thoroughly cross-referenced, including 1392 BoMiProt defined proteins provided with secondary information, such as protein function, biochemical properties, post-translational modifications, significance in milk, domains, fold, AlphaFold predicted models and crystal structures.
  • The proteome data in the database can be retrieved using several search parameters using protein name, accession IDs, and FASTA sequence. Overall, BoMiProt represents an extensive compilation of newer proteins, including structural, functional, and hierarchical information, to help researchers better understand mammary gland pathophysiology, including their potential application in improving the nutritional quality of dairy products.

Consumer motivations and desired product attributes for 2.0 plant-based products: a conceptual model of consumer insight for market-oriented product development and marketing. Beacom E, Repar L, Bogue J. SN Bus Econ. 2022;2(8):115.

  • The plant-based product (PBP) market sector is rapidly growing, but there is a noted lack of qualitative data examining consumers’ perceptions of these products.
  • This study aimed to examine consumers perceptions and usage of plant-based products and brands to further refine and extend our understanding of the different layers of contemporary plant-based consumption.
  • Online consumer focus groups (n= 6) were used to gather qualitative data from consumers (n = 20) in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
  • Six overarching themes were identified:
    1. Pro-social and moral motivations as most prominent in influencing PBP consumption;
    2. Personal and sociocultural reasons as emerging motivators on PBP consumption;
    3. Brand, ingredients, flavor and price as key attributes;
    4. Natural, unprocessed PBPs as most appealing;
    5. Replicating functional and nutritional properties of animal protein as more important than replicating sensory properties;
    6. Locally produced products and brands as preferred.
  • A conceptual model of consumer insights required for market-oriented PBP development and marketing is produced. This model is consumer led, and confirms and extends/refines knowledge on motivations for consumption, evaluation of product attributes, and market gaps and improvements for a new generation of PBPs.

Nutritional assessment of plant-based beverages in comparison to bovine milk. Smith NW, Dave AC, Hill JP, McNabb WC. Front Nutr. 2022 Aug 8;9:957486.

  • Plant-based beverages (PBB) are often marketed and used by consumers as alternatives to ruminant milks, particularly bovine milk (hereafter referred to as milk). However, much research has established that there is variation in nutritional composition among these products, as well as demonstrating that they are largely not nutritional replacements for milk.
  • A survey of the prices and nutrition labels of PBB available in New Zealand supermarkets was undertaken. Selected almond, coconut, oat, rice, and soy PBB products were then analyzed for nutritional content, including energy, fat, protein, amino acid, bioavailable amino acid, and trace element contents. Finally, the protein and calcium contents of well-mixed and unshaken products were analyzed to ascertain the impact of colloidal stability on nutrient content.
  • All PBB groups were more expensive than milk on average, while their declared nutrient contents on package labels was highly variable within and between groups. Analyses of selected PBB revealed that soy products had the most similar proximate composition to milk, while all other PBB groups contained less than 1.1 g protein per 100 mL on average.
  • Many PBB were fortified with calcium to a similar concentration as that in milk. Shaken and unshaken samples showed divergent protein and calcium content for several PBB products but had no effect on the composition of milk, indicating that the nutrient content of PBB at the point of consumption will be dependent on whether the product has been shaken.
  • Only the soy PBB had comparable amino acid content and bioavailability to milk. Overall, these results demonstrate the diversity in composition and nutritional properties of PBB. Except for calcium-fortified soy PBB, none of the commercially available PBB had nutritional compositions that were broadly comparable to milk.

Plant-based diets and long-term health: findings from the EPIC-Oxford study. Key TJ, Papier K, Tong TYN. Proc Nutr Soc. 2022 May;81(2):190-198.

  • The concept of plant-based diets has become popular due to the purported benefits for both human health and environmental impact. Although ‘plant-based’ is sometimes used to indicate omnivorous diets with a relatively small component of animal foods, here we take it to mean either vegetarian (plant-based plus dairy products and/or eggs) or vegan (100% plant-based).
  • Important characteristics of plant-based diets which would be expected to be beneficial for long-term health are low intakes of saturated fat and high intakes of dietary fibre, whereas potentially deleterious characteristics are the risk of low intakes of some micronutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and iodine, particularly in vegans.
  • Vegetarians and vegans typically have lower BMI, serum LDL cholesterol and blood pressure than comparable regular meat-eaters, as well as lower bone mineral density.
  • Vegetarians in the EPIC-Oxford study have a relatively low risk of IHD, diabetes, diverticular disease, kidney stones, cataracts and possibly some cancers, but a relatively high risk of stroke (principally haemorrhagic stroke) and bone fractures, in comparison with meat-eaters.
  • Vegans in EPIC-Oxford have a lower risk of diabetes, diverticular disease and cataracts and a higher risk of fractures, but there are insufficient data for other conditions to draw conclusions.
  • Overall, the health of people following plant-based diets appears to be generally good, with advantages but also some risks, and the extent to which the risks may be mitigated by optimal food choices, fortification and supplementation is not yet known.