Environmental Management and Sustainability

Development of a point-source model to improve simulations of manure lagoon interactions with the environment. Rudko N, Muenich RL, Garcia M, Xu T. J Environ Manage. 2023 Jan 1;325(Pt A):116332.

  • In recent decades animal agriculture in the U.S. has moved from small, distributed operations to larger, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). CAFOs are defined by federal regulations based on animal numbers and confinement criteria. Because of the size of these operations, the excessive amount of manure generated is typically stored in lagoons, pits, or barns prior to field application or transport to other farms.
  • Water and air quality near CAFOs can be impaired through the overflow of lagoons, stormwater runoff, lagoon seepage or emissions, motivating the following research question: what manure lagoon parameters impact pollutant fate and transport across multiple mechanisms?
  • To address this question, a CAFO lagoon module was developed to assess lagoon overflow risk, groundwater quality, and ammonia emissions of a dairy lagoon.
  • The results from 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations indicated that lagoon overflow is a rare occurrence for simulated environmental conditions in Washington (3.17%).
  • Second, the researchers developed a groundwater module to complete a groundwater quality assessment of a Dairy Lagoon in Washington using analytical and semi-analytical solutions for groundwater solute transport.
  • The long-term effects of this lagoon on water quality were explored as well as the effectiveness of improving the lagoon lining to reduce seepage. Doubling the lagoon liner thickness attenuated peak groundwater ammonia-N concentrations by 2.8.
  • Lastly, the researchers constructed an air quality module and found that ammonia emissions were not sensitive to changes in lagoon liner construction, but small reductions in lagoon pH significantly reduced yearly average ammonia emissions.
  • The combined model can be used to improve understanding of the impacts of CAFO lagoon overflow and seepage and develop sustainable management practices at the field scale for these key components of the agricultural landscape.

Carbon footprint of dairy manure management chains in response to nutrient recovery by aerobic pre-treatment. Sobhi M, Zheng J, Li B, Gaballah MS, Aboagye D, Guo J, Dong R. J Environ Manage. 2022 Dec 15;328:116975.

  • Aerobic pre-treatment of liquid dairy manure has previously been reported as an effective nutrient export and emissions mitigation approach.
  • The first objective of this study was to experimentally determine the optimal intermittent aeration ratio for nutrient recovery from liquid dairy manure through an on-site pilot-scale reactor to partially reduce the required energy for the aerobic process.
  • The second objective was to theoretically investigate the total carbon footprints of direct manure spreading on croplands and permanent manure storage in open anaerobic lagoons in response to nutrient removal by the optimal determined intermittent aerobic treatment ratio.
  • Four scenarios (S) were included;
  • S1 was the traditional scenario of manure spread on croplands without the aerobic pre-treatment
  • S2 was the modified scenario of manure spread on croplands that included the aerobic pre-treatment
  • S3 was the traditional scenario of manure storage in lagoons
  • S4 was the modified scenario of manure storage in lagoons that included the aerobic pre-treatment
  • The results showed that comparable nutrient removal efficiencies could be obtained with a 5:1 intermittent aeration ratio. Total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) were recovered were 41.5 ± 1.3% and 37.0 ± 4.0%, respectively, in ammonium sulfate and phosphorus-rich sludge, while 55.3 ± 1.4% of the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was removed.
  • The estimated total carbon footprint for S1, S2, S3, and S4 were 24.4, 37.9, 45.3, and 45.9 kg CO2-eqton-1, respectively. However, the total carbon footprint of S2′ and S4′, which used renewable-based energy to run the reactor instead of fossil-based energy used in S2 and S4, were estimated to 29.5 and 37.5 kg CO2-eqton-1, respectively.
  • Clearly, applying the aerobic pre-treatment increased the total carbon footprint of all cases except S4′, in which the total carbon footprint was mitigated by -17.2%. Accordingly, the aerobic pre-treatment is only recommended in the case of S4′ from a carbon footprint point of view although it is an effective nutrient recovery technology.

Effect of air mixing on high-solids anaerobic digestion of cow manure: Performance and mechanism. Li X, Deng L, Li F, Zheng D, Yang H. Bioresour Technol. 2022 Dec 27;370:128545.

  • Mixing is an essential part of anaerobic digestion (AD) process and proper mixing can promote mass and heat transfer, improve degradation and transformation efficiency of organic matter and biogas escape. The main AD mixing modes include biogas mixing, mechanical mixing and hydraulic mixing.
  • This study aimed to further investigate the effect of air mixing on the performance of a high-solids anaerobic digestion system and reveal its underlying mechanisms via analyses of carbon conversion, microbial communities and key functional genes.
  • When the air mixing intensity was 12.5, 37.5 and 62.5 mL/(L‧min), compared with the anaerobic digestion without air mixing, the methane yield was increased by 6 %, 13 % and 6 %, respectively.
  • The improved performance was partly attributed to the increased hydrolysis rate of macromolecular substances by 5 %-16 % and carbon recovery in the form of methane by 6 %-7% compared with the controls.
  • Functional flora (Magnetospirillum, Synergistaceae) and hydrolytic metabolism-related enzymes (cellulose, α-amylase) demonstrated higher abundance under air mixing condition, thus promoting the degradation of organic matter and methane production.
  • This work provides some new insights into the use of air mixing to improve anaerobic digestion of high-solids waste.

Quantifying Antibiotic Distribution in Solid and Liquid Fractions of Manure Using a Two-Step, Multi-Residue Antibiotic Extraction. Poindexter C, Yarberry A, Rice C, Lansing S. Antibiotics (Basel). 2022 Dec 1;11(12):1735.

  • Antibiotic distribution and analysis within liquid and solid fractions of manure are highly variable due to each compound’s respective physiochemical properties.
  • This study developed and evaluated a uniform method extracting 10 antibiotics from 4 antibiotic classes (tetracycline, sulfonamides, macrolides, and β-lactam) from unprocessed manure, solid-liquid separated manure, and composted solids.
  • Through systematic manipulation of previously published liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry methods; this study developed an extraction protocol with optimized recovery efficiencies for varied manure substrates.
  • The method includes a two-step, liquid-solid extraction using 10 mL of 0.1 M EDTA-McIlviane buffer followed by 10 mL of methanol. Antibiotics recoveries from unprocessed manure, separated liquids, separated solids, and heat-treated solids using the two-step extraction method had relative standard deviations < 30% for all but ceftiofur.
  • Total antibiotic recoveries were 67-131% for tetracyclines, 56% for sulfonamide, 49-53% for macrolides, and 1.3-66% for β-lactams.
  • This is the first study to use one protocol to assess four classes of antibiotics in liquid and solid manure fractions. This study allowed for more precise risk assessment of antibiotic transport in manure waste stream applied to fields as a liquid or solid compost.

A meta-analysis of effects of 3-nitrooxypropanol on methane production, yield, and intensity in dairy cattle. Kebreab E, Bannink A, Pressman EM, Walker N, Karagiannis A, van Gastelen S, Dijkstra J. J Dairy Sci. 2022 Dec 6:S0022-0302(22)00710-X.

  • Ruminants, particularly dairy and beef cattle, contribute to climate change through mostly enteric methane emissions. Several mitigating options have been proposed, including the feed additive 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP).
  • The objectives of this study were to explain the variability in the mitigating effect of 3-NOP and to investigate the interaction between diet composition and 3-NOP dose, using meta-analytical approaches.
  • Data from 13 articles (14 experiments) met the selection criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, and 48 treatment means were used for the analysis. Mean differences were calculated as 3-NOP treatment mean minus control treatment mean and then expressed as a percentage of the control mean.
  • Three types of models were developed:
  • (1) one including 3-NOP dose, overall mean, and individual covariate;
  • (2) a combination of neutral detergent fiber (NDF), 3-NOP dose, and overall mean;
  • (3) one selected model from all combinations of up to 5 covariates, which were compared using a leave-one-out cross validation method.
  • Models including only 3-NOP dose resulted in a significant reduction of 32.7%, 30.9%, and 32.6% for CH4 production (g/d), yield (g/kg dry matter intake), and intensity (g/kg energy-corrected milk), respectively, at an average 3-NOP dose of 70.5 mg/kg dry matter (DM). The greater the NDF content in the diet, the lower the reduction efficiency for a given 3-NOP dose.
  • For 10 g/kg DM increase in NDF content from its mean (329 g of NDF/kg of DM) the 3-NOP effect on CH4 production was impaired by 0.633%, the 3-NOP effect on CH4 yield by 0.647%, and the 3-NOP effect on CH4 intensity by 0.723%. The analysis based on leave-one-out cross validation showed an increase in NDF and crude fat content reduces efficacy of 3-NOP and an increase in 3-NOP dose increases efficacy.
  • A 1% (10 g/kg) DM decrease in dietary NDF content from its mean may increase the efficacy of 3-NOP in reducing CH4 production by 0.915%. A 1% (10 g/kg DM) decrease in dietary crude fat content from its mean enhances the efficacy of 3-NOP on CH4 production by 3.080% at a given dose and NDF level.
  • For CH4 yield, next to 3-NOP dose, dietary NDF content and dietary crude fat content were included in the selected model, but also dietary starch content with an opposite direction to NDF and crude fat. The effect of 3-NOP dose on CH4 intensity was similar to its effect on CH4 production, whereas the effect of dietary NDF content was slightly lower.
  • Expanding the previously published models with the newly available data published from trials since then improved model performance, hence demonstrating the value of regularly updating meta-analyses if a wider range of data becomes available.

Animal Health and Food Safety

Animal board invited review: Genomic-based improvement of cattle in response to climate change. Strandén I, Kantanen J, Lidauer MH, Mehtiö T, Negussie E.Animal. 2022 Dec;16(12):100673.

  • Climate change brings challenges to cattle production, such as the need to adapt to new climates and pressure to reduce greenhouse emissions (GHG). In general, the improvement of traits in current breeding goals is favorably correlated with the reduction of GHG.
  • Current breeding goals and tools for increasing cattle production efficiency have reduced GHG. The same amount of production can be achieved by a much smaller number of animals. Genomic selection (GS) may offer a cost-effective way of using an efficient breeding approach, even in low- and middle-income countries.
  • As climate change increases the intensity of heatwaves, adaptation to heat stress leads to lower efficiency of production and, thus, is unfavorable to the goal of reducing GHG. Furthermore, there is evidence that heat stress during cow pregnancy can have many generation-long lowering effects on milk production.
  • Both adaptation and reduction of GHG are among the difficult-to-measure traits for which GS is more efficient and suitable than the traditional non-genomic breeding evaluation approach. Nevertheless, the commonly used within-breed selection may be insufficient to meet the new challenges; thus, cross-breeding based on selecting highly efficient and highly adaptive breeds may be needed.
  • Genomic introgression offers an efficient approach for cross-breeding that is expected to provide high genetic progress with a low rate of inbreeding. However, well-adapted breeds may have a small number of animals, which is a source of concern from a genetic biodiversity point of view. Furthermore, low animal numbers also limit the efficiency of genomic introgression.
  • Sustainable cattle production in countries that have already intensified production is likely to emphasize better health, reproduction, feed efficiency, heat stress and other adaptation traits instead of higher production. This may require the application of innovative technologies for phenotyping and further use of new big data techniques to extract information for breeding.

Post-weaning management of modern dairy cattle genetics for beef production: a review. Jaborek JR, Carvalho PHV, Felix TL. J Anim Sci. 2023 Jan 3;101:skac345.

  • The contribution of dairy steers to the U.S. fed beef supply has increased from 6.9% to 16.3% over the last two decades; in part, due to declining beef cow numbers and the increased use of sexed dairy semen to produce genetically superior replacement heifers from the best dairy cows.
  • Raising dairy cattle for beef production offers unique opportunities and challenges when compared with feeding cattle from beef breeds. Dairy steers offer predictable and uniform finishing cattle performance (ADG, DMI, G:F) as a group and more desirable quality grades on average compared with their beef steer counterparts. However, dairy steers have lesser dressing percentages and yield 2%-12% less red meat compared with beef steers due to a greater ratio of bone to muscle, internal fat, organ size, and gastrointestinal tract weight.
  • In addition, carcasses from dairy steers can present problems in the beef packing industry, with Holstein carcasses being longer and Jersey carcasses being lighter weight than carcasses from beef breeds. Beef × dairy crossbreeding strategies are being implemented on some dairy farms to increase the income generated from dairy bull calves, while beef × dairy crossbreeding strategies can also improve the G:F and red meat yield of beef produced from the U.S. dairy herd.
  • This alternative model of beef production from the dairy herd is not without its challenges and has resulted in variable results thus far. Successful adoption of beef × dairy crossbreeding in the cattle industry will depend on the proper selection of beef sires that excel in calving ease, growth, muscling, and marbling traits to complement the dairy genetics involved in beef production.

Multiclonal human origin and global expansion of an endemic bacterial pathogen of livestock. Yebra G, Harling-Lee JD, Fitzgerald JR, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Dec 13;119(50):e2211217119.

  • Most new pathogens of humans and animals arise via switching events from distinct host species. However, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological drivers of successful host adaptation, expansion, and dissemination are limited.
  • Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen of humans and a leading cause of mastitis in dairy cows worldwide. Herein, researchers trace the evolutionary history of bovine S. aureus using a global dataset of 10,254 S. aureus genomes including 1,896 bovine isolates from 32 countries in 6 continents.
  • The researchers identified 7 major contemporary endemic clones of S. aureus causing bovine mastitis around the world and traced them back to 4 independent host-jump events from humans that occurred up to 2,500 y ago. Individual clones emerged and underwent clonal expansion from the mid-19th to late 20th century coinciding with the commercialization and industrialization of dairy farming, and older lineages have become globally distributed via established cattle trade links.
  • Importantly, researchers identified lineage-dependent differences in the frequency of host transmission events between humans and cows in both directions revealing high risk clones threatening veterinary and human health.
  • Finally, pangenome network analysis revealed that some bovine S. aureus lineages contained distinct sets of bovine-associated genes, consistent with multiple trajectories to host adaptation via gene acquisition.
  • Taken together, we have dissected the evolutionary history of a major endemic pathogen of livestock providing a comprehensive temporal, geographic, and gene-level perspective of its remarkable success.

The association of herd performance indicators with dairy cow longevity: An empirical study. Han R, Mourits M, Steeneveld W, Hogeveen H. PLoS One. 2022 Dec 27;17(12):e0278204.

  • The associations between reproductive performance, milk yield and health status with the risk of culling, and thus with a cow’s longevity, have been well documented at the individual cow level. Associations at individual cow level may, however, not be valid at herd level due to interrelated herd management aspects and/or policy restrictions.
  • The objective of this study was to explore the association of herd performance indicators with herd-level dairy cow longevity under Dutch production conditions.
  • Longevity was expressed by three different measures, viz. age at culling, lifetime milk production of culled cows and culling rate. The evaluated herd performance indicators included factors on milk production, youngstock rearing, reproduction and health performance as registered on 10,719 Dutch commercial dairy herds during the period 2007-2016.
  • Averaged over herds and the evaluated period, the age of culled milking cows was 2 139 days (5.8 years, SD±298 days), the lifetime milk production of culled cows was 31,238 kg (SD±7,494 kg), and the culling rate was 0.24 (SD±0.08). A mixed linear regression modelling approach was applied to evaluate the association of each of the three longevity measures with the selected herd performance indicators.
  • The results indicated that only four herd performance indictors (herd size, herd expansion, heifer ratio and the proportion of cows with potential subclinical ketosis) shared significant associations with all three longevity variables. Generally, the strength of the associations between each of the evaluated longevity measures and herd performance indicators was only limited.
  • The absence of strong associations between the longevity measures and herd performance indicators reveal that there is potential of extending cattle longevity without affecting the herd performance in terms of milk production, reproduction and health.
  • Moreover, only part of the observed variance in longevity among the herds over time was explained by the herd performance variables, indicating that differences in longevity at herd level may predominantly be determined by other factors, like farmers’ attitude and strategic management.

Persistent Organic Pollutants and Fatty Acid Profile in a Typical Cheese from Extensive Farms: First Assessment of Human Exposure by Dietary Intake. Giosuè C, D’Agostino F, Maniaci G, Avellone G, Sciortino M, De Caro V, Bonanno A, Ponte M, Alabiso M, Di Grigoli A. Animals (Basel). 2022 Dec 9;12(24):3476.

  • Dairy products represent an important source of beneficial substances for humans. At the same time, they can expose the consumers to environmental contaminants ingested by animals through their diet, influencing their health negatively.
  • This experiment aims to evaluate the risk and benefits related to the consumption of typical stretched cheeses, considering their fatty acid (FA) profile and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) content.
  • Six representative farms, two of them organic, raising Cinisara cattle were selected, considering the typical extensive management systems, based on feeding of natural pasture integrated with concentrate and hay depending on the availability of forage on pastures. A total of 18 cheeses produced in winter, spring and summer with bulk milk of each farm were sampled and analyzed.
  • The chemical composition of cheeses was influenced by farm management, and the FA profile mainly by the season. In particular, cheeses made in spring showed a healthier FA profile with the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), of omega3-PUFA and omega6/omega3 ratio pair to 7.29%, 1.44% and 1.32, respectively, while in winter 5.44%, 0.98% and 2.55, respectively, and in summer 4.77% 0.49% and 3.04, respectively.
  • Due to high levels of feeding integration, cheese made in winter presented unhealthier characteristics compared to the cheeses made in spring and summer, showing high levels of saturated FA (66.2%, 64.2% and 65.5%, respectively), and large contents of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (57.07 ng/g fat, 36.25 ng/g fat and 10.22 ng/g fat, respectively).
  • Winter cheeses also had higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (36.19 ng/g fat, 4.68 ng/g fat and 3.73 ng/g fat, respectively), mainly in cheeses from non-organic farms. Levels of PCBs considered to be hazardous to human health were found in nine samples.

Human Health and Nutrition

Consumption of Dairy Products and the Risk of Overweight or Obesity, Hypertension, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Cohort Studies. Feng Y, Zhao Y, Zhang M, et al. Adv Nutr. 2022 Dec 22;13(6):2165-2179.

  • Dairy products have been suggested to be related to the prevention of overweight or obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). These associations are currently controversial, however, and a systematic quantitative meta-analysis is lacking.
  • In this study, researchers examined the associations between dairy products and the risk of overweight or obesity, hypertension, and T2DM and tested for dose-response relations.
  • Cohort studies were included if dairy food consumption was reported at a minimum of 3 levels or as continuous variables, and the associations were assessed with overweight or obesity, hypertension, and T2DM. Among the 9,887 articles retrieved, 42 articles were included.
  • For overweight or obesity, a linear association was observed for total dairy, milk, and yogurt. The risk decreased by 25%, 7%, and 12% per 200-g/d increase for total dairy, high-fat dairy, and milk, respectively, and by 13% per 50-g/d increment of yogurt.
  • For hypertension, a nonlinear association was observed with total dairy, whereas significant inverse associations were found for low-fat dairy (RR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.90, 0.98) and milk (RR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.92, 0.97) per 200-g/d intake increase.
  • For T2DM, all types of dairy food consumption except for milk and low-fat dairy products showed nonlinear associations, with total dairy and yogurt intake associated with 3% and 7% lower risk per 200-g/d and 50-g/d intake increase, respectively.
  • In conclusion, this study suggests that total dairy is associated with a low risk of overweight or obesity, hypertension, and T2DM, especially milk and yogurt for overweight or obesity, low-fat dairy and milk for hypertension, and yogurt for T2DM.

Saturated fat from dairy sources is associated with lower cardiometabolic risk in the Framingham Offspring Study. Yuan M, Singer MR, Pickering RT, Moore LL. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Dec 19;116(6):1682-1692.

  • Current dietary guidance recommends limiting intakes of saturated fats, but most fails to consider that saturated fats from different food sources may have different health effects.
  • Therefore, researchers aimed to evaluate the associations of saturated fats from dairy and nondairy sources with measures of body fat, inflammatory biomarkers, lipid concentrations, and lipid particle sizes and concentrations.
  • The Framingham Offspring Study is a prospective cohort study. Participants (n = 2,391) ≥30 years of age who had dietary records and data on the outcomes of interest were included.
  • Among females, those in the highest quintile (compared with the lowest) of dairy-derived saturated fat had lower multivariable-adjusted levels of body fat [BMI (in kg/m2): 26.2 compared with 27.8, and percentage fat mass: 36.7% compared with 38.0%, and larger LDL particle sizes.
  • Nondairy saturated fat in females was inversely associated with the triglyceride (TG):HDL ratio. Among males, intakes of dairy-derived saturated fats were inversely associated with C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, TGs, and the TG:HDL ratio. HDL cholesterol was 2.8 mg/dL higher among males in the highest (compared with the lowest) quintile of saturated fat from dairy sources.
  • Males with the highest intakes of dairy-derived saturated fats had larger HDL and LDL particle sizes, a higher HDL particle concentration, and a lower VLDL particle concentration. There were no statistically significant adverse effects of saturated fats from nondairy sources on any of these outcomes in either males or females.
  • In conclusion, males with higher intakes of dairy-derived saturated fats had a less atherogenic profile than males with lower intakes of these fats. These effects were weaker in females. Nondairy saturated fats were not associated with these cardiometabolic outcomes.

Orally Ingested Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics as Countermeasures for Respiratory Tract Infections in Nonelderly Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Coleman JL, Hatch-McChesney A, Karl JP, et al. Adv Nutr. 2022 Dec 22;13(6):2277-2295.

  • The impact of gut microbiota-targeted interventions on the incidence, duration, and severity of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in nonelderly adults, and factors moderating any such effects, are unclear.
  • This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the effects of orally ingested probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics compared with placebo on RTI incidence, duration, and severity in nonelderly adults, and to identify potential sources of heterogeneity.
  • English-language, peer-reviewed publications of randomized, placebo-controlled studies that tested an orally ingested probiotic, prebiotic, or synbiotic intervention of any dose for ≥1 week in adults aged 18-65 years were included.
  • Forty-two manuscripts reporting effects of probiotics (n = 38), prebiotics (n = 2), synbiotics (n = 1) or multiple -biotic types (n = 1) were identified (n = 9,179 subjects).
  • Probiotics reduced the risk of experiencing ≥1 RTI (relative risk = 0.91), and total days (rate ratio = 0.77), duration (Hedges’ g = -0.23), and severity (Hedges’ g = -0.16) of RTIs. Effects were relatively consistent across different strain combinations, doses, and durations, although reductions in RTI duration were larger with fermented dairy as the delivery matrix, and beneficial effects of probiotics were not observed in physically active populations.
  • In conclusion, orally ingested probiotics, relative to placebo, modestly reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of RTIs in nonelderly adults. Physical activity and dairy delivery matrix may moderate some of these effects. Whether prebiotic and synbiotic interventions confer similar protection remains unclear due to few relevant studies.

Adequacy of total usual micronutrient intakes among pregnant women in the United States by level of dairy consumption, NHANES 2003-2016. Higgins KA, Bi X, Davis BJ, Barraj LM, Scrafford CG, Murphy MM. Nutr Health. 2022 Dec;28(4):621-631

  • Dairy products are a rich source of nutrients of public health concern, though most women do not meet the recommended intake of 3 cup-eq/day.
  • The objective of this analysis was to examine micronutrient adequacy among pregnant women in the US by level of dairy consumption.
  • Pregnant women (n = 791) ages 20-44 years in NHANES 2003-2016 were categorized by level of dairy consumption (<1, 1 to <2, 2 to <3, and ≥3 cup-eq/day). Usual micronutrient intakes and prevalence of intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or above the Adequate Intake level (AI) were calculated from food alone and food plus dietary supplements using the National Cancer Institute method. Diet quality was assessed with the Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015).
  • Pregnant women consuming ≥3 cup-eq/day of dairy were more likely to meet the potassium AI than women consuming lower levels.
  • Compared to women consuming ≥3 cup-eq/day of dairy, women consuming <1 or 1 to <2 cup-eq/day were more likely to have inadequate intake of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin A from foods plus supplements.
  • Compared to women consuming ≥3 cup-eq/day of dairy, women consuming <1 cup-eq/day were more likely to have inadequate intake of calcium and riboflavin.
  • The median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) among pregnant women consuming ≥3 cup-eq/day of dairy was 220 ng/mL compared with median UICs of 98-135 mg/mL among women consuming the lowest levels.
  • Pregnant women consuming ≥3 cup-eq/day of dairy had the highest intake of sodium (mg/day) and saturated fat intake evaluated as a HEI-2015 component.
  • In conclusion, consumption of recommended levels of dairy products may help pregnant women achieve adequate intakes of select micronutrients.

Does maternal fermented dairy products consumption protect against from cow’s milk protein allergy in toddlers? Koksal ZG, Uysal P, Mercan A, Bese SA, Erge D.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2022 Dec 20:S1081-1206(22)02007-5.

  • Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is the most common immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy in childhood.
  • To investigate the potential impact on the disease of the frequency, amount, and diversity of maternal consumption of fermented dairy products during pregnancy and lactation in children with IgE-mediated CMPA.
  • One hundred and sixty toddlers (80 with physician-diagnosed CMPA and 80 healthy controls) and their mothers participated in this case-control study. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire and were compared between the two groups.
  • The most commonly consumed fermented dairy products were cheese, yogurt, and tarhana. The amounts of maternal yogurt, tarhana, and kefir consumed during pregnancy as well as yogurt and tarhana consumption during lactation were lower in toddlers with CMPA. The frequency of maternal consumption frequency of yogurt, cheese, and tarhana during lactation and the diversity of fermented dairy products were also lower in toddlers with CMPA. At multivariate logistic regression analysis, maternal weight gain during pregnancy (odds ratio [OR]:1.11), maternal age (OR:1.20), and gestational age at birth (OR:1.23) increased the odds of the baby having CMPA. The diversity of fermented dairy products consumed during lactation was protective against CMPA (OR:0.439).
  • In conclusion, weekly maternal consumption of fermented dairy products was low during pregnancy and lactation in toddlers with CMPA. While the diversity of fermented dairy products consumed during lactation may reduce the risk of CMPA, this effect was not observed during pregnancy.

Relationship between dairy product intake and sense of coherence among middle and high school students in Japan. Yoshiko K, Nagano K, Hu C, Furuyashiki T. PLoS One. 2022 Dec 20;17(12):e0279232.

  • Despite the growing attention toward the effects of dairy intake on stress and mental health, its relationship to psychological constructs that affect mental health remains poorly understood.
  • Therefore, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study (Study 1) and a longitudinal study (Study 2) to examine the association between food intake and stress resilience in Japanese middle and high school students.
  • In Study 1, 865 participants (412 males and 453 females) completed the questionnaires. In Study 2, 109 students (51 males and 58 females) participated each year from 2016 to 2018. Dietary intake was assessed using a brief self-administered diet history questionnaire. Stress resilience was evaluated using a 13-item sense of coherence questionnaire.
  • Study 1 revealed that only dairy product intake positively correlated with sense of coherence and other food intake indicated no significant relationship.
  • Study 2 indicated that augmented dairy product intake was positively associated with sense of coherence.
  • Among all foods, only dairy products were associated with sense of coherence in adolescents. Although the association was weak, the longitudinal study confirmed that dairy consumption was associated with sense of coherence.

Habitual dairy consumption is inversely associated with depressive and social anxiety symptoms among children and adolescents aged 7-17 years: Findings from a cross-sectional study in Beijing, China. Liu J, Chen M, Dong Y, et al. J Affect Disord. 2022 Dec 15;319:309-317.

  • Knowledge remains limited about dairy consumption and childhood depression and social anxiety.
  • The purpose of this study was to better understand the associations between dairy intake and childhood depression and anxiety in Chinese youth.
  • A cross-sectional study including children and adolescents aged 7-17 years was conducted in 2020 in Beijing. Depression and social anxiety were assessed using the Children’s Depression Inventory and the social anxiety scale for children. Habitual dairy consumption was defined as ≥6 days/week.
  • A total of 1,353 participants were included, with a mean age of 9-15 years old. There were 53.58 % habitual dairy consumers and nearly 11.01 % consumed of ≤1 day/week. The prevalence of depression and social anxiety was 14.04 % and 29.64 %. Compared to participants with less dairy intake, the scores of depression and social anxiety in habitual dairy consumers decreased by 1.725 (95 % CI: -2.939, -0.512) and 1.083 (95 % CI: -1.821, -0.345).
  • Correspondingly, habitual dairy consumption was inversely correlated with depression (OR = 0.602) and social anxiety (OR = 0.622). Such inverse associations were more pronounced in younger participants, those without siblings, with higher parental education, and higher consumption of fruits or vegetables.
  • In conclusion, habitual dairy consumption is inversely associated with childhood depression and social anxiety. A potential attempt could be implemented when recommending dairy products as an adjuvant therapy for childhood mental disorders.

The effects of 9 months of formulated whole-egg or milk powder food products as meal or snack replacements on executive function in preadolescents: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. O’Connor PJ, Chen X, Lewis RD, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Dec 19;116(6):1663-1671.

  • Elevated brain choline is associated with better executive functions in preadolescents. Manipulating dietary choline prospectively in preadolescents using egg supplementation could improve executive functions via effects on brain cellular and neurotransmitter functions.
  • Researchers tested the 9-month impacts of egg supplementation on executive functions. It was hypothesized that preadolescents who consumed meal or snack replacement products containing powder made from whole eggs would have the largest improvements in executive functions after 9 months compared to those consuming similar products with either added milk powder or gelatin as a placebo.
  • A randomized, parallel-group, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial design was used. The executive functions of 122 preadolescents (58 females) aged 9-13 were analyzed before and after the 9-month intervention. The primary outcomes were 3 NIH Toolbox-Cognitive Battery measures of executive function: mental flexibility, working memory, and selective attention and inhibitory control.
  • Participants were randomized to consume iso-caloric food products with either:
  • 1) whole egg powder
  • 2) milk powder
  • 3) gelatin as a placebo
  • A statistically significant group × time interaction for selective attention and inhibitory control was found (P = 0.049) for the milk group. This interaction resulted from no change for the placebo group and an improvement in selective attention and inhibitory control performance for the milk group by a T-score of 5.8. Other comparisons were statistically insignificant.
  • In conclusion, the consumption of foods with added milk powder as a replacement for snacks or meals for 9 months improves selective attention and inhibitory control in preadolescents. Replacement of foods with added whole egg powder does not impact 9-month changes in preadolescent executive functions.

Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Exploring the role of green and Industry 4.0 technologies in achieving sustainable development goals in food sectors. Hassoun A, Prieto MA, Carpena M, Bouzembrak Y, Marvin HJP, Pallarés N, Barba FJ, Punia Bangar S, Chaudhary V, Ibrahim S, Bono G. Food Res Int. 2022 Dec;162(Pt B):112068. 

  • In recent years, the rapid increase in the global population, the challenges associated with climate change, and the emergence of new pandemics have all become major threats to food security worldwide. Consequently, innovative solutions are urgently needed to address the current challenges and enhance food sustainability.
  • Green technologies have gained significant attention for many food applications, while the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) are reshaping different production and consumption sectors, such as food and agriculture.
  • In this review, a general overview of green and Industry 4.0 technologies from a food perspective will be provided. Connections between green food technologies (e.g., green preservation, processing, extraction, and analysis) and Industry 4.0 enablers (e.g., artificial intelligence, big data, smart sensors, robotics, blockchain, and the Internet of Things) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be identified and explained. Green and Industry 4.0 technologies are both rapidly becoming a valuable part of meeting the SDGs.
  • These technologies demonstrate high potential to foster ecological and digital transitions of food systems, delivering societal, economic, and environmental outcomes. A range of green technologies has already provided innovative solutions for major food system transformations, while the application of digital technologies and other Industry 4.0 technological innovations is still limited in the food sector.
  • It is therefore expected that more green and digital solutions will be adopted in the coming years, harnessing their full potential to achieve a healthier, smarter, more sustainable and more resilient food future.

Swarming Magnetic Microrobots for Pathogen Isolation from Milk.
Mayorga-Martinez CC, Castoralova M, Zelenka J, Ruml T, Pumera M. Small. 2022 Dec 7:e2205047.

  • Bovine mastitis produced by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes major problems in milk production due to the staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by this bacterium. These enterotoxins are stable and cannot be eradicated easily by common hygienic procedures once they are formed in dairy products.
  • Here, magnetic microrobots (MagRobots) are developed based on paramagnetic hybrid microstructures loaded with IgG from rabbit serum that can bind and isolate
  • aureus from milk in a concentration of 3.42 104CFU g-1(allowable minimum level established by the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA). Protein A, which is present on the cell wall of S. aureus, selectively binds IgG from rabbit serum and loads the bacteria onto the surface of the MagRobots.
  • The selective isolation of S. aureus is confirmed using a mixed suspension of S. aureus and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Moreover, this fuel-free system based on magnetic robots does not affect the natural milk microbiota or add any toxic compound resulting from fuel catalysis.
  • This system can be used to isolate and transport efficiently S. aureus and discriminate it from nontarget bacteria for subsequent identification. Finally, this system can be scaled up for industrial use in food production.

In Vitro and In Vivo Antihypertensive Effect of Milk Fermented with Different Strains of Common Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria. Glazunova OA, Moiseenko KV, Savinova OS, Fedorova TV. Nutrients. 2022 Dec 16;14(24):5357.

  • Currently, functional dairy products pave a promising way for the prophylaxis of essential hypertension, and the search for new strains capable of producing such products is a constant challenge for scientists around the world.
  • In this study, the antihypertensive properties of milk fermented with several strains of traditional yogurt starters (Lactobacillus delbrueckii strains Lb100 and Lb200; Lactococcus lactis strains dlA, AM1 and MA1; Streptococcus thermophilus strains 159 and 16t) and one strain of non-conventional probiotic starter (Lacticaseibacillus paracasei ABK) were assessed.
  • The in vitro assessment using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition assay was performed for all fermentation products, and the best performed products were tested in vivo using Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) animal model.
  • In addition, for the best performed products the fatty acid (FA) composition and FA-related nutritional indices were determined. As a result, the milk fermented with two strains (Lb. delbrueckii LB100 and Lc. lactis AM1) demonstrated significant antihypertensive effect during both in vitro and in vivo experiments.
  • Moreover, the milk fermented with Lb. delbrueckii Lb100 demonstrated significantly better FA-related nutritional indexes and lowered total cholesterol in SHRs upon regular consumption. The obtained results can be used in the future to develop new starter cultures producing effective functional antihypertensive dairy products.

Antifungal cultures and metabolites of lactic acid bacteria for use in dairy fermentations. Liang N, Zhao Z, Curtis JM, Gänzle MG. Int J Food Microbiol. 2022 Dec 16;383:109938. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2022.109938.

  • Fungal spoilage limits the shelf life of fermented dairy products.
  • To address the problem, this study explores the potential of lactic acid bacteria as antifungal adjunct cultures in dairy matrices. 113 Strains of lactic acid bacteria representing 19 species were screened for their activity against Penicillium caseifulvum, Aspergillus clavatus and Mucor racemosus in modified MRS medium, milk, and yogurt.
  • Strains of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, Furfurilactobacillus milii, and Lentilactobacillus parabuchneri inhibited the growth of mycelial fungi. The inhibitory effects of lactic acid bacteria against yeasts were also determined in yogurt with Candida sakeSaccharomyces bayanus, and Torulaspora delbrueckii as challenge strains.
  • The inhibition of yeasts by lactic acid bacteria was strain-specific and unrelated to the activity towards mycelial fungi.
  • Organic acids and hydroxy fatty acids were quantified by liquid chromatograph coupled with refractive index detector and tandem mass spectrometry, respectively.
  • Principal component analysis indicated 10-OH 18: 1 fatty acids and acetate are the main antifungal metabolites and explained over 50 % of the antifungal activity. The correlation analysis of metabolites and mold-free shelf life of milk and yogurt confirmed the role of these compounds.
  • The genomic study analyzed genes related to the production of major antifungal metabolites and predicted the formation of 1,2-propanediol and acetate but not of hydroxy unsaturated fatty acids.
  • The findings provide new perspectives on the selection of antifungal strains, the characterization of antifungal metabolites and the exploration of antifungal mechanisms among different species.

A Scoping Review of the Environmental Impacts and Nutrient Composition of Plant-Based Milks. Berardy AJ, Rubín-García M, Sabaté J. Adv Nutr. 2022 Dec 22;13(6):2559-2572.

  • Dairy milk is a ubiquitous nutrient-dense beverage and ingredient, especially in Western diets. However, consumers are increasingly seeking alternatives to dairy, called plant-based milks (PBMs), to avoid allergens, pursue a plant-based diet, or reduce their environmental impacts. The base ingredients used in PBMs have a wide range of environmental impacts, which may translate to substantial variation across the impacts associated with PBMs themselves.
  • To assess the state of the literature on this topic, researchers performed a scoping review of the environmental impacts of PBMs, following the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for scoping reviews.
  • Recent growth in the variety of PBMs available means that there is unlikely yet enough data for conclusive statements regarding environmental impacts of all PBM types, which makes this topic appropriate for a scoping review.
  • The search found 20 studies covering 6 types of PBMs, but the literature does not examine many other types of PBMs. All studies examined use the life cycle assessment methodology.
  • The most data regarding environmental impacts were available for soy- and almond-based milks, and the most common impact quantified was greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers also examined the nutrient composition of PBMs compared with dairy using data from the USDA.
  • PBMs attempt to replicate the organoleptic properties of dairy but often do not exactly match the nutrient profile of dairy.
  • The researchers identified a need for the application of a standardized methodology to facilitate more comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts of the wide variety of PBMs available, which are presented as environmentally preferable to dairy.