Dairy Research Bulletin: Selected Articles from February 2023

Environmental Management and Sustainability

Co-substrate composition is critical for enrichment of functional key species and for process efficiency during biogas production from cattle manure. Eliasson KA, Singh A, Isaksson S, Schnürer A. Microb Biotechnol. 2023 Feb;16(2):350-371.

  • Cattle manure has a low energy content and high fiber and water content, limiting its value for biogas production. Co-digestion with a more energy-dense material can improve the output, but the co-substrate composition that gives the best results in terms of degree of degradation, gas production and digestate quality has not yet been identified.
  • This study examined the effects of carbohydrate, protein and fat as co-substrates for biogas production from cattle manure.
  • Laboratory-scale semi-continuous mesophilic reactors were operated with manure in mono-digestion or in co-digestion with egg albumin, rapeseed oil, potato starch or a mixture of these, and chemical and microbiological parameters were analyzed.
  • The results showed increased gas yield for all co-digestion reactors, but only the reactor supplemented with rapeseed oil showed synergistic effects on methane yield. The reactor receiving potato starch indicated improved fiber degradation, suggesting a priming effect by the easily accessible carbon. Both these reactors showed increased species richness and enrichment of key microbial species, such as fat-degrading Syntrophomonadaceae and families known to include cellulolytic bacteria.
  • The addition of albumin promoted enrichment of known ammonia-tolerant syntrophic acetate- and potential propionate-degrading bacteria, but still caused slight process inhibition and less efficient overall degradation of organic matter in general, and of cellulose in particular.

Comparison and Evaluation of GHG Emissions during Simulated Thermophilic Composting of Different Municipal and Agricultural Feedstocks. Zeng J, Michel FC Jr, Huang G. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 9;20(4):3002.

  • Composting is widely used to recycle a variety of different organic wastes.
  • In this study, dairy manure, chicken litter, biosolids, yard trimmings and food waste were selected as representative municipal and agricultural feedstocks and composted in simulated thermophilic composting reactors to compare and evaluate the GHG emissions.
  • The results showed that the highest cumulative emissions of CO2, CH4and N2O were observed during yard trimmings composting (659.14 g CO2 kg-1 DM), food waste composting (3308.85 mg CH4 kg-1 DM) and chicken litter composting (1203.92 mg N2O kg-1 DM), respectively.
  • The majority of the carbon was lost in the form of CO2. The highest carbon loss by CO2and CH4 emissions and the highest nitrogen loss by N2O emission occurred in dairy manure (41.41%), food waste (0.55%) and chicken litter composting (3.13%), respectively.
  • The total GHG emission equivalent was highest during food waste composting (365.28 kg CO2-eq ton-1DM) which generated the highest CH4 emission and second highest N2O emissions, followed by chicken litter composting (341.27 kg CO2-eq ton-1 DM), which had the highest N2O emissions.
  • The results indicated that accounting for GHG emissions from composting processes when it is being considered as a sustainable waste management practice was of great importance.

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. 2023 Feb 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.

Potential reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance in livestock waste and treated wastewater that can be disseminated to agricultural land. Ibekwe AM, Bhattacharjee AS, Phan D, Yang CH, et al. Sci Total Environ. 2023 Feb 11:162194.

  • Livestock manure, dairy lagoon effluent, and treated wastewater are known reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and virulence factor genes (VFGs), and their application to agricultural farmland could be a serious public health threat. However, their dissemination to agricultural lands and impact on important geochemical pathways such as the nitrogen (N) cycle have not been jointly explored.
  • In this study, shotgun metagenomic sequencing and analyses were performed to examine the diversity and composition of microbial communities, ARGs, VFGs, and N cycling genes in different livestock manure/lagoon and treated wastewater collected from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and a municipal wastewater treatment plant along the west coast of the United States.
  • Multivariate analysis showed that diversity indices of bacterial taxa from the different microbiomes were not significantly different based on InvSimpson, but differences in ARG mechanisms were observed between swine manure and other microbiome sources.
  • Comparative resistome profiling showed that ARGs in microbiome samples belonged to four core resistance classes: aminoglycosides (40-55 %), tetracyclines (30-45 %), beta-lactam-resistance (20-35 %), macrolides (18-30 %), and >50 % of the VFGs that the 24 microbiomes harbored were phyletically affiliated with two bacteria, Bacteroidetes fragilis and Enterobacter aerogenes.
  • Network analysis based on Spearman correlation showed co-occurrence patterns between several genes such as transporter-gene and regulator, efflux pump and involved-in-polymyxin- resistance, aminoglycoside, beta-lactam, and macrolide with VFGs and bacterial taxa such as Firmicutes, Candidatus Themoplasmatota, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes.
  • Metabolic reconstruction of metagenome-assembled genome (MAGs) analysis showed that the most prevalent drug resistance mechanisms were associated with carbapenem resistance, multidrug resistance (MDR), and efflux pump. Bacteroidales was the main taxa involved in dissimilatory nitrate reduction (DNRA) in dairy lagoon effluent.
  • This study demonstrates that the dissemination of waste from these sources can increase the spread of ARGs, ARB, and VFGs into agricultural lands, negatively impacting both soil and human health.

Animal Health and Food Safety

Disease Occurrence in- and the Transferal of Zoonotic Agents by North American Feedlot Cattle. Koyun OY, Balta I, Corcionivoschi N, Callaway TR. Foods. 2023 Feb 20;12(4):904.

  • North America is a large producer of beef and contains approximately 12% of the world’s cattle inventory. Feedlots are an integral part of modern cattle production in North America, producing a high-quality, wholesome protein food for humans.
  • Cattle, during their final stage, are fed readily digestible high-energy density rations in feedlots.
  • Cattle in feedlots are susceptible to certain zoonotic diseases that impact cattle health, growth performance, and carcass characteristics, as well as human health. Diseases are often transferred amongst pen-mates, but they can also originate from the environment and be spread by vectors or fomites.
  • Pathogen carriage in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle often leads to direct or indirect contamination of foods and the feedlot environment. This leads to the recirculation of these pathogens that have fecal-oral transmission within a feedlot cattle population for an extended time.
  • Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, and Campylobacterare commonly associated with animal-derived foods and can be transferred to humans through several routes such as contact with infected cattle and the consumption of contaminated meat. Brucellosis, anthrax, and leptospirosis, significant but neglected zoonotic diseases with debilitating impacts on human and animal health, are also discussed.

Grape, Pomegranate, Olive, and Tomato By-Products Fed to Dairy Ruminants Improve Milk Fatty Acid Profile without Depressing Milk Production. Correddu F, Caratzu MF, Lunesu MF, Carta S, Pulina G, Nudda A. Foods. 2023 Feb 17;12(4):865.

  • The continuous increase in the cost of feeds and the need to improve the sustainability of animal production require the identification of alternative feeds, such as those derived from the agro-industrial sector, that can be effectively used for animal nutrition. Since these by-products (BP) are sources of bioactive substances, especially polyphenols, they may play an important role as a new resource for improving the nutritional value of animal-derived products, being effective in the modulation of the biohydrogenation process in the rumen, and, hence, in the composition of milk fatty acids (FA).
  • The main objective of this work was to evaluate if the inclusion of BP in the diets of dairy ruminants, as a partial replacement of concentrates, could improve the nutritional quality of dairy products without having negative effects on animal production traits.
  • To meet this goal, researchers summarized the effects of widespread agro-industrial by-products such as grape pomace or grape marc, pomegranate, olive cake, and tomato pomace on milk production, milk composition, and FA profile in dairy cows, sheep, and goats.
  • The results evidenced that substitution of part of the ratio ingredients, mainly concentrates, in general, does not affect milk production and its main components, but at the highest tested doses, it can depress the yield within the range of 10-12%. However, the general positive effect on milk FA profile was evident by using almost all BP at different tested doses.
  • The inclusion of these BP in the ration, from 5% up to 40% of dry matter (DM), did not depress milk yield, fat, or protein production, demonstrating positive features in terms of both economic and environmental sustainability and the reduction of human-animal competition for food.
  • The general improvement of the nutritional quality of milk fat related to the inclusion of these BP in dairy ruminant diets is an important advantage for the commercial promotion of dairy products resulting from the recycling of agro-industrial by-products.

Dairy calves are exposed to isoflavones during the developmentally most sensitive period of their life. Dewulf M, Van Eetvelde M, Wiczkowski W, Opsomer G. Theriogenology. 2023 Feb 10;201:53-58.

  • Isoflavones represent a class of phytoestrogens present in plants. In dairy cows, dietary isoflavones have been shown to negatively affect reproductive performance. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have yet been conducted to determine if calves are pre- or neonatally confronted with isoflavones and their metabolites.
  • In the present study, the researchers whether isoflavones are passed on from the dam to the offspring in utero.
  • To test this hypothesis, twenty-three pregnant Holstein Friesian dams and their calves, originating from three commercial dairy farms in Belgium, were included.
  • Blood and hair samples were obtained from the offspring within 24 hours after parturition. Colostrum samples were collected from a subset of eight dams to determine the concentration of isoflavones and their metabolites.
  • Genistein and daidzein levels were unaffected by diet type, while their metabolite concentrations were significantly higher in the lactation group. Furthermore, metabolite concentrations decreased significantly during gestation. Isoflavones and their metabolites were detected in all colostrum samples.
  • No correlation could be found between levels in colostrum and blood of pregnant dams or calves. Peripheral levels of isoflavones and their metabolites were significantly lower in newborn calves in comparison to their dams.
  • Genistein and daidzein concentrations were found to be significantly higher in the calves’ hair versus blood samples, suggesting prenatal exposure to isoflavones for an extended period of time. In contrast, no isoflavone metabolites were detected in the calves’ hair samples.
  • This is the first study to demonstrate that dairy calves are exposed to isoflavones during the developmentally most sensitive period of their lives. Results obtained pave the way for more extensive research to examine which effects isoflavones might have on developing organ systems like the reproductive system.

Cow characteristics associated with the variation in number of contacts between dairy cows. Hansson I, Silvera A, Ren K, Rönnegård L, et al. J Dairy Sci. 2023 Feb 21:S0022-0302(23)00063-2

  • In modern freestall barns where large groups of cows are housed together, the behavior displayed by herd mates can influence the welfare and production of other individuals.
  • Therefore, understanding social interactions in groups of dairy cows is important to enhance herd management and optimize the outcomes of both animal health and welfare in the future. Many factors can affect the number of social contacts in a group.
  • This study aimed to identify which characteristics of a cow are associated with the number of contacts it has with other group members in 2 different functional areas (feeding and resting area) to increase our understanding of the social behavior of dairy cows.
  • Inside 2 herds housed in freestall barns with around 200 lactating cows each, cow positions were recorded with an ultra-wideband real-time location system collecting all cows’ positions every second over 2 weeks. Using the positioning data of the cows, researchers quantified the number of contacts between them, assuming that cows spending time in proximity to one another (within a distance of 2.5 meters for at least 10 minutes per day) were interacting socially.
  • Researchers documented in which barn areas these interactions occurred and used linear mixed models to investigate if lactation stage, parity, breed, pregnancy status, estrus, udder health, and claw health affect the number of contacts.
  • They found variation in the number of contacts a cow had between individuals in both functional areas. Cows in later lactation had more contacts in the feeding area than cows in early lactation. Furthermore, in one herd, higher parity cows had fewer contacts in the feeding area than first parity cows, and in the other herd, cows in third parity or higher had more contacts in the resting area.
  • This study indicates that cow characteristics such as parity and days in milk are associated with the number of contacts a cow has daily to its herd mates and provides useful information for further research on social interactions of dairy cows.

Human Health and Nutrition

Positive health outcomes associated with live microbe intake from foods, including fermented foods, assessed using NHANES database. Hill C, Tancredi DJ, Cifelli CJ, Slavin JL, Gahche J, Marco ML, Hutkins R, Fulgoni VL 3rd, Merenstein D, Sanders ME.J Nutr. 2023 Feb 21:S0022-3166(23)12622-8.

  • Live dietary microbes have been hypothesized contribute to human health but direct evidence is lacking.
  • The study aimed t0 determine if dietary consumption of live microbes is linked to improved health outcomes.
  • Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2018 were used to assess microbial intake and their adjusted associations with selected physiological parameters (e.g., blood pressure, anthropometric measures, and biomarkers) among adults aged 19+ years.
  • In continuous models, an additional 100g intake of microbe-containing foods was associated with lower systolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein, plasma glucose, plasma insulin, triglycerides, waist circumference, and BMI, and higher HDL cholesterol.
  • In conclusion,this study is the first to quantify, in a nationally representative data set of American adults and using stable sets of covariates in the regression models, the adjusted associations of dietary intakes of live microbes with a variety of outcomes, including anthropometric measures, biomarkers and blood pressure. Our findings suggest that foods with higher microbial concentrations are associated with modest health improvements across a range of outcomes.

Fermented dairy foods consumption and depressive symptoms: A meta-analysis of cohort studies. Luo Y, Li Z, Gu L, Zhang K. PLoS One. 2023 Feb 6;18(2):e0281346.

  • The gut-brain axis has been potentially proposed as a link between the intake of fermented dairy foods and depression. We carried out this meta-analysis on published cohort studies to estimate the overall depression risk of fermented dairy foods intake.
  • Researchers searched the CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) and PubMed databases for all articles within a range of published years from 2010 to 2022 on the association between fermented dairy foods intake and depression.
  • 8 studies met the inclusion criteria for this study, with 83,533 participants.
  • Overall, there was statistical evidence of significantly decreased depression risk was found to be associated with fermented dairy foods intake (OR = 0.89). In subgroup analysis, cheese and yogurt consumptions were significantly associated with decreased depression risk (OR = 0.91) for cheese (OR = 0. 84 for yogurt).
  • This meta-analysis indicated that fermented dairy foods intake may have potential beneficial effect on depression via the gut-brain axis.

Association between Dairy Consumption and Psychological Symptoms: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study of College Students in the Yangtze River Delta Region of China. Zhao Z, Cai R, Zhao Y, Hu Y, Liu J, Wu M. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 13;20(4):3261.

  • A growing number of studies have suggested that healthy eating habits may reduce the risk of developing mental illness. For example, the intake of dairy products (skim milk) in adults was negatively associated with depressive symptoms, whereas whole milk and low-calcium dairy products were positively associated with symptoms of depression and insomnia in adults.
  • Clinical trials conducted in various countries have reported that the consumption of probiotic-containing dairy products or dairy products in general by patients with depression is associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms. However, a prospective analysis of Italian adults found no association between depressive symptoms and dairy intake. This suggests that the relationship between dairy products and mental health warrants further investigation.
  • The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between dairy consumption and psychological symptoms of Chinese college students as a reference for the mental health of Chinese college students.
  • A three-stage stratified whole-group sampling method was used to investigate dairy consumption and psychological symptoms among 5904 (2554 male students, accounting for 43.3% of the sample) college students in the Yangtze River Delta region.
  • The mean age of the subjects was 20.13 ± 1.24 years. Psychological symptoms were surveyed using the Brief Questionnaire for the Assessment of Adolescent Mental Health.
  • Of the students that participated in the study, 1022 (17.31%) had psychological symptoms. The proportions of participants with dairy consumption of ≤2 times/week, 3-5 times/week, and ≥6 times/week were 25.68%, 42.09%, and 32.23%, respectively.
  • Using dairy consumption ≥6 times/week as a reference, the analysis showed that college students with dairy consumption ≤2 times/week were at a 42% higher risk of psychological symptoms.
  • In conclusion,  during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese college students with lower dairy consumption exhibited higher detection rates of psychological symptoms. Dairy consumption was negatively associated with the occurrence of psychological symptoms. This study provides a basis for mental health education and increasing knowledge about nutrition among Chinese college students.

Dairy foods and cardiometabolic diseases: an update and a reassessment of the impact of SFA. Givens DI. Proc Nutr Soc. 2023 Feb 6:1-17.

  • Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and CVD are major causes of mortality and chronic morbidity. Whilst mortality from CVD has decreased they remain the largest cause of death in Europe and the prevalence of T2D is increasing rapidly.
  • A consistent component of public health advice is to reduce intake of SFA to reduce CVD in particular, which implies limiting dairy food consumption.
  • The prospective studies and randomized controlled trials included in this review show that for dairy foods at least, SFA are not consistently associated with CVD or T2D risk. For CVD the association with dairy foods is generally neutral despite dairy foods being the major source of SFA in many diets.
  • This creates considerable doubt, at least for dairy foods, concerning the validity of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis which positively relates SFA intake to increased serum LDL-cholesterol and subsequent increased CVD.
  • There is now emerging evidence to explain this which is highly relevant to dairy foods. These include the potentially counterbalancing effect of SFA-stimulated HDL-cholesterol and specific food matrix factors. In addition, SFA are associated with the less atherogenic large buoyant LDL particles and possible counterbalancing hypotensive effects of dairy proteins.
  • Overall, dairy foods have either a neutral or beneficial association with CVD and T2D. Beneficial associations are seen for blood pressure and the reduced T2D risk linked to yoghurt consumption, a subject that needs urgent attention given the sharp rise in T2D prevalence in many countries.

Maternal yogurt consumption during pregnancy and infantile eczema: a prospective cohort study. Tan T, Xiao D, Yang N, et al. Food Funct. 2023 Feb 21;14(4):1929-1936.

  • Maternal fermented food consumption during pregnancy was suggested to be beneficial for a healthy microbiome, and prevent infantile eczema. However, the association between yogurt and eczema has not been well investigated.
  • To examine whether maternal yogurt consumption during pregnancy is associated with risk of infantile eczema, we performed a prospective mother-offspring cohort study in Wuhan, China.
  • Maternal yogurt consumption in late pregnancy was assessed with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The main outcomes were doctor-diagnosed infantile eczema collected at 3 and 6 months postpartum.
  • Compared to infants whose mothers had not consumed any yogurt, infants with mothers who consumed yogurt during late pregnancy had 46% reduced risk of eczema between 3 and 6 months of age; the reduction was pronounced in those with maternal yogurt intake >3 times per week and >50 g day.
  • Moreover, infants with mothers who consumed yogurt showed a 54% decreased risk for recurrent eczema within the first 6 months.
  • In conclusion, this study found that maternal yogurt consumption during late pregnancy was related to a reduced incidence of eczema in infants aged 3 to 6 months, and recurrent eczema in the first 6 months of life.

Effect of reduced-calcium and high-calcium cheddar cheese consumption on the excretion of faecal fat: a 2-week cross-over dietary intervention study. Feeney EL, Daly A, Gibney ER, et al. Eur J Nutr. 2023 Feb 23.

  • The food matrix effect describes the interaction of the overall food structure and how the nutrients contained within, may differentially impact digestion and absorption. There is growing evidence that total fat, and saturated fat, consumed in different food matrices has different cardiometabolic and other health outcomes.
  • Studies show that dairy fat consumed in the form of cheese reduce LDL-cholesterol concentration (LDL-c) compared to butter and mechanistic suggestions include the calcium content of cheese leading to enhanced fecal fat excretion.
  • The aim of this study was to test the effect of varying the calcium content within a cheese, on faecal fat excretion as a primary outcome, and blood lipid markers, fasting glucose and calcium excretion as secondary outcomes.
  • 7 healthy males (BMI 18-25) participated in this randomized, cross-over control intervention, of 3 × 2 week periods. Diets contained 240 g/day cheese; a High Calcium Cheese (HCC) diet, a Reduced Calcium Cheese (RCC) diet, and a control arm: Reduced Calcium Cheese + CaCO3Supplement (RCC + Supp) diet.
  • Diets differed in calcium content and form but were otherwise controlled for energy and key macronutrients. Blood and 5-day fecal samples were collected.
  • There was no significant difference in fecal fat excretion (g/day) between the diets. Percent fat of fecal excretion was higher after RCC + Supp. None of the individual fatty acids were different.
  • Fasting LDL-c was significantly lower following the HCC diet vs. the other arms. Fecal Ca was different across all diets, lowest after RCC, and greatest after RCC + Supp. No differences were observed for fasting blood parameters or changes in anthropometry.
  • In conclusion,varying the calcium content within a cheese matrix significantly affected fasting LDL-c values. However, the results did not support higher fecal fat excretion as an underlying mechanism for changes in LDL-c values.

Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

UC Davis Vet Med ResearchPerspectives of dairy employees at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of health risks and educational needs. Ferreira FC, Rovai M, Chahine M, de Haro Marti M, Wenz J, Dalton J, Silva-Del-Río N.JDS Commun. 2023 Feb 16.

  • In the midst of this crisis, dairy farmers were responsible for ensuring the safety and health of over 150,000 essential dairy workers, half of them of Latino ethnicity. The high risk of occupational hazards among agricultural workers has been a long-standing issue and has disproportionally affected immigrant workers.
  • The objective of this study was to understand dairy employees’ perceptions and educational needs at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A bilingual (English and Spanish), anonymous survey targeted at dairy employees was circulated nationwide via university and allied industry media outlets. Responses (n = 63) from 11 states were received (May-Sep. 2020).
  • Respondents worked in herds ranging from 50 to 40,000 animals in size. Dairy managers (33%) responded mostly to the English survey (52%), whereas entry-level workers (67%) chose the Spanish format (76%). Survey results highlighted different perspectives, educational needs, and preferred sources of information between English- and Spanish-speaking dairy workers.
  • Overall, 83% of the respondents were somewhat concerned or very concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents (51%) indicated that their main concern was “to bring the virus from work to home and make my family sick.” Most dairy employees (83%) perceived that their employers were somewhat or very concerned about the pandemic.
  • Respondents (65%) indicated that COVID-19 informative training was provided at the workplace, but training was more frequently undertaken among dairy managers (86%) than entry-level workers (53%). Most trainings (72%) were limited to posters on walls.
  • The preferred means of information delivery was through in-person meetings at work (35%), with YouTube (29%) and on-demand videos (27%) as second and third options. The main source of information regarding the pandemic was social media (52%). Frequent handwashing (81%), limiting on-farm visits (70%), limiting agglomeration in break rooms (65%), hand sanitizer use (60%), and social distancing (60%) were the most common safety measures implemented at the workplace among the options given to respondents. Few respondents (38%) indicated that face-covering was required at work.
  • Successful emergency plans on dairies should consider the outreach needs and preferences of dairy workers.

Monitoring the respiratory behavior of multiple cows based on computer vision and deep learning. Wu D, Han M, Song H, Song L, Duan Y. J Dairy Sci. 2023 Feb 14:S0022-0302(23)00051-6.

  • Automatic respiration monitoring of dairy cows in modern farming not only helps to reduce manual labor but also increases the automation of health assessment. It is common for cows to congregate on farms, which poses a challenge for manual observation of cow status because they physically occlude each other.
  • In this study, we propose a method that can monitor the respiratory behavior of multiple cows. Initially, 4,000 manually labeled images were used to fine-tune the YOLACT (You Only Look At CoefficienTs) model for recognition and segmentation of multiple cows.
  • Respiratory behavior in the resting state could better reflect their health status. Then, the specific resting states (lying resting, standing resting) of different cows were identified by fusing the convolutional neural network and bidirectional long and short-term memory algorithms.
  • The test results of 60 videos containing different interference factors indicated that the accuracy of respiratory behavior monitoring of multiple cows in 54 videos was >90.00%, and that of 4 videos was 100.00%.
  • The average accuracy of the proposed method was 93.56%, and the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 3.42 and 3.74, respectively. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the method was analyzed for simultaneous monitoring of respiratory behavior of multiple cows under movement, occlusion disturbance, and behavioral changes.
  • It was feasible to monitor the respiratory behavior of multiple cows based on the proposed algorithm. This study could provide an a priori technical basis for respiratory behavior monitoring and automatic diagnosis of respiratory-related diseases of multiple dairy cows based on biomedical engineering technology. In addition, it may stimulate researchers to develop robots with health-sensing functions that are oriented toward precision livestock farming.

Treatment of severe cow’s milk allergy with omalizumab in an adult. Klein B, Simon JC, Treudler R. Allergol Select. 2023 Feb 3;7:20-24.

  • The therapy of severe food allergy so far consists mainly of allergen abstinence and emergency treatment. The use of anti-IgE antibodies represents a promising therapy.
  • This paper summarizes a case-report of a 22-year-old male with severe cow’s milk allergy with multiple anaphylactic reactions, known since infancy and persisting into adulthood with sometimes severe immediate-type reactions on accidental ingestion. The skin prick test for native whole milk was positive, the CAP-FEIA was also positive for milk protein, mare’s milk, whey, sheep’s milk whey as well as Bos d4, Bos d5, and Bos d8 and blue cheese; total IgE was 1,265 kU/L.
  • The patient’s history included well-controlled bronchial asthma. An off-label therapy with omalizumab (3 × 150 mg/month SC) and cetirizine 10 mg once daily was initiated. Under this therapy, doctors performed a double-blind oral exposure test to cow’s milk in the patient after long term.
  • The testing showed that 14 mL of cow’s milk could be tolerated. However, after consumption of 30 mL of cow’s milk, urticaria, dyspnea, and angioedema occurred.
  • In conclusion, under therapy with omalizumab, an increase of the tolerance to cow’s milk was shown in a 22-year-old male patient with severe cow’s milk allergy. As a consequence, reactions during accidental consumption could be prevented.

The Effects of Dairy and Plant-Based Liquid Components on Lutein Liberation in Spinach Smoothies. Neelissen J, Leanderson P, Jonasson L, Chung RWS.Nutrients. 2023 Feb 2;15(3):779.

  • Lutein is a dietary lipophilic compound with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has previously shown that dairy fat can improve the lutein content in spinach smoothies. It is, however, unclear whether fat concentrations and fermentation status in dairy products affect lutein liberation in smoothies. Moreover, plant-based milks vary in fat, protein, and fiber content which may affect lutein dissolution.
  • This study aimed to provide translatable information to consumers by comparing lutein liberation in spinach smoothies made with different dairy or plant-based liquids in domestic settings. The smoothies were digested in vitro, and liberated lutein was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
  • High-fat and medium-fat cow’s milk, as well as coconut milk with and without additives, were found to significantly improve lutein liberation by 36%, 30%, 25%, and 42%, respectively, compared to blending spinach with water alone.
  • Adjustment models suggested that the effects of cow’s milk and coconut milk were derived from fat and protein, respectively. On the other hand, soymilk with and without additives showed significantly reduced lutein liberation by 40% and 61%, respectively.
  • To summarize, only 4 out of 14 tested liquids increased lutein liberation in spinach smoothies. The results highlight the importance of testing food companions for lipophilic active ingredients.

Probiotic fermented whey-milk beverages: Effect of different probiotic strains on the physicochemical characteristics, biological activity, and bioactive peptides. Rosa LS, Santos ML, Teodoro AJ, et al. Food Res Int. 2023 Feb;164:112396.

  • Probiotic fermented whey-milk beverages may exert antidiabetic and antioxidant properties, but these effects are often dependent on the probiotic strain(s) present in the beverage.
  • Therefore, the effect of probiotic strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus La-03 (La-03); Lactobacillus acidophilus La-05 (La-05); Bifidobacterium Bb-12 (Bb-12) or Lacticaseibacillus casei-01 (L. casei-01)) on the characteristics of fermented whey-milk beverages during storage (4 °C, 30 days) was evaluated.
  • The products were assessed for biological and antioxidant activities, physicochemical characteristics, and bioactive peptides. Probiotic addition increased α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibition and antioxidant activities, mainly at 15 days of storage.
  • casei-01 showed higher metabolic activity (higher titratable acidity and lower pH values) and the presence of anti-hypertensive peptides, while La-3 improved the total phenolic compounds content, and La-5 and Bb-12 showed higher α-glucosidase inhibition, improvements in the high saturated hypercholesterolemic index, and peptides with ACE-inhibitory, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant activities.
  • These findings suggest that probiotic fermented whey-milk beverages may exert antidiabetic and antioxidant properties, being suggested La-5 or Bb-12 as probiotics and 15 days of storage.

Development of Dairy Products Fortified with Plant Extracts: Antioxidant and Phenolic Content Characterization. Kandyliari A, Potsaki P, Koutelidakis AE, et al. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Feb 16;12(2):500.

  • In recent decades, there has been growing interest in the fortification of dairy products with antioxidants and phenolics derived from plant byproducts and herbs.
  • The present study focused on the analysis of dairy products, including kefir, cream cheese, yogurt, and vegan yogurt, enhanced with aqueous extracts of plant byproducts (Citrus aurantiumpeel, Citrus limon peel and Rosa canina seed) and herbs (SideritisHypericum perforatumOriganum dictamnusMentha pulegium L., Melissa oficinallisMentha spicata L. and Lavandula angustifolia) to characterize their antioxidant content, phenolic profile, and organoleptic characteristics.
  • Antioxidant and phenolic content were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays and presented values up to 46.61 mmol Fe2+/L and 82.97 mg gallic acid (GAE)/g, respectively for the aqueous extracts, as well as up to 0.68 mmol Fe2+/L and 2.82 mg GAE/g for the fortified dairy products.
  • The bioavailability of antioxidants and phenolics in fortified foods was determined after in vitro digestion and ranged between 4 and 68%. The phytochemical profile of the aqueous extracts was determined by mass spectrometry, and 162 phytochemicals were determined, from which 128 belong to the polyphenol family including flavonoids and phenolic acids. Furthermore, most of the identified compounds have been recorded to possess enhanced antioxidant capacity in correlation to the in vitro findings.
  • Finally, organoleptic evaluation showed an overall acceptability around 3.0 on a 5-point scale. In conclusion, the studied plants and herbal extracts can be used for the fortification of a variety of dairy products with potential positive effects on human health.

Stakeholder Beliefs about Alternative Proteins: A Systematic Review. Amato M, Riverso R, Palmieri R, Verneau F, La Barbera F. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 6;15(4):837.

  • In recent years, a great deal of research has been conducted on consumers’ attitudes and beliefs in favor and against alternative proteins (AP). By contrast, a much more limited research effort has been devoted to understanding stakeholders’ point of view.
  • The current work provides a first systematic review of the existing literature on stakeholders’ beliefs towards alternative protein sources. Moreover, a secondary content analysis was carried out on the selected studies, providing an overview of the major themes emerging from the existing literature in relation to utilitarian, normative, and control beliefs that stakeholders hold towards AP.
  • Results showed that stakeholders’ beliefs are very different from those that emerged from previous research on consumers’ views.
  • Overall, stakeholders appear much more aware, compared to consumers, of the implications of using alternative proteins in relation to the main pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, social). Stakeholders’ beliefs were grouped into 13 categories, such as “economics”, “consumers”, and “rules”.
  • With respect to future scenarios, they attribute an important role to political institutions, with respect to both economic and communication aspects, which they consider crucial to overcome persistent consumer skepticism.