Dairy Research Bulletin
Key research affecting the dairy industry and consumers, publications from January 2022

Environmental Management and Sustainability

Animal board invited review: Specializing and intensifying cattle production for better efficiency and less global warming: contrasting results for milk and meat co-production at different scales. Faverdin P, Guyomard H, Puillet L, Forslund A. Animal. 2022 Jan 4;16(1):100431.

  • Cattle are the world’s largest consumers of plant biomass. Digestion of this biomass by ruminants generates high methane emissions that affect global warming. In the last decades, the specialization of cattle breeds and livestock systems towards either milk or meat has increased the milk production of dairy cows and the carcass weight of slaughtered cattle.
  • At the animal level and farm level, improved animal performance decreases feed use and greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk or carcass weight, mainly through a dilution of maintenance requirements per unit of product. However, increasing milk production per dairy cow reduces meat production from the dairy sector, as there are fewer dairy cows. Therefore, more beef cows are then required if one wants to maintain the same meat production level at country scale.
  • Meat produced from the dairy herd has a better feed efficiency (less feed required per kg of carcass weight) and emits less methane than the meat produced by the cow-calf systems, because the intake of lactating cows is largely for milk production and marginally for meat, whereas the intake of beef cows is entirely for meat. Consequently, the benefits of breed specialization assessed at the animal level and farm level may not hold when milk and meat productions are considered together.
  • At the world scale, a broad diversity in feed efficiencies of cattle products is observed. Where both productions of milk per dairy cow and meat per head of cattle are low, the relationship between milk and meat efficiencies is positive. Improved management practices (feed, reproduction, health) increase the feed efficiency of both products. Where milk and meat productivities are high, a trade-off between feed efficiencies of milk and meat can be observed in relation to the share of meat produced in either the dairy sector or the beef sector.
  • As a result, in developing countries, increasing productivities of both dairy and beef cattle herds will increase milk and meat efficiencies, reduce land use and decrease methane emissions. In other regions of the world, increasing meat production from young animals produced by dairy cows is probably a better option to reduce feed use for an unchanged milk-to-meat production ratio.

Fungal and ciliate protozoa are the main rumen microbes associated with methane emissions in dairy cattle. López-García A, Saborío-Montero A, González-Recio O, et al. Gigascience. 2022 Jan 25;11:giab088.

  • Mitigating the effects of global warming has become the main challenge for humanity in recent decades. Livestock farming contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, with an important output of methane from enteric fermentation processes, mostly in ruminants.
  • Because ruminal microbiota is directly involved in digestive fermentation processes and methane biosynthesis, understanding the ecological relationships between rumen microorganisms and their active metabolic pathways is essential for reducing emissions.
  • This study analyzed the whole rumen metagenome to disentangle the role of rumen microbes in methane emissions.
  • The β-diversity analysis results showed a subtle association between methane production and overall microbiota composition. Differential abundance analysis identified 36 genera and 279 KEGGs as significantly associated with methane production.
  • Those genera associated with high methane production were Eukaryota from Alveolata and Fungi clades, while Bacteria were associated with low methane emissions. The genus-level association network showed 2 clusters grouping Eukaryota and Bacteria, respectively. Regarding microbial gene functions, 41 KEGGs were found to be differentially abundant between low- and high-emission animals and were mainly involved in metabolic pathways. No KEGGs included in the methane metabolism pathway (ko00680) were detected as associated with high methane emissions.
  • The KEGG network showed 3 clusters grouping KEGGs associated with high emissions, low emissions, and not differentially abundant in either. A deeper analysis of the differentially abundant KEGGs revealed that genes related with anaerobic respiration through nitrate degradation were more abundant in low-emission animals.
  • In conclusion, methane emissions are largely associated with the relative abundance of ciliates and fungi. The role of nitrate electron acceptors can be particularly important because this respiration mechanism directly competes with methanogenesis. Nutritional and genetic strategies to reduce CH4 emissions should focus on reducing the relative abundance of Alveolata and Fungi in the rumen.

Synergistic effects of 3-nitrooxypropanol with fumarate in the regulation of propionate formation and methanogenesis in dairy cows in vitro. Liu Z, Wang K, Nan X, Cai M, Yang L, Xiong B, Zhao Y. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2022 Jan 26:AEM0190821.

  • Methane produced by ruminants during digestion not only aggravates the greenhouse effect, but also causes a waste of feed energy. As a methane inhibitor, 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) can effectively reduce methane emission from ruminants. But it also causes a drastic increase in hydrogen accumulation, resulting in a feed energy waste. Fumarate is a key precursor for propionate formation and plays an important role in rumen hydrogen metabolism.
  • Therefore, this study examined the effects of 3-NOP combined with fumarate on volatile fatty acids, methanogenesis and microbial community structures in dairy cows in vitro .
  • The in vitro culture experiment was performed using a 2 × 2 factorial design: two 3-NOP levels (0 or 2 mg/g dry matter) and two fumarate levels (0 or 100 mg/g dry matter). Rumen fluid was collected from three lactating Holstein cows with permanent ruminal fistulas.
  • The combination of 3-NOP and fumarate reduced methane emission by 11.48% without affecting dry matter degradability. Propionate concentration increased and acetate/propionate ratio decreased significantly.
  • In terms of bacteria, the combination of 3-NOP and fumarate reduced the abundance of Ruminococcus and Lachnospiraceae _NK3A20_group and increased the abundance of Prevotella and Succiniclasticum. For archaea, the combination of 3-NOP and fumarate significantly increased the abundance of Methanobrevibacter_sp._AbM4, while the abundance of OTU581 (belongs to strain uncultured_rumen_methanogen_g__ Methanobrevibacter) was significantly decreased.
  • These results indicated that the combination of 3-NOP with fumarate could alleviate the accumulation of hydrogen and enhance the inhibition of methanogenesis compared with 3-NOP only in dairy cows.

Opinion paper: Livestock is at the heart of interacting levers to reduce feed-food competition in agroecological food systems. Barbieri P, Dumont B, Benoit M, Nesme T. Animal. 2022 Jan 7;16(2):100436.

  • The future of the livestock sector is critical due to its significant contributions to global warming, water and air pollution, biodiversity loss, as well as ethical considerations on animal welfare.
  • Beyond the evidence that a decrease in livestock production can limit its environmental footprint, livestock also plays a positive role in most agroecosystems and in feeding the world population.
  • Along with the production of meat and milk, pasture-based systems provide a number of ecosystem services. Livestock help closing nutrient cycles at the farm and landscape level and can support crop productivity through the provision of manure in crop-livestock areas.
  • Livestock farming generates crucial incomes at household level in developing countries and animal products provide essential amino acids and micronutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, calcium, iron, and zinc.
  • Overall, animal products contribute to 18% of global calories and 25% of global protein consumption. However, this contribution, quite variable among world regions, requires using about one-third of world arable land for feed production.

Water in the West: Trends, production efficiency, and a call for open data. Schumacher BL, Yost MA, Burchfield EK, Allen N. J Environ Manage. 2022 Jan 13;306:114330.

  • Climate change is projected to transform US agriculture, particularly in places reliant on limited irrigation water resources. As water demand and scarcity increase simultaneously over the coming decades, water managers and growers will need to optimize water use on their irrigated lands.
  • Understanding how growers maintain high yields in arid, water stressed places, while conserving water, is of key importance for the future of US agriculture in the West.
  • In this paper, researchers explore water use management and trends in irrigated agriculture in the Western US using operator-level USDA-NASS Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey/Irrigation and Water Management Survey data aggregated for the first time to the county-scale.
  • In this exploration, the researchers build the first county-level, openly accessible dataset linking farm(er) characteristics to irrigation behaviors in the West. The results showed notable spatial and temporal variability in Western irrigation practices, with neighboring counties exhibiting large differences in efficiency, water use, and crop yields, as well as in the sources of information, scheduling methods, and technological improvements employed.
  • To produce effective management initiatives in the West, the researchers call for the express and open dissemination of USDA irrigation data at sub-state scales. These data will contribute to the understanding of irrigated production and could support a pathway that will prepare growers for a more resilient agricultural future.

Animal Health and Food Safety

Association of Common Zoonotic Pathogens with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Guo Y, Ryan U, Feng Y, Xiao L. Front Microbiol. 2022 Jan 10;12:810142.

  • Animal farming has intensified significantly in recent decades, with the emergence of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in industrialized nations. The congregation of susceptible animals in CAFOs can lead to heavy environmental contamination with pathogens, promoting the emergence of hyper-transmissible, and virulent pathogens.
  • As a result, CAFOs have been associated with emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, hepatitis E virus, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Streptococcus suis, livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Cryptosporidium parvum in farm animals.
  • This has led to increased transmission of zoonotic pathogens in humans and changes in disease patterns in general communities. They are exemplified by the common occurrence of outbreaks of illnesses through direct and indirect contact with farm animals, and wide occurrence of similar serotypes or subtypes in both humans and farm animals in industrialized nations.
  • Therefore, control measures should be developed to slow down the dispersal of zoonotic pathogens associated with CAFOs and prevent the emergence of new pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential.

Quantification of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic in dairy manure. Wang Y, Pandey P, Chiu C, Jeannotte R, Kuppu S, Zhang R, Pereira R, Weimer BC, Nitin N, Aly SS. PeerJ;9:e12408.

  • Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are considered to be emerging environmental contaminants of concern potentially posing risks to human and animal health.
  • This study is focused on investigating prevalence of ARGs in California dairy farm manure under current common different manure management.
  • A total of 33 manure samples were collected from multiple manure treatment conditions:
    • flushed manure (FM)
    • fresh pile (FP)
    • compost pile (CP)
    • primary lagoon (PL)
    • secondary lagoon (SL).
  • After DNA extraction, all fecal samples were screened by PCR for the presence of eight ARGs: four sulfonamide ARGs, two tetracycline ARGs, and two macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B ARGs. Samples were also screened for two mobile genetic elements (MGEs) which are responsible for dissemination of ARGs.
  • The results showed that liquid-solid separation, piling, and lagoon conditions had limited effects on reducing ARGs and MGEs, and the effect was only found significant for one tetracycline ARG.
  • This research indicated current different manure management practices in California dairy farms has limited effects on reducing ARGs and MGEs. Improvement of different manure management in dairy farms is thus important to mitigate dissemination of ARGs into the environment.

Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Dairy Calf Exposure, United States, 2015-2018. Nichols M, Gollarza L, Sockett D, Klos R, et al. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2022 Jan 6.

  • In August 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg infections in people who reported contact with dairy calves. Federal and state partners investigated this to identify the source and scope of the outbreak and to prevent further illnesses.
  • Cases were defined as human Salmonella Heidelberg infection caused by a strain that had one of seven pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns or was related by whole genome sequencing, with illness onset from January 1, 2015, through July 2, 2018.
  • Patient exposure and calf purchase information was collected and analyzed; calves were traced back from the point of purchase.
  • Sixty-eight patients from 17 states were identified. Forty (63%) of 64 patients noted cattle contact before illness. Thirteen (33%) of 40 patients with exposure to calves reported that calves were sick or had died. Seven individuals purchased calves from a single Wisconsin livestock market. One hundred forty cattle from 14 states were infected with the outbreak strain.
  • Whole genome sequencing indicated that human, cattle, and environmental isolates from the livestock market were genetically closely related. Most isolates (88%) had resistance or reduced susceptibility to antibiotics (≥5 antibiotic classes). This resistance profile included first-line antibiotic treatments for patients with severe salmonellosis, including ampicillin, ceftriaxone, and ciprofloxacin.
  • In this outbreak, MDR Salmonella Heidelberg likely spread from sick calves to humans, emphasizing the importance of illness surveillance in animal populations to prevent future spillover of this zoonotic disease.

Contamination of hay and haylage with enteric bacteria and selected antibiotic resistance genes following fertilization with dairy manure or biosolids. Scott A, Murray R, Tien YC, Topp E. Can J Microbiol. 2022 Jan 12.

  • Many large dairy operations use antibiotics (primarily β-lactams and tetracyclines) to manage bacterial diseases in dairy cattle. Antibiotic residues, antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) can be found in dairy manure and may contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance (AR).
  • The present study evaluated if enteric bacteria or antibiotic resistance genes carried in fecal amendments contaminate the hay at harvest, representing a potential route of exposure to ruminants that consume the hay.
  • In field experiments, dairy manure was applied to a hay field for three successive growing seasons, and biosolids applied to a hay field for one growing season.
  • Key findings include the following: At harvest, hay receiving dairy manure or biosolids did not carry more viable enteric bacteria than did hay from unamended control plots. Fermentation of hay did not result in a detectable increase in viable enteric bacteria. The application of dairy manure or biosolids did result in a few gene targets being more abundant on hay at the first harvest.
  • Fermentation of hay did result in an increase in the abundance of gene targets, but this occurred both with hay from amended and control plots. Overall, application of fecal amendments will result in an increase in the abundance of some gene targets associated with antibiotic resistance on first cut hay.

Bacteriophages: Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Food-Borne Bacteria Prevalent in Agriculture. Au A, Lee H, Ye T, Dave U, Rahman A. Microorganisms;10(1):46.

  • Through recent decades, the subtherapeutic use of antibiotics within agriculture has led to the widespread development of antimicrobial resistance. This problem not only impacts the productivity and sustainability of current agriculture but also has the potential to transfer antimicrobial resistance to human pathogens via the food supply chain.
  • An increasingly popular alternative to antibiotics is bacteriophages to control bacterial diseases. Their unique bactericidal properties make them an ideal alternative to antibiotics, as many countries begin to restrict the usage of antibiotics in agriculture.
  • This review analyses recent evidence from within the past decade on the efficacy of phage therapy on common foodborne pathogens, namely, Escherica coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., and Campylobacter jejuni.
  • This paper highlights the benefits and challenges of phage therapy and reveals the potential for phages to control bacterial populations both in food processing and livestock and the possibility for phages to replace subtherapeutic usage of antibiotics in the agriculture sector.

Deltamethrin Application on Pre-Weaned Calves Improves Feed Consumption, Stress and Fatigue Status under Heat Stress Conditions. Arsenopoulos KV, Triantafillou E, Gelasakis AI, Papadopoulos E. Pathogens. 2022 Jan 11;11(1):85.

  • Fly infestation remains a universal problem for dairy cattle herds, affecting the animals’ health and welfare status. Pre-weaned dairy calves are significantly challenged by the direct and indirect consequences of severe fly infestation, heat-stress and their interaction, which contribute to a stressful and fatiguing environment.
  • Among several physiological, behavioral, clinical and biochemical traits, serum cortisol and creatine kinase levels, as well as feed consumption can be used as valid indicators of potential stressful and fatiguing conditions and, therefore, can be efficiently used for stress analysis studies.
  • Hence, the objective of the study was to assess the fly-repellency effect of deltamethrin on pre-weaned dairy calves exposed to heat stress conditions, as well as its association with serum cortisol, creatine kinase concentrations and feed consumption.
  • Two commercial dairy cattle herds of the Holstein breed in Central Macedonia (Greece) were involved in the study during summer months and under heat stress conditions.
  • Deltamethrin administration resulted in (i) a decreased fly population (100% Musca domestica) landing on pre-weaned dairy calves, (ii) a reduced serum cortisol (stress indicator) and creatine kinase (fatigue indicator) concentration, and (iii) an increased consumption of feedstuff in deltamethrin treated animals compared to the untreated ones.
  • In conclusion, Deltamethrin treatment was associated with a noticeable decrease in the number of Musca domestica flies, which was also the unique fly species landing on these animals under extreme hot weather conditions. The fly repellency effect of deltamethrin significantly reduced the serum cortisol and creatine kinase concentrations in treated pre-weaned dairy calves compared to the untreated ones, contributing to a more welfare-friendly environment for these animals.

Human Nutrition and Health

Dairy product consumption and risk of cancer: a short report from the NutriNet-Sante prospective cohort study. Deschasaux-Tanguy M, Barrubés Piñol L, Salas Salvadó J, Touvier M, et al. Int J Cancer. 2022 Jan 18.

  • The impact of dairy product consumption for long-term health remains unclear, in particular regarding their involvement in cancer etiology for frequent locations like breast or prostate. Besides, little is known about potentially different effects of dairy product subtypes.
  • The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate the associations between dairy product consumption (total and subtypes) and cancer risk.
  • A total of 101,279 participants from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort study were included (78.7% women; mean age=42.2 years).
  • Dairy product consumption was assessed using validated web-based 24-hour dietary records.
  • After a median follow-up time of 5.9 years, the researchers documented 2,503 incident cancer cases (783 breast, 323 prostate, and 182 colorectal cancers).
  • Total dairy product consumption was not significantly associated with cancer. However, the consumption of “fromage blanc” (a French type of quark/cottage cheese) was associated with an increased risk of cancer overall (HR for 1 serving increment =1.11) and of colorectal cancer (HR=1.39).
  • Besides, sugary dairy dessert consumption was directly associated with colorectal cancer risk (HR for 1 serving increment=1.58). No association was observed between the consumption of dairy products or sugary dairy desserts and the risk of prostate and breast cancers.
  • In this study, the consumption of dairy products was not associated with the risk of overall, colorectal, breast or prostate cancers. The consumption of “fromage blanc” and sugary dairy desserts were associated to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, but this warrants further investigations.

The Association between Consumption of Dairy-Originated Digestion Resistant and Bioactive Peptides and Breast Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study. Jabbari M, Barati M, Shabani M, Mousavi Khaneghah A, et al. Nutr Cancer. 2022 Jan 20:1-10.

  • Bioactive peptides content of dairy products is suggested to be a significant ingredient for reducing breast cancer risk. There is no observational study regarding the correlation between bioactive peptides and the risk of chronic disease because bioactive peptides’ content of food items has not been evaluated in any study.
  • The goal of the current study was to assess the association of dairy-originated bioactive peptides with breast cancer risk.
  • One hundred thirty-four women with breast cancer and 267 cancer-free controls were selected from referral hospitals in Tehran, Iran. The development of an in-silico model for estimation of the bioactive and digestion-resistant peptides content of dairy products was used from previous research. The risk assessment for bioactive peptides and breast cancer association was performed across the tertiles of the peptide’s intake. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated by logistic regression.
  • The inverse association of all bioactive and digestion-resistant peptides except for peptides with high hydrophilicity and low bioactivity was seen in all models. In progesterone receptor (PR)-negative subjects only the association of total dairy intake (OR: 0.61), peptides with low bioactivity (OR: 0.40), antidiabetic peptides (OR: 0.42) and di-peptides (OR: 0.42) were not significant in the final model.
  • Also, no significant association between Estrogen Receptor (ER)-negative subjects and total dairy intake (OR: 0.41) was noted. These findings suggest that milk-derived bioactive peptides inversely associate with the risk of ER/PR/HER2 negative breast cancer among Iranian women.

Dietary fat and fatty acids in relation to risk of colorectal cancer. Wan Y, Wu K, Wang L, Yin K, Song M, Giovannucci EL, Willett WC. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Jan 20.

  • Epidemiologic evidence for specific types and sources of dietary fat and individual fatty acid with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk remains inconclusive.
  • This research aimed to comprehensively examine the associations of intakes of specific types (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans) and sources (animal, dairy, and vegetable) of dietary fat and individual fatty acid with CRC risk.
  • The researchers prospectively followed 65,550 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1986-2014) and 45,684 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2014). Dietary intake was assessed every 4 years using food frequency questionnaires. Self-reported CRC cases were confirmed through medical record review.
  • During 2,705,560 person-years of follow-up, 2726 incident CRC cases were confirmed. Intake of monounsaturated fat tended to be positively associated with the risk of CRC (HR = 1.22). This positive association was mainly driven by monounsaturated fatty acids from animal sources (MUFA-As) (HR = 1.23).
  • The positive association between MUFA-As and CRC was attenuated after adjusting for red and processed meat consumption (HR = 1.17). The researchers did not find clear associations between other types and sources of dietary fat or individual fatty acid and CRC risk.
  • In conclusion, higher intake of MUFA-As was associated with higher CRC risk. This could be partly explained by confounding due to other components of red and processed meat.

Dairy Intake and Parkinson’s Disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study. Domenighetti C, Sugier PE, Ashok Kumar Sreelatha A, Sharma M, Elbaz A et al; Comprehensive Unbiased Risk Factor Assessment for Genetics and Environment in Parkinson’s Disease (Courage-PD) Consortium. Mov Disord. 2022 Jan 8.

  • Previous prospective studies highlighted dairy intake as a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease, particularly in men. It is unclear whether this association is causal or explained by reverse causation or confounding.
  • The aim is to examine the association between genetically predicted dairy intake and Parkinson’s disease using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR).
  • The researchers genotyped a well-established instrumental variable for dairy intake located in the lactase gene (rs4988235) within the Courage-PD consortium (23 studies; 9823 patients and 8376 controls of European ancestry).
  • Based on a dominant model, there was an association between genetic predisposition toward higher dairy intake and Parkinson’s disease (odds ratio [OR] per one serving per day = 1.70) that was restricted to men (OR = 2.50).
  • Using Mendelian randomization, these findings provide further support for a causal relationship between dairy intake and higher Parkinson’s disease risk, not biased by confounding or reverse causation. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

Cheese Ingestion Increases Muscle Protein Synthesis Rates Both at Rest and During Recovery from Exercise in Healthy, Young Males: A Randomized Parallel-group Trial. Hermans WJH, Fuchs CJ, Hendriks FK, Houben LHP, Senden JM, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJC. J Nutr. 2022 Jan 10:nxac007.

  • Protein ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis rates. The food matrix in which protein is provided can strongly modulate the postprandial muscle protein synthetic response. So far, the muscle protein synthetic response to the ingestion of whole foods remains largely unexplored.
  • The objective of this study was to compare the impact of ingesting 30g protein provided as milk protein or cheese on postprandial plasma amino acid concentrations and muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and during recovery from exercise in vivo in young males.
  • In this randomized, parallel-group intervention trial, twenty healthy, 18-35 years old males ingested 30g protein provided as cheese or milk protein concentrate following a single-legged resistance-type exercise session consisting of 12 sets of leg press and leg extension exercise.
  • The results showed that plasma total amino acid concentrations increased after protein ingestion, with 38% higher peak concentrations following milk protein than cheese ingestion. Muscle protein synthesis rates increased following both cheese and milk protein ingestion from 0.037 to 0.055% and 0.034 to 0.056% at rest and even more following exercise from 0.031 to 0.067% and 0.030 to 0.063%, respectively, with no differences between cheese and milk protein ingestion.
  • In conclusion, cheese ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis rates both at rest and during recovery from exercise. The postprandial muscle protein synthetic response to the ingestion of cheese or milk protein does not differ when 30g protein are ingested at rest or during recovery from exercise in healthy, young males.

Recommended dairy intake is associated with healthy dietary habits, better physical fitness, less obesity, and a healthier lifestyle profile in school-age children. Tambalis KD, Panagiotakos DB, Psarra G, Sidossis LS. Br J Nutr. 2022 Jan 10:1-20.

  • This study aimed to identify the association of recommended dairy intake with several dietary habits, obesity, physical fitness, physical activity, screen time, and sleep.
  • Population data were derived from a health survey on a representative sample of 177,091 children aged 8 to 17 years.
  • Participants were characterized as “dairy products consumers” based on whether they met current recommendations for milk or dairy consumption (e.g. if they consumed two yogurts and/or 40 g cheese and a cup of milk, daily). Participants who did not consume the above-mentioned quantities were characterized as “non-consumers.”
  • Anthropometric and physical fitness data were obtained by trained investigators. Physical activity status, screen time, and sleeping habits were assessed through self-completed questionnaires.
  • Boys and girls consuming recommended dairy products were 25% and 43% less likely to have low performances in cardiorespiratory fitness tests. Participants from both sexes classified as dairy products consumers had lower odds of central obesity by 10%, as compared to non-consumers. Also, boys and girls who consumed recommended levels of dairy products had 9% and 11% lower odds to be overweight/obese as compared to non-consumers, after adjusting for several covariates.
  • Moreover, recommended dairy products consumers had lower odds for insufficient sleep by 8% in boys and 14% in girls, for inadequate physical activity levels by 15% in boys and 16% in girls and for increased screen time by 11% in boys and 9% in girls, than no-consumers.
  • In conclusion, recommended dairy intake is associated with less obesity, better physical fitness, and a healthier lifestyle profile.

Effects of high dairy protein intake and vitamin D supplementation on body composition and cardiometabolic markers in 6-8-y-old children-the D-pro trial. Thams L, Stounbjerg NG, Hvid LG, Mølgaard C, Hansen M, Damsgaard CT. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Jan 7:nqab424.

  • Increasing evidence suggests that prevention of lifestyle diseases should begin early. Dairy protein and vitamin D can affect body composition and cardiometabolic markers, yet evidence among well-nourished children is sparse.
  • Therefore, researchers investigated combined and separate effects of high dairy protein intake and vitamin D on body composition and cardiometabolic markers in children.
  • In a 2 × 2-factorial, randomized trial, 200 white, Danish, 6-8 year-old children substituted 260 g/d dairy in their diet with high-protein (10 g protein/100 g) or normal-protein (3.5 g protein/100 g) yogurt and received blinded tablets with 20 µg/d vitamin D3 or placebo for 24 weeks during winter.
  • Researchers measured body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and lipids.
  • In total, 184 children (92%) completed the study. Baseline median dairy protein intake was 3.7 percent of energy and increased to 7.2% in the high-protein group and 4.2% in the normal-protein group. Mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D changed from 81 nmol/L to 89 nmol/L in the vitamin D group and went down to 48nmol/L in the placebo group.
  • There were no combined effects of dairy protein and vitamin D, except for plasma glucose, with the largest increase in the normal protein-vitamin D group. LDL cholesterol was reduced with vitamin D compared to placebo. Fat free mass and blood pressure were unaffected.
  • In conclusion, high compared to normal dairy protein intake hampered an increase in fat mass index. Vitamin D supplementation counteracted the winter decline in 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the increase in LDL cholesterol observed with placebo. This study adds to the sparse evidence on dairy protein in well-nourished children and supports a vitamin D intake of around 20 µg/d during winter.

Exploring the Effects of Greek Yogurt Supplementation and Exercise Training on Serum Lithium and Its Relationship With Musculoskeletal Outcomes in Men. Baranowski RW, Skelly LE, Josse AR, Fajardo VA. Front Nutr;8:798036.

  • Dairy products can act as a dietary source of lithium, and a recent study in university-aged males demonstrated that Greek yogurt supplementation augmented gains in fat free mass, strength and bone formation after 12 weeks of resistance exercise training compared to carbohydrate pudding supplementation.
  • Here, researchers performed secondary analyses to explore whether Greek yogurt would alter serum lithium levels and whether changes in serum lithium would associate with changes in body composition, strength, and bone turnover markers.
  • Results show that the Greek yogurt group maintained serum lithium levels after exercise training, whereas the carbohydrate group did not. Maintaining/elevating serum Li levels was also associated with greater gains in strength and reductions in bone resorption.
  • However, controlling for other dietary factors in Greek yogurt such as protein and calcium weakened these associations. Thus, future studies should assess the causative role, if any, of dietary lithium alone on strength and bone resorption in humans.

Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Over 20 Years of Machine Learning Applications on Dairy Farms: A Comprehensive Mapping Study. Shine P, Murphy MD. Sensors (Basel);22(1):52.

  • Machine learning applications are becoming more ubiquitous in dairy farming decision support applications in areas such as feeding, animal husbandry, healthcare, animal behavior, milking and resource management.
  • Thus, the objective of this mapping study was to collate and assess studies published in journals and conference proceedings between 1999 and 2021, which applied machine learning algorithms to dairy farming-related problems to identify trends in the geographical origins of data, as well as the algorithms, features and evaluation metrics and methods used.
  • In total, 129 publications passed the pre-defined selection criteria. This study found that Europe (43% of studies) produced the largest number of publications, while the largest number of articles were published in the Computers and Electronics in Agriculture journal (21%). The largest number of studies addressed problems related to the physiology and health of dairy cows (32%), while the most frequently employed feature data were derived from sensors (48%).
  • Since 2018, there has been more than a sevenfold increase in the number of studies that focused on the physiology and health of dairy cows, compared to almost a threefold increase in the overall number of publications, suggesting an increased focus on this subdomain. In addition, a fivefold increase in the number of publications that employed neural network algorithms was identified since 2018, in comparison to a threefold increase in the use of both tree-based algorithms and statistical regression algorithms, suggesting an increasing utilization of neural network-based algorithms.

Compositional characteristics of dairy products and their potential nondairy applications after shelf-life. Nasralla NN, Gomah NH, Aly MM, Abdel-Aleem JA, Hammam ARA, Osman DM, El-Derwy YMA. Curr Res Food Sci. 2022 Jan 6;5:150-156.

  • Many dairy products are discarded and useless after end of shelf-life, which causes economic and environmental challenges. This study is an endeavor to conquer the dairy industry challenges, which are considered a huge loss from the economic and environmental aspects.
  • The objective of this study was to study the compositional characteristics of some dairy products before and after shelf-life, and develop a process to utilize those dairy products after end of shelf-life in non dairy applications (cosmetic cream and soap).
  • Several dairy products, such as sterilized milk, yogurt, soft cheese, hard cheese, cream, and butter were collected from markets in Egypt before shelf-life and after three months of shelf-life.
  • Electrophoresis analysis was conducted to estimate the changes in the protein fractions of protein products (sterilized milk, yogurt, and cheese) before and after expiration. Also, gas chromatography (GS) was performed to compare the fatty acids of fat products (cream and butter) before and after end of shelf-life.
  • Sterilized milk, yogurt, soft, and hard cheese were turned into powder (Expired dairy products powder; EDPP) to be used as a raw material in manufacturing of cosmetic creams. The fat was separated from cream, butter, and hard cheese (Expired dairy products fat; EDPF) to be utilized in making soap.
  • The formulated cosmetic creams were examined in vitro. Functional properties of cream were determined, such as appearance, spreadability, irritancy, and pH. Additionally, the soap quality was tested after manufacture.
  • The researchers found that dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese after shelf-life can be utilized as raw materials for the production of cosmetic creams, as well as production of soap from butter and cream. The produced products were similar to those in commercial markets.

Effects of Microwaves, Ultrasonication, and Thermosonication on the Secondary Structure and Digestibility of Bovine Milk Protein. Wang J, Saxena R, Vanga SK, Raghavan V. Foods. 2022 Jan 6;11(2):138.

  • Cow’s milk is considered an excellent protein source. However, the digestibility of milk proteins needs to be improved.
  • This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the functional properties of milk proteins and their structure upon microwave, ultrasound, and thermosonication treatments.
  • The protein content, digestibility, and secondary-structure changes of milk proteins were determined. The results demonstrated that almost 35% of the proteins in the untreated samples had a α-helix structure and approximately 29% a β-sheet and turns structure.
  • Regarding the untreated samples, the three treatments increased the α-helices and correspondingly decreased the β-sheets and turns. Moreover, the highest milk protein digestibility was observed for the ultrasound-treated samples (90-94%), followed by the microwave-treated samples (72-93%), whereas thermosonication resulted in a lower digestibility (69-79%).
  • The milk protein content was reduced as the microwave processing time and the temperature increased. The final milk protein available in the sample was lower when microwave processing was conducted at 75 °C and 90 °C compared to 60 °C, whereas the ultrasound treatment significantly improved the protein content, and no particular trend was observed for the thermosonicated samples.
  • Thus, ultrasound processing shows a potential application in improving the protein quality of cow’s milk.

The Use of Ozone as an Eco-Friendly Strategy against Microbial Biofilm in Dairy Manufacturing Plants: A Review. Panebianco F, Rubiola S, Di Ciccio PA. Microorganisms. 2022 Jan 13;10(1):162.

  • Managing spoilage and pathogenic bacteria contaminations represents a major challenge for the food industry, especially for the dairy sector. Biofilms formed by these microorganisms in food processing environment continue to pose concerns to food manufacturers as they may impact both the safety and quality of processed foods.
  • Bacteria inside biofilm can survive in harsh environmental conditions and represent a source of repeated food contamination in dairy manufacturing plants. Among the novel approaches proposed to control biofilm in food processing plants, the ozone treatment, in aqueous or gaseous form, may represent one of the most promising techniques due to its antimicrobial action and low environmental impact.
  • The antimicrobial effectiveness of ozone has been well documented on a wide variety of microorganisms in planktonic forms, whereas little data on the efficacy of ozone treatment against microbial biofilms are available. In addition, ozone is recognized as an eco-friendly technology since it does not leave harmful residuals in food products or on contact surfaces.
  • Thus, this review intends to present an overview of the current state of knowledge on the possible use of ozone as an antimicrobial agent against the most common spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, usually organized in biofilm, in dairy manufacturing plants.

Bioinoculants-Natural Biological Resources for Sustainable Plant Production. Maitra S, Brestic M, Bhadra P, Shankar T, Praharaj S, Palai JB, Shah MMR, Barek V, Ondrisik P, Skalický M, Hossain A. Microorganisms;10(1):51.

  • Irresponsible resource use not only negatively affects agroecology, but also reduces the economic profitability of the production system. Among different resources, soil is one of the most vital resources of agriculture. Soil fertility is the key to achieve high crop productivity.
  • Maintaining soil fertility and soil health requires conscious management effort to avoid excessive nutrient loss, sustain organic carbon content, and minimize soil contamination. Though the use of chemical fertilizers have successfully improved crop production, its integration with organic manures and other bioinoculants helps in improving nutrient use efficiency, improves soil health and to some extent ameliorates some of the constraints associated with excessive fertilizer application.
  • In addition to nutrient supplementation, bioinoculants have other beneficial effects such as plant growth-promoting activity, nutrient mobilization and solubilization, soil decontamination and/or detoxification, etc. During the present time, high energy based chemical inputs also caused havoc to agriculture because of the ill effects of global warming and climate change.
  • Under the consequences of climate change, the use of bioinputs may be considered as a suitable mitigation option. Bioinoculants, as a concept, is not something new to agricultural science, however; it is one of the areas where consistent innovations have been made. Understanding the role of bioinoculants, the scope of their use, and analyzing their performance in various environments are key to the successful adaptation of this technology in agriculture.

Which Factors Drive Consumer Decisions during Milk Purchase? New Individuals’ Profiles Considering Fresh Pasteurized and UHT Treated Milk. Merlino VM, Massaglia S, Borra D, Mimosi A, Cornale P. Foods. 2021 Dec 29;11(1):77.

  • The cow’s milk market is going through a critical period characterized by a continuous contraction in consumption as a consequence of the lack of competitiveness on the market of the conventional product (commodity) versus numerous specialties.
  • This paper aimed to define the profiles of milk consumers in terms of individual preferences (assessed using the best-worst scaling methodology) and socio-demographic features. A survey was conducted in several stores of large-scale retail, convenience stores, and open-air markets distributed in north-west Italy to collect data from 1216 respondents.
  • For milk shopper purchasing habits, two consumer groups were defined and compared in terms of preferences: the fresh pasteurized milk consumer (FPc) (56% of the total sample) and the ultra-high temperature treated milk consumer (UHTc) (35%).
  • Significant differences in milk purchasing habits and preferences emerged when comparing the two consumer groups (UHTc and FPc). Empirical evidence of the study supported the starting hypothesis, suggesting the significance or relevance of the consumer socio-demographic characteristic, as well as their interaction effect with the type of milk on the level of importance given to the considered milk quality attributes. On the contrary, the gender results were not significant for the milk preferences definition.
  • The assessment of consumer preferences, associated with the individuals’ socio-demographic characteristics could have important implications for outlining more effective marketing strategies based on a more targeted communication (i.e., related to the sustainability dimension of the local product, nutritional value and brand), leading the consumer back to the commodity rediscovery concerning individuals’ features and habits.

Consumer’s acceptability and health consciousness of probiotic and prebiotic of non-dairy products. Cosme F, Inês A, Vilela A. Food Res Int. 2022 Jan;151:110842.

  • Human gut microbiota is a protective agent of intestinal and systemic health, and its modulation is of great interest for human wellbeing. In the world of biotics, besides probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics, also appears the denomination of “postbiotics” and “psychobiotics”.
  • Fermented dairy products are, traditionally, the major source of probiotics. Nevertheless, due to the increasing number of lactose-intolerant individuals and strict vegetarians, there is a need for innovative non-dairy products.
  • Non-dairy biotics are being included in the normal diet and due to technological advances, many products are created using non-conventional food matrices like kombucha tea, herbal tea, baking mix, and cereal-based products.
  • The microorganisms most used as probiotics in many of the non-dairy products are strains belonging to the genera Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, and Bacillus, and some yeast strains namely Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii. Recently, several other yeasts have been described as having probiotic properties.
  • This review describes gut-derived effects in humans of possible microorganisms, such as yeasts, and bacteria, isolated from non-dairy fermented and non-fermented foods and beverages. The microorganisms responsible for the processing of these non-dairy fermented products, together with the prebiotics, form a class of nutrients that have been proven to be beneficial for our gut health.

Nutritional Content and Health Profile of Single-Serve Non-Dairy Plant-Based Beverages. Craig WJ, Brothers CJ, Mangels R. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 30;14(1):162.

  • A growing number of people are seeking a non-dairy plant-based beverage both for their personal health, and for the health of the planet.
  • The aim of this study was to conduct a cross-sectional survey of single-serve plant-based beverages to assess their nutritional content and health profile.
  • A total of 51 non-dairy plant-based beverages were analyzed from the nutrition label listed on the commercial package. The various beverages contained extracts of soy (n = 14), almonds (n = 13), oats (n = 12), peas (n = 7), banana (n = 2), coconut (n = 2), and rice (n = 1). Almost one-half (45%) of the single-serve beverages had 5 g or more of protein/serving.
  • A total of 75% and 65% of the single-serve beverages had calcium and vitamin B12 levels, respectively, fortified to at least 20% of the Daily Value (DV), while only 28% had vitamin D fortification at the 20% DV level. Two-thirds of the single-serve beverages had high sugar levels, while 39% were low in sodium, 63% were low in fat, and 96% were low in saturated fat.
  • The single-serve plant-based beverages had more protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and sugar but less fat than the non-dairy, multi-serve plant-based beverages/ serving. A limited number of single-serve beverages met the requirements of school meal programs.