Environmental Management and Sustainability

Effects of environmental and housing system factors on ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from cattle barns: A meta-analysis of a global data collation.Çinar G, Dragoni F, Ammon C, Belik V, van der Weerden TJ, Noble A, Hassouna M, Amon B. Waste Manag. 2023 Dec 1;172:60-70.

  • Agriculture is considered one of the main sources of CH4 and N2O, two high warming potential gases. Animal production produces roughly 37 % and 65 % of global emissions of CH4 and N2O, respectively.
  • This study provides a meta-analysis on the relationships between cattle barn CH4, NH3and N2O emission rates and their key drivers (i.e., housing type, floor type, environmental conditions). Understanding these relationships is essential to reduce uncertainties in emission inventories and suggest targeted mitigation measures.
  • The total number of daily emission rates included in the analysis was 139 for CH4, 293 for NH3and 100 for N2O emissions. Emission rates in the database showed a large variation for CH4, NH3, and N2O emissions. Despite the high emission variability, significant effects were identified.
  • CH4 emission rates were affected by environmental factors only and not by housing and floor type, showing negative correlation with air temperature and humidity.
  • NH3 showed positive correlation with air temperature. NH3 and N2O emission rates from temperate wet zones were lower than the ones from temperate dry zones.
  • NH3emissions differed between housing types but not between floor types. NH3 emissions from tied stalls were lower than the ones from cubicle housing regardless of the floor type. Additionally, NH3 emissions from loose housings were lower than the ones from cubicle housing.
  • Global data analysis shows the need to differentiate emission factors by agro-ecosystems. The factors investigated can be suggested as ancillary variables and descriptors when cattle barn emissions are measured, in order to make best use of emission data.

Soil greenhouse gas flux and nitrogen mineralization following manure application from tannin-fed dairy cows. Romanko CA, Gay JD, Powell JM, Wattiaux M, Barford C, Larson RA, Ruark MD. J Environ Qual. 2023 Dec 6.

  • Growing concerns about environmental impacts of dairy farms have driven producers to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nitrogen (N) losses from soil following land application of dairy manure.
  • Tannin dietary additives have proved to be a successful intervention for mitigating GHG and ammonia (NH3) emissions at the barn scale. However, it is unknown how land application of dairy manure from cows fed tannin diets affects crop-soil nitrogen dynamics and soil GHG flux.
  • To test this, cows were fed diets at three levels of tannins (0.0%, 0.4%, and 1.8% of dry matter intake) and their manure was field applied at two N rates (240 and 360 kg N ha-1). Soil NH4 + -N, NO3  -N, corn silage yield, and soil GHG flux were then measured over a full growing season.
  • Soils amended with tannin manure had lower initial NH4+ -N concentrations and lower total mineral N (NH4 + -N + NO3  -N) concentrations 19 days after application, compared to soils amended with no tannin manures.
  • Despite lower early season N availability in tannin-fertilized plots, there were no differences in corn silage yield. No differences in soil GHG and NH3emissions were observed between manure-amended treatments.
  • These results demonstrate that while tannin addition to dairy cow feed does not offer short-term GHG or NH3emissions reductions after field manure application, it can promote slower soil N mineralization that may reduce reactive N loss after initial application.

Lower nitrate leaching from dairy cattle slurry compared to synthetic fertilizer calcium ammonium nitrate applied to grassland. de Boer HC, van Mullekom M, Smolders AJP. Environ Pollut. 2023 Dec 5:123088.

  • Nitrate leaching from agriculture can be reduced by the choice of fertilizer and a proper timing of its application.
  • For permanent grassland grown under temperate conditions, nitrate leaching was hypothesized to be lower from dairy cattle slurry (CS) compared to synthetic fertilizer calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), based on differences in chemical composition, consequential effects on nitrogen (N) conversion processes in soil, and resulting differences in synchronization of (nitrate) N availability and plant N uptake.
  • Researchers tested the hypothesis in a two-year field experiment on cut grassland on a leaching-sensitive sandy soil, fertilized each year with 320 kg ha-1of plant-available N from either 100% top-dressed CAN or a combination of 40% from CAN and 60% from sod-injected CS, and measured effects on grass herbage yield, herbage N uptake, and nitrate concentration in pore water at 1.0 m depth.
  • These results show a comparable level of herbage N uptake for both treatments, allowing for a proper comparison of nitrate leaching at a similar level of plant-available N. Average nitrate concentration in pore water in the main leaching period (over winter) was after the first ‘dry’ growing season 44% lower for CS + CAN (41 mg l-1) compared to CAN only (73 mg l-1), and after the second ‘wet’ growing season 35% lower for CS + CAN (32 mg l-1) compared to CAN only (49 mg l-1).
  • Nitrogen application increased nitrate concentration at 1.0 m depth not only in winter but also in the growing season. We conclude that for permanent grasslands in temperate regions, nitrate leaching from timely applied CS may be considerably lower than from CAN, which is different from previous assumptions.

Green manuring relocates microbiomes in driving the soil functionality of nitrogen cycling to obtain preferable grain yields in thirty years. Zhou G, Fan K, Gao S, Chang D, Li G, Liang T, Liang H, Li S, Zhang J, Che Z, Cao W. Sci China Life Sci. 2023 Dec 5.

  • Fertilizers are widely used to produce more food, inevitably altering the diversity and composition of soil organisms. The role of soil biodiversity in controlling multiple ecosystem services remains unclear, especially after decades of fertilization.
  • Here, researchers assess the contribution of the soil functionalities of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) cycling to crop production and explore how soil organisms control these functionalities in a 33-year field fertilization experiment.
  • The long-term application of green manure or cow manure produced wheat yields equivalent to those obtained with chemical N, with the former providing higher soil functions and allowing the functionality of N cycling (especially soil N mineralization and biological N fixation) to control wheat production.
  • The keystone phylotypes within the global network rather than the overall microbial community dominated the soil multifunctionality and functionality of C, N, and P cycling across the soil profile (0-100 cm). The research further confirmed that these keystone phylotypes consisted of many metabolic pathways of nutrient cycling and essential microbes involved in organic C mineralization, N2O release, and biological N fixation.
  • The chemical N, green manure, and cow manure resulted in the highest abundances of amoB, nifH, and GH48 genes and Nitrosomonadaceae, Azospirillaceae, and Sphingomonadaceae within the keystone phylotypes, and these microbes were significantly and positively correlated with N2O release, N fixation, and organic C mineralization, respectively.
  • Moreover, these results demonstrated that organic fertilization increased the effects of the network size and keystone phylotypes on the subsoil functions by facilitating the migration of soil microorganisms across the soil profiles and green manure with the highest migration rates.
  • This study highlights the importance of the functionality of N cycling in controlling crop production and keystone phylotypes in regulating soil functions, and provides selectable fertilization strategies for maintaining crop production and soil functions across soil profiles in agricultural ecosystems.

Cattle manure application for 12 and 17 years enhanced depth distribution of soil organic carbon and pore characteristics. Sangotayo AO, Chakraborty P, Xu S, Kumar S, Kovacs P. Sci Rep. 2023 Dec 27;13(1):23042.

  • Long-term fertilizer application in row crops may influence soil pore characteristics, thereby impacting soil aggregation and structure. Therefore, understanding the influences on soil pore characteristics is useful for adopting suitable conservation practices.
  • However, the impact of cattle manure and inorganic fertilizer application at varied rates on soil pore characteristics in the soil profile at a microscale level remains limited.
  • This study quantifies the impacts of manure and inorganic fertilizer amendments under a corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.)-spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotation system on soil pore characteristics using the X-ray computed tomography (XCT).
  • Experiments were performed at Brookings (initiated in 2008) and Beresford (2003) in South Dakota. Treatments included:
    • low manure (LM; 4.4 and 3.3 Mg ha-1)
    • medium manure (MM; 27.4 and 18.7 Mg ha-1)
    • high manure (HM; 54.8 and 37.4 Mg ha-1)
    • medium fertilizer (MF; 136 kg N ha-1, 49 kg P2O5ha-1, and 91.5 kg K2O ha-1)
    • high fertilizer (HF; 204 kg N ha-1, 73.5 kg P2O5ha-1, and 137.3 kg K2O ha-1)
    • control (CK)
  • Four intact soil cores were collected from each treatment at 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm depths.
  • Results showed that the HM treatment increased the SOC by 8-68% compared to the CK and MF at 0-20 cm at the study sites. Both HM and MM treatments increased the macroporosity and mesoporosity in 0-20 cm soil depths at both study sites.
  • Treatment did not always improve soil pore characteristics below 20 cm soil depth. Additionally, a positive correlation was observed between the XCT-derived macroporosity, total number of macropores, and SOC for all the treatments.
  • Therefore, this study encourages the adoption of the XCT technique in quantifying soil pore characteristics and suggests that long-term medium manure application enhances soil structure as compared to an equivalent inorganic fertilizer application.

Full dynamic control of dairy wastewater treatment by aerobic granular sludge using electric conductivity and oxygen uptake rate. De Vleeschauwer F, Dries J. Water Sci Technol. 2023 Dec;88(11):2707-2718.

  • Within the food industry, the dairy sector is one of the largest producers of industrial wastewater. On average, the industry produces 2.5 times more wastewater than dairy products. Biological processes represent a central step in dairy wastewater treatment, which could be further optimized by adopting the novel aerobic granular sludge (AGS) technology
  • AGS relies on the formation of microbial self-immobilized aggregates, resulting in a very compact and dense structure. Therefore, it has better settleability, larger biomass concentration, higher resilience to toxicity, capability to operate at higher organic and shock-loading rates, and the possibility to biodegrade organic carbon and remove nutrients simultaneously, with less sludge production and a lower footprint.
  • The objective of the current study was to determine the applicability of a sensor-based dynamic control strategy for the treatment of real variable dairy wastewater by AGS performing enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR).
  • Two parallel sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were set up that used only an anaerobic feast/aerobic famine microbial selection strategy to successfully obtain sludge granulation. SBR-STA used a fixed cycle length, while the duration of the reaction steps in SBR-DYN was variable. The control strategy was based solely on (derived) signals from low-cost and common sensors.
  • The profile of the electric conductivity during the anaerobic reaction step was related to the microbial release of phosphate (PO4-P) and the associated uptake of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs). Control of the aerobic reaction step was based on the oxygen uptake rate (OUR).
  • This resulted in a dynamic reactor operation with significant efficiency gains, such as 32% shorter cycle times and 42% higher sludge loading rates without impairing the effluent quality.
  • These results extend the existing potential of indirect control strategies to full biological nutrient removal processes, which may be of great assistance to the operators and designers of industrial installations.

Quantitative risk ranking of mycotoxins in milk under climate change scenarios. Chhaya RS, Nag R, Cummins E. Environ Res. 2023 Dec 23;245:117979.

  • Mycotoxins are toxic fungal metabolites that may occur in crops. Mycotoxins may carry-over into bovine milk if bovines ingest mycotoxin-contaminated feed. Due to climate change, there may be a potential increase in the prevalence and concentration of mycotoxins in crops. However, the toxicity to humans and the carry-over rate of mycotoxins from feed to milk from bovines varies considerably.
  • This research aimed to rank emerging and existing mycotoxins under different climate change scenarios based on their occurrence in milk and their toxicity to humans.
  • Mycotoxins were ranked based on their hazard quotient, calculated using estimated daily intake and tolerable daily intake values. Four climate change scenarios were assessed, including an Irish baseline model in addition to best-case, worst-case, and most likely scenarios, corresponding to equivalent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios.
  • This research prioritized aflatoxin B1, zearalenone, and T-2 and HT-2 toxin as potential human health hazards for adults and children compared to other mycotoxins under all scenarios. Relatively lower risks were found to be associated with mycophenolic acid, enniatins, and deoxynivalenol.
  • Overall, the carry-over rate of mycotoxins, the milk consumption, and the concentration of mycotoxins in silage, maize, and wheat were found to be the most sensitive parameters (positively correlated) of this probabilistic model. Though climate change may impact mycotoxin prevalence and concentration in crops, the carry-over rate notably affects the final concentration of mycotoxin in milk to a greater extent.
  • The results obtained in this study facilitate the identification of risk reduction measures to limit mycotoxin contamination of dairy products, considering potential climate change influences.

Animal Health and Food Safety

Music and Tactile Stimuli during Daily Milking Affect the Welfare and Productivity of Dairy Cows. Dos Santos Lemes Lechuga KK, Caldara FR, Braz JM, et al. Animals (Basel). 2023 Nov 27;13(23):3671.

  • Animal health and well-being have become essential criteria for the acceptability of animal-derived products. In dairy cow production, environmental enrichment has become a significant advancement in providing a higher quality of life for these animals, enabling them to cope with the stressful challenges of daily management, as this is one of the production lines that require greater human–animal interaction.
  • The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of tactile stimuli and music during daily milking on the productive, physiological, well-being, and health parameters of dairy cows.
  • The experiment, which lasted 39 days, was conducted on a commercial farm with forty crossbred cows (age: 36 to 42 months; weight: 350 to 400 kg) distributed in a completely randomized design (2 × 2) via the following treatments:
    • (Con)-cows not exposed to stimuli
    • (Tac)-cows exposed to tactile stimuli before milking
    • (Mus)-cows exposed to music during milking
    • (Tac+Mus)-cows exposed to both stimuli.
  • In this study, classical music with a slow (75 to 107 BPM) and moderate tempo (90 to 100 BPM) was played, and tactile stimuli was provided manually using a flexible stick in the posterior region and udders of the cows.
  • Cows not exposed to any of the stimuli had up to 41% higher residual milk quantity compared to those exposed to one of or both of the stimuli. The sound stimulus promoted an increase in milk letdown before the start of milking.
  • Cows exposed to stimuli showed higher serotonin levels, indicating a beneficial effect on animal well-being. However, cows exposed to pre-milking tactile stimuli showed an increase in somatic cell count.
  • Combining both techniques may have positive effects on milk productivity and well-being. However, using music alone may be more recommendable as it does not pose health risks.

Maternally Derived Antibodies to Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Modulate the Antigenic Specificity of Humoral Responses in Vaccinated Cattle. Senawi J, Wilsden G, Browning CFJ, Ludi AB, Ismail MM, Senin H, Gubbins S, King DP, Paton DJ. Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Dec 13;11(12):1844.

  • Vaccination is widely used to control foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), but maternal antibodies may interfere with the response to vaccination in calves.
  • This study, conducted on a regularly vaccinated Malaysian dairy farm, aimed to optimize the vaccination regime by measuring the in vitro neutralizing virus antibody responses of 51 calves before and after vaccination with a one or two dose vaccination regime starting at 2-7 months old.
  • The presence of maternal antibodies was associated with poor post-vaccination antibody responses after a single dose of vaccine in calves less than 6 months old. However, a second dose of vaccine given three weeks later, improved the antibody responses in all ages of calves.
  • This confirms the view that in regularly vaccinated farms, some combination of delay and revaccination is needed to achieve effective immunization of calves.
  • Sera from cows and pre-vaccinated calves neutralized homologous serotype A vaccine virus more strongly than a heterologous serotype A field virus, but this pattern was reversed in some calves after vaccination.
  • The strength of heterologous responses in calves 49 days after first vaccination correlated to the amount of transferred maternal antibody, suggesting that pre-existing antibodies could have modulated the specificity of these active antibody responses. If confirmed, such an effect by pre-existing antibodies could have wider implications for broadening the coverage of FMD vaccine responses.

Factors Influencing Milk Quality and Subclinical Mastitis in Dairy Herds Housed in Compost-Bedded Pack Barn System. Nogara KF, Busanello M, Tavares QG, De Assis JA, Freu G, Dos Santos MV, Vieira FMC, Zopollatto M. Animals (Basel). 2023;13(23):3638.

  • The compost-bedded pack barn (CBPB) system has been increasingly adopted by dairy farms due to its ability to enhance animal comfort and milk production.
  • This study evaluated the associations among bedding characteristics, milk quality and composition, and subclinical mastitis (SCM) occurrence in dairy herds housed in CBPB systems.
  • Over a period of six months, data related to milk quality and udder health and bedding sampling were collected from eight dairy farms. Monthly measurements of the bedding temperature and wind speed inside the CBPB were taken, while temperature and relative humidity data inside the CBPB were recorded using a datalogger.
  • Bedding samples were subjected to analysis of moisture, pH, microbiological count, and carbon/nitrogen ratio. Data on milk composition (fat, protein, milk urea nitrogen, and total solids) and quality (somatic cell count and standard plate count) of bulk tank milk were obtained from DHIA results.
  • The bedding characteristics that most influenced milk composition and quality were moisture, temperature at 30 cm depth (T30), and bedding pH. Environmental variables played an important role in bedding composting, as they were closely related to the surface temperature and pH.
  • Overall, 62.71% of the variation in milk quality and composition could be explained by the bedding variables, and 77.50% of the variation in the bedding variables was associated with environmental variables.
  • Median SCM prevalence and incidence were 28.6 and 13.8%, respectively. An increase of 1 °C for T30 resulted in a 0.6% reduction in the prevalence of SCM. Additionally, the bedding surface temperature at 22.3 °C resulted in the highest incidence of SCM (~18.1%).
  • These results demonstrate the importance of controlling microclimatic conditions in the CBPB to optimize the bedding composting process and milk quality.

Comparative analysis of total protein, casein, lactose, and fat content in milk of cows suffering from subclinical and clinical mastitis caused by Streptococcus spp. Bochniarz M, Błaszczyk P, Dąbrowski R, et al. J Vet Res. 2023 Jun 16;67(2):251-257.

  • Milk is a secretion of the bovine mammary gland with a particularly complex composition. The major part of milk consists of components produced in the lactating cells: casein, part of whey protein (non-casein protein), lactose and fat. These are produced from components supplied with blood to the udder: amino acids, glycerol, fatty acids, glucose and acetates. Other milk constituents directly transfer into the milk from the blood: minerals, vitamins, enzymes, free amino acids and non-protein nitrogenous compounds.
  • The aim of the study was to analyze the total protein, casein, lactose, and fat content of milk from cows with subclinical (SCM) and clinical mastitis (CM) caused by Streptococcus
  • A total of 60 milk samples from diseased cows and 30 milk samples from healthy cows were included in the study. Milk samples were taken from Holstein-Friesian cows from four dairy farms in Lublin Province. The bacteriological examination of the milk was performed, and the somatic cell count. total protein, casein, lactose, fat and fatty acid levels were determined.
  • Total protein in milk from healthy cows was significantly higher than in milk from cows with mastitis (4.04% vs57% in milk from SCM cows and 3.7% in milk from CM cows, P = 0.001). The casein level was 2.73% in milk from CM cows and 2.92% in milk from SCM cows vs3.30% in milk from healthy cows.
  • The changes in casein and total protein in milk resulted in a significant difference in the casein/total protein ratio (81.7% in milk from HE cows vs8% in milk from CM cows).
  • A decrease in levels was also recorded for lactose (4.8% in milk from healthy cows vs51% in milk from SCM cows and 4.01% in milk from CM cows).
  • The fat level was significantly higher in milk from healthy cows than in milk from cows with mastitis (4.0% vs 2.3% in milk from SCM cows and 1.64% in milk from CM cows).
  • In conclusion, it should be emphasized that the decrease in the levels of total protein, lactose and fat was significant not only in milk from CM cows but also in milk from SCM cows. This is very unfavorable, because the reduction in the main milk components results in poor quality dairy products and impairs line processes.

Effect of a dairy farmworker stewardship training program on antimicrobial drug usage in dairy cows. Portillo-Gonzalez R, Garzon A, Pereira RVV, Silva-Del-Rio N, Karle BM, Habing GG. J Dairy Sci. 2023 Dec 4:S0022-0302(23)00822-6.

  • Antimicrobial use (AMU) is critical to preserving animal health and welfare. However, the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents a public health threat. Although most antimicrobials used on the farm require a veterinarian prescription, farmworkers make daily on-farm treatment decisions. Therefore, farmworker training is vital to promote responsible AMU.
  • This research project aimed to evaluate the impact of farmworker antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) training on the quantity of AMU on dairy farms in Ohio and California.
  • Researchers hypothesized that farms receiving AMS training would have reduced AMU in dairy cattle compared with farms where training wasn’t administered.
  • The researchers designed a quasi-experimental study with 18 conventional dairy farms enrolled in Ohio and California. Twelve farms received AMS training and 6 farms did not. AMS program included a 12-week training focused on accurate identification of cows requiring antimicrobial treatment.
  • Disease incidence rate (DIR) in lactating cows was 2.2, 1.5, 1.0, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.03/1,000 cow-days for mastitis, lameness, metritis, pneumonia, retained placenta, diarrheas, and other diseases (e.g., conjunctivitis, injuries), respectively. The highest treatment incidence by antimicrobial class was cephalosporin (5.9), penicillin (5.2), tetracyclines (0.4), lincosamides (0.2), and sulfonamides (0.1 ADD/1,000 cow-days).
  • Among the trained farms using a within-treatment group analysis, no significant differences were observed in treatment incidence pre-intervention (10.9) compared with treatment incidence post-intervention (10.3) ADD/1,000 cow-days.
  • Treatment incidence from the training group was (10.8) and although numerically lower, it was not significantly different compared with treatment incidence in the control groups at (13.9) ADD/1,000 cow-days (rate ratio = 0.77, CIs = 0.25-2.38).
  • Future research on AMS should incorporate farmworker training with social science approaches to overcome barriers and promote on-farm responsible use.

Planned Behavior, Social Networks, and Perceived Risks: Understanding Farmers’ Behavior toward Precision Dairy Technologies. Ahmed H, Ekman L, Lind N. J Dairy Sci. 2023 Dec 13:S0022-0302(23)01216-X.

  • Precision dairy tools (PDTs) can provide timely information on individual cow’s physiological and behavioral parameters, which can lead to more efficient management of the dairy farm. While the economic rationale behind the adoption of PDTs has been extensively discussed in the literature, the socio-psychological aspects related to the adoption of these technologies have received far less attention.
  • Therefore, this paper proposes a socio-psychological model that builds upon the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and develops hypotheses regarding cognitive constructs, their interaction with the farmers’ perceived risks and social networks, and their overall influence on adoption.
  • These hypotheses are tested using a generalized structural equation model for (a) the adoption of automatic milking systems (AMS) on the farms; and (b) the PDTs that are usually adopted with the AMS.
  • Results show that adoption of these technologies is affected directly by intention, and the effects of subjective norms, perceived control, and attitudes on adoption are mediated through intention. A unit increase in perceived control score is associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDTs by 0.05 and 0.19, respectively.
  • Subjective norms are associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDTs by 0.009 and 0.05, respectively. These results suggest that perceived control exerts a stronger influence on adoption of AMS and PDTs, particularly in comparison to their subjective norms.
  • Technology-related social networks are associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDTs by 0.026 and 0.10, respectively. Perceived risks related to AMS and PDTs negatively affect probability of adoption by 0.042 and 0.16, respectively, by having negative impacts on attitudes, perceived self-confidence, and intentions.
  • These results imply that integrating farmers within knowledge-sharing networks, minimizing perceived risks associated with these technologies, and enhancing farmers’ confidence in their ability to use these technologies can significantly enhance uptake.

Human Health and Nutrition

Dairy Intake and Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Villoz F, Filippini T, Chocano-Bedoya PO, et al. Adv Nutr. 2023 Dec 1;15(1):100160.

  • Dairy intake may influence cognition through several molecular pathways. However, epidemiologic studies yield inconsistent results, and no dose-response meta-analysis has been conducted yet.
  • Therefore, researchers performed a systematic review with a dose-response meta-analysis about the association between dairy intake and cognitive decline or incidence of dementia.
  • The researchers investigated prospective studies with a follow-up ≥6 months on cognitive decline or dementia incidence in adults without known chronic conditions through a systematic search of Embase, Medline, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar from inception to 11 July 2023.
  • The researchers identified 15 eligible cohort studies with >300,000 participants and a median follow-up of 11.4 years.
  • The study observed a negative nonlinear association between cognitive decline/dementia incidence and dairy intake as assessed through the quantity of consumption, with the nadir at ∼150 g/d (risk ratio: 0.88). Conversely, it found an almost linear negative association when they considered the frequency of consumption (risk ratio for linear trend: 0.84 for 1 time/day increase of dairy products).
  • Stratified analysis by dairy products showed different shapes of the association with linear inverse relationship for milk intake, whereas possibly nonlinear for cheese. The inverse association was limited to Asian populations characterized by generally lower intake of dairy products, compared with the null association reported by European studies.
  • In conclusion, this study suggests a nonlinear inverse association between dairy intake and cognitive decline or dementia, also depending on dairy types and population characteristics, although the heterogeneity was still high in overall and several subgroup analyses. Additional studies should be performed on this topic, including a wider range of intake and types of dairy products, to confirm a potential preventing role of dairy intake on cognitive decline and identify ideal intake doses.

Dietary eating patterns, dairy consumption, and anxiety: A systematic literature review. Movva N, Reichert H, Hooda N, Bylsma LC, Mitchell M, Cohen SS. PLoS One. 2023 Dec 28;18(12):e0295975.

  • Nutrition affects both physical and mental health but evidence is mixed regarding potential associations between anxiety and diet, particularly dairy consumption.
  • Researchers conducted a systematic literature review of dairy consumption and/or various dietary patterns and risk of anxiety.
  • Literature searches were conducted in PubMed and Embase. All study designs except case reports, small case series, and systematic literature reviews were considered for inclusion. Studies of populations without dairy sensitivities exploring the association between dietary patterns and/or dairy consumption and anxiety published through May 2022 were included.
  • For this review, 132 studies were included; 80 were cross-sectional. Studies examined different dietary patterns (e.g., Mediterranean, gluten-free) and anxiety using various anxiety scales, with 19 studies specifically reporting on whole dairy consumption and anxiety.
  • Dairy consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of anxiety in 7 studies, while the remaining 12 studies showed no significant associations. Evidence was mixed for the association between various dietary patterns and anxiety, but more studies observed a lower risk of anxiety with greater adherence to “healthy” diets (e.g., Mediterranean, diet quality score, vegetarian/vegan) than a higher risk.
  • Notable heterogeneity in study populations, time periods, geographical locations, dietary assessment methods, and anxiety scales was observed.
  • In conclusion, the results of this systematic literature review suggest a potential link between diet including dairy consumption and anxiety, but future studies, especially with longitudinal designs that measure diet and anxiety at several timepoints and comprehensively adjust for confounders, are needed to fully understand the relationship between diet and anxiety.

Whey Protein Supplementation and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Risk Factors: An Umbrella Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Connolly G, Wang Y, Bergia RE, Davis EM, Byers AW, Reed JB, Campbell WW. Curr Dev Nutr. 2023 Oct 14;7(12):102017.

  • Emerging research suggests whey protein (WP) supplementation may modify type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk factors, including glucose control.
  • As systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) gain importance in nutrition literature, the researchers conducted an umbrella systematic review to chronicle published systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses of RCTs pertinent to WP supplementation and T2DM modifiable risk factors
  • Potentially eligible articles were identified via a systematic search of 5 electronic health research databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL [EBSCO], Scopus, and SPORTDiscus [EBSCO]).
  • Thirteen articles, representing 109 unique RCTs, of the 2205 identified articles met the inclusion criteria. Nine articles (69%) were deemed high quality, 2 (15%) moderate quality, and 2 (15%) low quality.
  • Findings from this umbrella review of 13 systematic reviews, including 12 meta-analyses, suggest WP may lower hemoglobin A1c, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and fasting insulin in groups classified as overweight/obese or at risk for or with metabolic syndrome; blood triglycerides in groups classified as overweight/obese or at risk for or with metabolic syndrome; and blood pressure in groups classified as overweight/obese.
  • WP did not differentially affect C-reactive protein, body weight, body mass index, or waist circumference, nor did it adversely affect any T2DM risk factors.
  • Insufficient evidence precluded assessing the influence of WP on glucose control-related outcomes in groups classified at lower risk for T2DM. Information regarding WP dose, duration, or types was insufficient to draw conclusions.
  • Collectively, evidence suggests WP supplementation may improve multiple clinical indicators of glucose control, along with triglycerides and blood pressure, in groups of adults at increased risk of developing T2DM.

Lifetime dairy product consumption and breast cancer risk: a prospective cohort study by tumor subtypes. Riseberg E, Wu Y, Lam WC, Eliassen AH, Wang M, Zhang X, Willett WC, Smith-Warner SA. Am J Clin Nutr. 2023:S0002-9165(23)66289-6.

  • Previous literature on dairy products and risk of breast cancer is inconsistent, and the relationship may depend on the life-period of dietary assessment.
  • Therefore, researchers examined dairy consumption from adolescence through later adulthood and incidence of breast cancer by menopausal status and tumor molecular subtypes in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), a prospective cohort study.
  • The researchers analyzed data from 63,847 females in the NHS collected from 1980 to 2018. Average intake of dairy products during adulthood was assessed by validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires throughout follow-up. Participants recalled adolescent dietary intake in 1986.
  • The researchers documented 5,733 incident cases of invasive breast cancer during 32 years of follow-up (n = 5,298 postmenopausal). Lifetime, adolescent, adulthood, and postmenopausal total dairy and milk intakes were not associated with overall breast cancer risk, although there was a suggestive positive association between adolescent milk intake and breast cancer risk.
  • Higher lifetime and premenopausal cheese intakes were associated with modestly lower risks of breast cancer. Results varied by tumor subtype and some evidence for heterogeneity was observed for an association between premenopausal milk intake and breast cancer (HR for estrogen receptor [ER]-positive: 0.84 and ER-negative: 1.36).
  • In conclusion, these findings suggest that overall dairy consumption was not associated with risk of breast cancer. However, heterogeneity was observed for type of dairy food, period of life, and tumor subtypes.

Graded Replacement of Carbohydrate-Rich Breakfast Products with Dairy Products: Effects on Postprandial Aminoacidemia, Glycemic Control, Bone Metabolism, and Satiety. Hilkens L, Praster F, van Loon LJ, van Dijk JW, et al. J Nutr. 2023 Dec 12:S0022-3166(23)72799-5.

  • Postprandial metabolic responses following dairy consumption have mostly been studied using stand-alone dairy products or milk-derived nutrients.
  • The objective of this study was to assess the impact of ingesting dairy products as part of a common breakfast on postprandial aminoacidemia, glycemic control, markers of bone metabolism, and satiety.
  • In this randomized, crossover study, 20 healthy young males and females consumed on 3 separate occasions an iso-energetic breakfast containing either:
    • no dairy (NO-D)
    • 1 dairy (ONE-D)
    • 2 dairy (TWO-D) products
  • Postprandial concentrations of amino acids, glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and markers of bone formation (P1NP) and resorption (CTX-I) were measured before and up to 300 min after initiating the breakfast, along with VAS-scales to assess satiety.
  • Plasma essential and branched-chained amino acids availability increased in a dose-dependent manner for all breakfasts. Plasma glucose levels were lower in ONE-D and TWO-D compared with NO-D. Plasma GLP-1 increased in a dose-dependent manner, whereas no differences were observed in plasma insulin between conditions.
  • Serum calcium levels were higher in ONE-D and TWO-D compared with NO-D, along with lower PTH in ONE-D and TWO-D compared with NO-D. In accordance, serum CTX-I concentrations were lower in the late postprandial period in ONE-D and TWO-D compared with NO-D.
  • No differences were observed in P1NP levels between conditions. Satiety markers were higher in TWO-D compared with NO-D and ONE-D.
  • In conclusion,iso-energetic replacement of a carbohydrate-rich breakfast component with one serving of dairy improves postprandial amino acid availability, glycemic control, and bone metabolism. Adding a second serving of dairy in lieu of carbohydrates augments postprandial amino acid and GLP-1 concentrations while further promoting satiety.

A dairy-based protein-rich breakfast enhances satiety and cognitive concentration before lunch in young females with overweight to obesity: A randomized controlled cross-over study. Dalgaard LB, Kruse DZ, Norup K, Andersen BV, Hansen M. J Dairy Sci. 2023 Dec 20:S0022-0302(23)02014-3.

  • Ingestion of specific macro- and micronutrients such as dietary protein, dietary fiber, and dietary calcium have been proposed to prevent weight gain or induce weight loss. Findings suggest that breakfast with high protein content has the potential to increase postprandial satiety and decrease energy intake of subsequent meals.
  • The aim of this study was to investigate if consumption of a high-protein low-carbohydrate breakfast (PRO) leads to a lower subsequent ad libitum energy intake at lunch and the rest of the day compared with ingestion of an isocaloric low-protein high-carbohydrate breakfast (CHO) or no breakfast (CON).
  • The study was designed as a randomized controlled 3 period crossover study. Thirty young (18-30 years) females with overweight to obesity (BMI >25 kg/m2) in random order completed 3 separate experimental days, where they consumed either a PRO, CHO, or CON breakfast test meal followed by an ad libitum lunch meal 3 hours after breakfast.
  • Participants were allocated to a sequence group by their inclusion number. PRO and CHO were matched in dietary fiber and fat content. Ratings of appetite sensations between meals and palatability of the test meals were assessed. Blood samples were obtained at multiple time points separated by 10-60 min intervals between breakfast and lunch. Finally, performance in a cognitive concentration test was tested 150 min after breakfast.
  • Compared with CHO and CON, satiety, fullness, and satisfaction in the 3 hours after breakfast were significantly higher after PRO, whereas hunger, desire to eat, and prospective eating were significantly lower after PRO.
  • The appetite-regulating gut hormones cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1, and ghrelin in the hours after breakfast, energy intake during the ad libitum lunch meal, and the total daily energy intake did not differ significantly between PRO, CHO, and CON. However, the cognitive concentration test score was 3.5 percentage points higher for PRO, but not CHO, versus CON.
  • In conclusion, a dairy-based high-protein low-carbohydrate breakfast increased satiety sensation in the hours after breakfast but did not reduce total daily energy intake compared with an isocaloric low-protein high-carbohydrate breakfast or breakfast omitting. However, performance in a cognitive concentration test before lunch was enhanced after the high-protein low-carbohydrate breakfast, but not the low-protein high-carbohydrate breakfast, compared with omitting breakfast.

Association of milk and dairy product consumption with the incidence of cardio-cerebrovascular disease incidence in middle-aged and older Korean adults: a 16-year follow-up of the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. Jeong Y, Lee KW, Kim H, Kim Y.Nutr Res Pract. 2023 Dec;17(6):1225-1237.

  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors constitute one of risk the factors for chronic and cardiovascular diseases, which are prevalent in middle-aged and older populations. Milk and dairy products are high-quality foods and important sources of calcium. Calcium protects against osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
  • Therefore, this study investigated the association of milk and dairy product consumption with cardio-cerebrovascular disease incidence in middle-aged and older Korean adults.
  • A total of 8,009 individuals aged 40-69 years were selected and followed up biennially. Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the association of milk and dairy product consumption with cardio-cerebrovascular disease incidence.
  • During a mean follow-up period of 96.5 person-months, 552 new cases of cardio-cerebrovascular disease were documented. Milk consumers (< 1 serving/day) exhibited a 23% lower risk of cardio-cerebrovascular disease incidence than non-milk consumers.
  • High yogurt consumption was associated with a 29% lower incidence risk (≥ 0.5 servings/day vs. none), whereas high ice cream consumption was associated with a 70% higher risk of cardio-cerebrovascular disease incidence (≥ 0.5 servings/day vs. none).
  • This study indicates that less than one serving of milk and high yogurt consumption are associated with a lower cardio-cerebrovascular disease risk in the middle-aged and older populations.

Changes in gut microbiota and lactose intolerance symptoms before and after daily lactose supplementation in individuals with the lactase non-persistent genotype. JanssenDuijghuijsen L, Looijesteijn E, Geurts J, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2023 Dec 28:S0002-9165(23)66349-X.

  • About 70∼100% of the Asian adult population is lactase non-persistent (LNP). The literature shows that many individuals with the LNP-genotype can consume ≤12g of lactose without experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort. Repetitive consumption of lactose may reduce intolerance symptoms via adaptation of the gut microbiota.
  • This study aimed to assess the effects of daily consumption of incremental lactose doses on microbiota composition and function, and intolerance symptoms.
  • Twenty-five healthy adults of Asian origin, carrying the LNP-genotype were included in this 12-week before-and-after intervention trial. Participants consumed gradually increasing lactose doses from 3 to 6g to 12g twice daily, each daily dose of 6, 12, or 24g being provided for 4 consecutive weeks.
  • Participants handed in repeated stool samples and underwent a 25g lactose challenge hydrogen breath test (HBT) before and after the 12-week intervention. Daily gastrointestinal symptoms and total symptom scores (TSS) during the lactose challenge were recorded.
  • A significant increase was observed in Bifidobacterium relative abundance after the intervention, accompanied by a two-fold increase in fecal β-galactosidase activity compared to baseline. A 1.5-fold decrease in expired hydrogen was observed during the second HBT, compared to the baseline HBT. There was a non-significant decrease in TSS.
  • Daily consumption of lactose was well-tolerated, with mild to no gastrointestinal complaints reported during the intervention. Increased levels of Bifidobacterium indicate an adaptation of the gut microbiota upon repetitive consumption of incremental doses of lactose, which was well-tolerated as demonstrated by reduced expired hydrogen levels during the second 25g lactose HBT.
  • Bifidobacteria metabolize lactose without gas production thereby potentially reducing intestinal gas formation in the gut of individuals with the LNP-genotype. This increased lactose tolerance possibly lifts the necessity to remove nutrient-rich dairy foods completely from the diet.

Plasma Metabolites Related to the Consumption of Different Types of Dairy Products and Their Association with New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes: Analyses in the Fenland and EPIC-Norfolk Studies, United Kingdom. Trichia E, Koulman A, Forouhi NG, et al. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2023 Dec 6:e2300154.

  • Biomarkers for the consumption of total and full-fat dairy products have previously been identified to include odd-chain saturated fatty acids (OCSFAs: pentadecanoate, C15:0; and heptadecanoate, C17:0), and trans-palmitoleate (C16:1n7t). The objective measurement and use of specific biomarkers of different types of dairy consumption could offer a complementary approach to subjective dietary assessment to help further elucidate the link between dairy products and health outcomes.
  • The aim of this study was toidentify metabolites associated with habitual dairy consumption and investigate their associations with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk.
  • Metabolomics assays were conducted in the Fenland (n = 10,281) and EPIC-Norfolk (n = 1,440) studies. Using 82 metabolites assessed in both studies, the researchers developed metabolite scores to classify self-reported consumption of milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and total dairy (Fenland Study-discovery set; n = 6035).
  • Internal and external validity of the scores was evaluated (Fenland-validation set, n = 4246; EPIC-Norfolk, n = 1440). The study assessed associations between each metabolite score and T2D incidence in EPIC-Norfolk (n = 641 cases; 16,350 person-years). The scores classified low and high consumers for all dairy types with internal validity, and milk, butter, and total dairy with external validity.
  • The scores were further associated with lower incident T2D: hazard ratios per standard deviation: milk 0.71; butter 0.62; total dairy 0.66. These associations persisted after adjustment for known dairy-fat biomarkers.
  • Metabolite scores identified habitual consumers of milk, butter, and total dairy products, and were associated with lower T2D risk. These findings hold promise for identifying objective indicators of the physiological response to dairy consumption.

C15:0 and C17:0 partially mediate the association of milk & dairy products with bladder cancer risk. Teng C, Liu Z, Wang J, Shi S, Kang YE, Koo BS, Ren R, Lu W, Shan Y.J Dairy Sci. 2023 Dec 4:S0022-0302(23)00830-5.

  • The relationship between saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and bladder cancer (BC) risk has been conflicting.
  • The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between erythrocyte membrane SFAs and BC risk.
  • A total of 404 participants were enrolled in the study (including 112 cases and 292 controls). The validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was utilized to assess the food intake. The constitutive composition of fatty acids in erythrocyte membrane was measured by gas chromatography (GC).
  • After adjustment for BC risk factors, SFAs had no significant association with BC risk. However, C18:0 was positively linked with BC risk with an OR of 2.99.
  • In contrast, very long chain saturated fatty acids (VLCSFAs), especially C24:0, were negatively related with BC risk (OR = 0.28 for VLCSFAs and OR = 0.33 for C24:0).
  • Higher total odd-SFAs, C15:0 and C17:0 were associated with a lower risk of BC (OR = 0.18, 0.18, and 0.34, respectively). After subgroup analysis, the protective effects C15:0 and C17:0 still remained.
  • Further analysis showed that the combination of C15:0 and C17:0 indexes increased the accurate predictive rate of BC risk. Further mediation effect analysis showed that C15:0 and C17:0 could be used as partial mediation effectors for milk and dairy products and bladder carcinogenesis.
  • In conclusion, the combination of odd-SFAs (C15:0 and C17:0) in the erythrocyte membrane could serve as a reliable mediator and predictor, indicating a relationship between high intake of milk and dairy products and a lower risk of BC.

Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Development and characterization of a novel flavored functional fermented whey-based sports beverage fortified with Spirulina platensis. Elkot WF, Elmahdy A, El-Sawah TH, Alghamdia OA, Alhag SK, Al-Shahari EA, Al-Farga A, Ismail HA. Int J Biol Macromol. 2023 Dec 28:128999.

  • Spirulina platensis, a microalga known for its exceptional nutritional value, especially its bioactive compounds and protein content, holds promise for incorporation into functional food products.
  • Ricotta cheese whey is a byproduct of the production of ricotta cheese that is difficult to use in industries due to its low pH and less favorable processing qualities.
  • This research aimed to create a unique fermented ricotta cheese whey-based beverage supplemented with various Spirulina powder concentrations (0.25 %, 0.5 %, and 0.75 % w/w) cooperated with a mixture of lemon and peppermint juice 10 % and fermented by probiotic (ABT) culture.
  • The physicochemical, rheological, bioactive compounds, microbiological, and sensory properties were evaluated over a storage period of 21 days at cold storage.
  • Spirulina-fermented whey-based beverages with a mixture of lemon and peppermint juice increased the concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and total phenolic compounds in the final product.
  • The count of probiotic bacteria in all fermented beverage samples exceeded 7 log CFU/mL throughout storage, indicating that the fermented beverage kept its probiotic properties. The addition of 0.5 % Spirulina significantly improved the final product’s structural qualities and sensory acceptance.

Preparation and reverse recycling logistics of a new type of nano-filled antibacterial layer packaging film for dairy products.
Li Q, Zhou X, Wu H. Front Chem. 2023 Dec 12;11:1302198.

  • Some dairy packaging has the problem of lax sealing, resulting in products susceptible to contamination and deterioration. The harmful microorganisms and bacteria contained in them can pose a serious threat to people’s health. Therefore, a good antibacterial protection is very important for dairy products.
  • The purpose of this paper is to study the preparation and reverse recycling logistics of a new type of nano-filled antibacterial layer packaging film for dairy products.
  • A new type of nano-filled antibacterial layer packaging film was prepared by extrusion casting method, and its mechanical properties and antibacterial properties were analyzed.
  • The experimental results show that the prepared new nano-filled antibacterial layer packaging film has lower light transmittance and water vapor transmission rate, and has significant antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureusand Escherichia coli.
  • The antibacterial rate of the bacteria in the petri dish is as high as 99.97% after being placed for 120 days, and the antibacterial performance can be enhanced by the ratio of glycerol and starch content, and the new nano-filled antibacterial film prepared is degradable.

Novel roles of bovine milk-derived exosomes in skin antiaging. Lu L, Bai W, Wang M, Han C, Du H, Wang N, Gao M, Li D, Dong F, Ge X. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2023 Dec 17.

  • Exosomes are small vesicles released from cells and are found in various mammalian biological fluids, such as bovine milk, which has been employed in skincare for many years, apart from its dairy applications. In addition, exosomes have been recognized as vehicles for intercellular communication.
  • In this study, researchers aimed to investigate the novel effects of bovine milk-derived exosomes (MK-Exo) on antiaging in human skin.
  • Initially, MK-Exo were co-cultured with keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Subsequently, MK-Exo were topically applied to the facial skin of 31 female volunteers twice daily for 28 days. The functions were evaluated after conducting safety assessments in vivo.
  • Purified MK-Exo demonstrated the ability to be taken up directly by keratinocytes and fibroblasts in vitro, resulting in the upregulation of natural factors associated with skin moisturization, including filaggrin (FLG), aquaporin 3 (AQP3), and CD44 in keratinocytes, as well as hyaluronidase (HAS2) in fibroblasts.
  • Concurrently, MK-Exo promoted fibroblast cell migration and restored the expression of type I and III collagen (Col I and Col III) following exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Furthermore, phototoxicity, photoallergy, repeated skin irritation, skin allergy, and patch tests confirmed the safety of MK-Exo for skin application.
  • These findings unveil the novel contributions of MK-Exo to human skin aging, presenting a new avenue in the field of skincare.

Consumer’s preferences and willingness to pay for immune enhanced dairy products in Canada. Fasakin I, von Massow M. Appetite. 2023 Dec 14:107156.

  • Functional foods are foods that have been fortified with ingredients capable of providing health benefits beyond the basic nutritional functions. Over time, there has been an increased interest towards functional foods and the literature suggest that the perception of disease threat, interest in healthy diet, age, and the mode of delivery of functional ingredients all play key roles in consumer acceptance of functional foods
  • This study examined consumer preferences for, willingness to pay for, and the most preferred mode of delivery for immune enhanced dairy products across Canada.
  • Two sets of choice experiments were designed to evaluate preferences for functional foods and nutraceuticals as the modes of delivery for immune enhanced dairy products. Data (N = 1001) was collected through an online stated preference survey and analyzed using conditional logit model.
  • Results revealed that there is a general consumer interest in immune enhanced dairy products, and consumers place a premium on them. Also, the presence of children below the age of fifteen in a household was a major factor that increased consumer receptivity towards the products.
  • Further results revealed that individuals who usually consume functional foods are less likely to be interested in nutraceuticals, and vice versa, implying that the preferred mode of delivery depended on consumer preferences for either functional foods or nutraceuticals.

Microalgae cultivation for treating agricultural effluent and producing value-added products. Alavianghavanini A, Shayesteh H, Bahri PA, Vadiveloo A, Moheimani NR.Sci Total Environ. 2023 Dec 15;912:169369.

  • Wastewater generated within agricultural sectors such as dairies, piggeries, poultry farms, and cattle meat processing plants is expected to reach 600 million m3yr-1 Currently, the wastewater produced by these industries are primarily treated by aerobic and anaerobic methods.
  • However, the treated effluent maintains a significant concentration of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. On the other hand, the valorization of conventional microalgae biomass into bioproducts with high market value still requires expensive processing pathways such as dewatering and extraction. Consequently, cultivating microalgae using agricultural effluents shows the potential as a future technology for producing value-added products and treated water with low nutrient content.
  • This review explores the feasibility of growing microalgae on agricultural effluents and their ability to remove nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus. In addition to evaluating the market size and value of products from wastewater-grown microalgae, we also analysed their biochemical characteristics including protein, carbohydrate, lipid, and pigment content.
  • Furthermore, the review assesses the costs of both upstream and downstream processing of biomass to gain a comprehensive understanding of the economic potential of the process.
  • The findings from this study are expected to facilitate further techno-economic and feasibility assessments by providing insights into optimized processing pathways and ultimately leading to the reduction of costs.

Valorization of Chlorella thermophila biomass cultivated in dairy wastewater for biopesticide production against bacterial rice blight: a circular biorefinery approach. Mohanty SS, Mohanty K. BMC Plant Biol. 2023 Dec 15;23(1):644.

  • Biopesticides offer a sustainable and efficient alternative to synthetic pesticides, providing a safer and more eco-friendly solution to pest management.
  • The present work proposes an innovative approach that integrates crop protection and wastewater treatment using thermophilic microalgal strain Chlorella thermophila (CT) cultivated in nutrient-rich dairy wastewater as a growth medium.
  • The microalgae was cultivated mixotrophically and was able to reduce both organic carbon as well as nutrient load of the dairy wastewater efficiently. The integrated circular biorefinery approach combines biomass cultivation, extraction of biopesticide compounds, and conversion to biocrude.
  • The antimicrobial activity of the biopesticidal extracts against Xanthomonas oryzae and Pantoea agglomerans, the causative agent of bacterial rice blight, is assessed through in vitro studies.
  • The biomass extract obtained is able to inhibit the growth of both the above-mentioned plant pathogens successfully. Mass spectroscopy analysis indicates the presence of Neophytadiene that has previously been reported for the inhibition of several pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
  • Several other value-added products such as linoleic acid and nervonic acids were also been detected in the microalgal biomass which have extremely high nutraceutical and medicinal values. Furthermore, the study investigates the potential for co-production of biocrude from the biorefinery process via hydrothermal liquefaction.
  • Overall, the findings of this present work represent an innovative and sustainable approach that combines wastewater treatment and crop protection using microalgal biomass.

Bioactive Dairy-Fermented Products and Phenolic Compounds: Together or Apart.Wróblewska B, Kuliga A, Wnorowska K. Molecules. 2023 Dec 14;28(24):8081.

  • Fermented dairy products (e.g., yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk) are significant in the dairy industry. They are less immunoreactive than the raw materials from which they are derived. The attractiveness of these products is based on their bioactivity and properties that induce immune or anti-inflammatory processes.
  • In the search for new solutions, plant raw materials with beneficial effects have been combined to multiply their effects or obtain new properties.
  • Polyphenols (e.g., flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and stilbenes) are present in fruit and vegetables, but also in coffee, tea, or wine. They reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, or inflammation.
  • Hence, it is becoming valuable to combine dairy proteins with polyphenols, of which epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and chlorogenic acid (CGA) show a particular predisposition to bind to milk proteins (e.g., α-lactalbumin β-lactoglobulin, αs1-casein, and κ-casein).
  • Reducing the allergenicity of milk proteins by combining them with polyphenols is an essential issue. As potential ‘metabolic prebiotics’, they also contribute to stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting pathogenic bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract.
  • In silico methods, mainly docking, assess the new structures of conjugates and the consequences of the interactions that are formed between proteins and polyphenols, as well as to predict their action in the body.

A comparison of the bioaccessible calcium supplies of various plant-based products relative to bovine milk. Muleya M, F Bailey E, H Bailey E. Food Res Int. 2024 Jan;175:113795.

  • Calcium deficiency is widespread globally, especially in diets with minimal consumption of dairy. It is therefore important to identify plant-based sources of calcium that can make a meaningful contribution to calcium intakes for populations following diets with a minimum supply of dairy products.
  • The best sources of calcium have a high calcium content and bioavailability. Therefore, we evaluated the gross and bioaccessible calcium supplies of 25 plant-based products from 5 food groups considered to be good and important sources of calcium.
  • Bioaccessible calcium was examined using the INFOGEST static digestion model in which isotopically labelled 43Ca was used as a tracer of reagent calcium to improve accuracy of bioaccessibility measurements.
  • The gross calcium content varied widely amongst all the food products, ranging between 7.48 and 959 mg/100 g fresh weight (fw), with approximately 50 % of the products being equivalent to or surpassing the calcium content of skimmed milk. Bioaccessibility of calcium was equally variable, ranging from about 0.1 – 50 %.
  • The lowest bioaccessibility (<10 %) was found in spinach, plant-based beverages, tofu, dried figs and tahini and was attributed to the high content of oxalate and phytate in some of the products and to the low solubility of tricalcium phosphate which was used for fortification in the plant-based beverages. The remaining products generally had a high bioaccessibility that was similar to, or higher than that of skimmed milk (∼30 %).
  • When both bioaccessibility and recommended serving portions were considered, only 3 products were identified as good sources of calcium, requiring 0.2 – 1.4 servings to equal the bioaccessible supply from skimmed milk. The top three sources of plant-based calcium identified were kale, finger millet and fortified white bread in that order, with kale providing 5 times more bioaccessible calcium than 1 serving of skimmed milk.
  • Moderate sources of calcium where 1.5 – 3 servings was equivalent to 1 serving of skimmed milk included wholemeal bread, some bean varieties (black chickpeas, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas), broccoli, cabbage and almond drink.
  • The rest of the products were either of low calcium content, poor bioaccessibility, and/or not consumed in sufficient quantities to make a significant contribution to daily requirements.
  • Low bioaccessibility of fortified calcium in plant-based beverages, often marketed as good sources of calcium, suggests the need for regulation and for further in vivo studies to validate bioavailability of calcium in these products.