September 2011
Bringing industry the latest technical insights and research on dairy nutrition, products and sustainability.
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Accessing the resources you need to help strengthen your dairy business has never been easier. From the latest research studies to Innovation Center white papers and presentations on consumer trends, this newly enhanced new search tool pulls research and insights from USDairy.com, NationalDairyCouncil.org and InnovateWithDairy.com to provide a one-stop portal. The tool was developed by the Dairy Research Institute as part of farmer and industry commitment to activation of dairy research. Start searching here..

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Research from the Dairy Research Institute

Study Finds Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein During Weight Loss Helps Preserve Muscle While Losing Fat

New research indicates that diet- and exercise-induced weight loss with higher protein and increased dairy product intakes improves weight loss quality by promoting more favorable body composition changes in overweight and obese women. The study, co-funded by the Dairy Research Institute™, Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was conducted by McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, and is now available online on the Journal of Nutrition website.

Researchers sought to determine how daily exercise and a reduced-calorie diet varying in total protein and dairy foods affected the composition (i.e., muscle and fat) of weight lost.
Press Release

Josse AR, Atkinson SA, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Increased consumption of dairy foods and protein during diet- and exercise-induced weight loss promotes fat mass loss and lean mass gain in overweight and obese premenopausal women. J Nutr. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 20.
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Research from the Dairy Research Institute

Supplemental Whey Protein Helps Preserve Muscle in Older Women on a Calorie-restricted Diet

Obese older women with decreased muscle mass and strength are at an increased risk of physical disability. A higher protein, calorie-restricted diet supplemented with whey protein showed a greater maintenance of muscle relative to weight loss compared with a diet higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein in a six-month, double-blind, randomized clinical trial in 26 overweight or obese older women (average age 65 years). The higher vs. lower protein group also showed a trend toward greater weight loss (8 vs. 4 percent body weight).

Meal plans were designed to decrease daily energy intake by approximately 500 calories/day, with a goal of 10 percent weight loss over six months. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a protein supplement (50 grams/day of whey protein isolate) or a carbohydrate supplement (50 g/day maltodextrin). The higher-protein diet provided approximately 30 percent of calories from protein, 40 percent of calories from carbohydrate and 30 percent of calories from fat; the higher-carbohydrate diet provided approximately 18 percent of calories from protein, 52 percent of calories from carbohydrate and 30 percent of calories from fat. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to measure muscle and fat changes during the intervention.

There were no differences in strength, balance or physical performance between the protein and carbohydrate groups. However, when data from groups were combined, strength decreased, but balance and physical performance improved from baseline for all subjects. The authors said in order to see a significant effect on physical function, some aspects of the study design may have needed to change, such as having a bigger sample size, providing more whey protein, inducing a greater weight change, using more sensitive performance measures or investigating a population with compromised physical function.

The authors said the improved maintenance of muscle seen in this population indicates that a higher-protein intake can be important during weight loss. This whey protein supplementation study adds to the published literature on the benefits of a higher-protein diet on body composition during weight loss. The study also provides excellent preliminary data for future clinical trials to determine the most beneficial combination of a higher protein diet, weight loss and exercise to improve body composition and physical function in older women.

Mojtahedi MC, Thorpe MP, Karampinos DC, et al. The effects of a higher protein intake during energy restriction on changes in body composition and physical function in older women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 27.
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Clinical Trial Shows for the First Time That Milk Protein Lowers Blood Pressure in Those With Prehypertension and Stage 1 Hypertension

Emerging data indicates a potential favorable effect of dietary protein on blood pressure. A clinical trial recently published in Circulation is the first to show that milk protein lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and stage 1 hypertensive individuals. It also is the first randomized, controlled trial that directly compares the effect of vegetable protein (soy), dairy protein (milk) and carbohydrate on blood pressure. This randomized, double-blind crossover trial among 352 adults (≥22 years) with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (120-159 mm Hg/80-95 mm Hg) found that supplementation with 40 g/day of soy protein or milk protein significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by a similar amount (-2.3 mm Hg vs. -2.0 mm Hg, respectively) when compared with a complex carbohydrate control. The authors said a blood pressure reduction of this magnitude is of public health importance.

Participants were assigned to receive one of three supplements (40 g of soy protein, milk protein or carbohydrate powder mixed with juice or water, taken twice a day) in addition to their usual diet in random order for eight weeks each, with three weeks between treatments. Energy intake remained consistent throughout the study period. Average intake of nutrients, other than carbohydrate and protein, was similar among participants, including sodium, potassium and calcium, which are known to influence blood pressure.

National population guidelines have identified several lifestyle modifications important for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure, including being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, moderating alcohol consumption, reducing sodium intake, increasing potassium intake and consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. A recent systematic review by Ralston, et al., summarized in the April issue of Dairy Research Insights found that consumption of low-fat dairy foods was associated with reduced risk of elevated blood pressure. The Dairy Research Institute™ is committed to furthering research on the benefits of dairy foods and their components on blood pressure.

He J, Wofford MR, Reynolds K, et al. Effect of dietary protein supplementation on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Circulation. 2011;124(5):589-595.
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Breakfast Drink Containing Milk Protein Shown to be Better Than Soy Protein Drink for Reducing Weight and Visceral Fat in Obese Japanese Adults

Consumption of a milk protein breakfast replacement drink reduced visceral fat by approximately 15 percent over 20 weeks —demonstrating an important reason to include milk protein at breakfast. A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial compared the effectiveness of a drink containing soy protein with one containing milk protein on changes in visceral fat and other parameters among 48 obese Japanese adults (20-75 years) when consumed as a breakfast replacement for 20 weeks. Over the trial period, visceral fat and subcutaneous fat areas were significantly reduced in the milk protein group, while, contrary to the study hypothesis, those in the soy protein group did not change. While waist circumference was reduced in both the milk protein and soy protein groups, “body weight and body mass index were significantly reduced only in the milk protein group,” reported the authors. Visceral, or intra-abdominal fat, refers to the fat that surrounds the internal organs. Those with visceral fat are more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension. Subcutaneous fat is body fat that is close to the skin’s surface and is considered less dangerous, and easier to lose, than visceral fat.

The soy protein drink contained 12 grams of soy protein, 9.25 g of milk protein (needed to dissolve the soy protein) and a wide range of other nutrients, while the milk protein drink (control) contained 21.9 g and contained more calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Each protein formula was dissolved in a cup of water and was consumed as breakfast. Participants were otherwise encouraged to follow their usual diet with the exception of the breakfast drink.

This study underscores the benefit of including milk protein at breakfast. In addition, the authors said a promising next step would be to identify and isolate the effective components in milk protein. This research could help develop a functional food designed to help reduce visceral fat even more effectively and potentially improve metabolic health.

Takahira M, Noda K, Fukushima M, et al. Randomized, double-blind, controlled, comparative trial of formula food containing soy protein vs. milk protein in visceral fat obesity. Circ J. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 16.
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Higher Intake of Dietary Protein, Including Dairy Protein, Protects Bone in Postmenopausal Women During Weight Loss

Calorie restriction has been associated with bone loss, particularly in older adults. A new study shows that a higher-protein diet (24 percent of total calories) containing recommended* amounts of calcium and vitamin D decreases loss of bone in postmenopausal women during weight loss. This one-year, randomized, controlled trial examined the role of higher protein (24 percent of calories) compared with typical protein (18 percent of calories) during caloric restriction on bone mineral density in 47 postmenopausal women (50-70 years) who had controlled and recommended intakes of calcium and vitamin D. Compared with the typical protein diet, the higher-protein diet that included protein from dairy foods, lean meat, fish and a whey protein supplement significantly slowed loss of bone mineral density at the forearm, lumbar spine and total hip, and slowed loss of trabecular volumetric bone mineral density and bone mineral content of the leg (tibia).“This is the first study to examine the effect of one year of calorie restriction on bone and to demonstrate that dietary protein alone, with calcium and vitamin D at recommended intakes, will attenuate bone loss during calorie restriction,” the authors said.

Participants received a customized 500- to 600- calorie deficit diet plan and participated in group and individual counseling sessions throughout the one-year intervention. They were stabilized to a calcium intake of 1,200 milligrams/day from food and supplements beginning one month prior to the study and throughout the intervention. They also received 400 IU vitamin D3 from a daily multivitamin.

Although all participants lost bone during weight loss, the higher-protein group lost significantly less at certain sites. This study adds to an emerging body of science indicating that dietary protein may favorably affect bone. It reinforces the idea that dairy foods, as important contributors of protein, calcium and vitamin D to the diet, can be part of effective weight-loss plans.

*Refers to 1997 calcium and vitamin D intake recommendations. These recommendations were updated in December 2010 after this study was accepted for publication.

Sukumar D, Ambia-Sobhan H, Zurfluh R, et al. Areal and volumetric bone mineral density and geometry at two levels of protein intake during caloric restriction: a randomized, controlled trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2011;26(6):1339-1348.
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New Research Explores the Effect of Milk-derived Dietary Proteins on Blood Lipids After a Meal

A high concentration of fat in the blood after a meal (postprandial lipemia) is associated with cardiovascular disease risk and progression. A previous study demonstrated that whey protein reduced postprandial lipemia in those with type 2 diabetes. Based on this previous work, researchers in Denmark investigated the effect of consuming whey protein and/or its subfractions on postprandial lipemia (triglycerides) in nondiabetic obese individuals. Results showed no differences in blood triglyceride concentration between whey treatments, but all treatments beneficially suppressed the concentration of free fatty acids in the blood after the meal – a secondary endpoint of the study.

Three subfractions of whey (whey hydrolysate, alpha-lactalbumin and caseinoglycomacropeptide) and intact whey protein isolate (control) were compared for their effect on postprandial lipemia (triglycerides) when given as a milkshake with a high-fat test meal. Secondarily, the researchers compared the effects of the whey treatments on blood concentration of free fatty acids and on glucose metabolism. Using a crossover design, 11 obese non-diabetic adults were given each of the four milkshakes in random order.

Although all whey treatments suppressed free fatty acids, whey hydrolysate suppressed them the least. Because this study examines the effect at only a single meal, long-term studies among subjects on ordinary diets are needed to further define whey protein’s benefits in terms of lipid metabolism.

Holmer-Jensen J, Hartvigsen ML, Mortensen LS, et al. Acute differential effects of milk-derived dietary proteins on postprandial lipaemia in obese non-diabetic subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 27.
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Higher Intake of Dairy-specific Saturated Fats Associated with Significantly Lower Levels of Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress in Overweight Teens

Research on individual saturated fatty acids continues to demonstrate unique beneficial effects of fatty acids in dairy fat. The authors of a new study concluded, “Dairy-specific saturated fats; i.e., 15:0 and 17:0 fatty acids, may contribute to the potential health benefits of dairy products, especially for overweight adolescents.”

Chronically high levels of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers have been observed in adults and children with excess body fat, and in adults with cardiovascular disease. Although intake of saturated fat may also contribute to inflammation and other cardiovascular risk factors, research has shown that not all saturated fats have the same physiological effects. In fact, elevated levels of two saturated fatty acids — pentadecanoic acid (15:0) and heptadecanoic acid (17:0), found primarily in dairy products — have been linked to lower insulin resistance syndrome, triglycerides and risk of heart attack among adults. Researchers used data from 305 adolescents (average age 15 years) in Minnesota who were enrolled in a larger prospective study to determine whether 15:0 and 17:0 saturated fatty acids in serum phospholipids (an objective measure of dairy intake) were related to six biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress, and whether these associations differed between overweight and normal weight teens.

Results showed that higher levels of dairy fatty acids incorporated in serum phospholipids were associated with significantly lower concentrations of three of the inflammatory biomarkers only in overweight adolescents — while all adolescents showed a significantly lower level of a different inflammatory marker. These relationships did not change after adjustment for factors that might influence fatty acid metabolism or contribute to the beneficial effects of dairy foods (i.e., dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, protein, total flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids).

Future studies are needed to discover specifically how dairy fatty acids, body fatness and inflammation/oxidative stress influence one another.

Wang H, Steffen LM, Vessby B, et al. Obesity modifies the relations between serum markers of dairy fats and inflammation and oxidative stress among adolescents. Obesity. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 21.
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Cochrane Review Concludes That Reducing Intake or Changing the Type of Fat Consumed May Reduce Risk for Heart Disease but Not Mortality

“There were no clear effects of dietary fat changes on total mortality or cardiovascular mortality,” concludes a recent Cochrane systematic review of randomized controlled trials assessing the effect of reducing or modifying intake of dietary fats on mortality, cardiovascular events (e.g., nonfatal heart attack, angina, stroke, heart failure) and cancer diagnoses. Although the authors did find a reduction in cardiovascular events with dietary fat manipulation (a reduction in total fat and a change in the composition of fat), reducing total fat to 30 percent of calories or increasing amounts of poly- or mono-unsaturated fats alone in the diet had no effect on incidence of heart attacks, stroke, cancer or diabetes. The review also found no clear health benefits of reducing the amount of total fat consumed when replacing it with carbohydrate foods.

Cochrane Reviews are prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of medical and public health professionals dedicated to systematically reviewing the effectiveness of health-care interventions. Focusing on disease outcomes (cardiovascular events and mortality) rather than on specific risk factors (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol level) allowed the researchers to assess the net effect of changing dietary fat intake on all risk factors combined.

Research continues to show that all saturated fatty acids do not have the same effect on cardiovascular health. In fact, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) suggested that future research should continue to “examine the role of dairy products in modulating lipid profiles, especially through intervention trials in which all types of dairy products, both low and high fat, are fed.” The authors of the DGAC added that “bioactive components that alter serum lipid levels may be contained in milk fat.”

Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Thompson R, et al. Reduced or modified dietary fat for preventing cardiovascular disease (Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;7:CD002137.
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Review Examines Research on Calcium and/or Vitamin D in Weight Regulation

A review by Australian researchers evaluating 22 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published since 2000 concluded that current evidence “did not consistently support” the contention that calcium and vitamin D accelerate weight or fat loss during calorie restriction. However, studies that increased calcium or vitamin D specifically by increasing servings of dairy foods were excluded from the analysis. In addition, lack of consistent design among the studies examined may have limited the authors’ ability to draw firm conclusions. These include differences in subject characteristics, study execution and compliance, weak statistical power, weight/fat loss being a secondary rather than primary outcome of the analysis and differing baseline calcium intakes of participants.

An abundance of data over the last 10 years has addressed the potential role of calcium and vitamin D in body weight regulation. Overall, the authors said there is good evidence supporting various mechanisms whereby calcium can have an anti-obesity effect; these include stimulating fat oxidation, binding and excretion of fat and up-regulating heat production (thermogenesis). Though some studies favored the hypothesis that increased calcium and/or vitamin D accelerated weight and fat loss during energy restriction, they lacked statistical power.

A recent review of observational data by Dougkas, et al., summarized in the April issue of Dairy Research Insights, supports the role of dairy consumption in weight maintenance and that dietary calcium, especially from dairy products, is associated with a lower body fat and lower body mass index (BMI).

Soares MJ, Chan She Ping-Delfos W, Ghanbari MH. Calcium and vitamin D for obesity: a review of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 6.
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Dairy Foods, Sufficient Calories and Vigorous Physical Activity Are Key Influencers of Bone Mass and Height in Growing Youth

Higher levels of dairy servings, calcium and vitamin D intakes, energy intake, and vigorous physical activity (e.g., running, basketball, soccer, dance) were associated with higher levels of bone mineral content and greater height, after adjustment for age, race and sex, in a large group of black and white teens. Vigorous physical activity was only associated with height in girls. This large study among 660 adolescents (14-18 years) in Georgia investigated the potential inter-relationships between diet and physical activity on bone mineral content, and secondarily, on height, in order to guide interventions that will help youth develop a healthy body composition.

Previously published data from this population found that adolescents who engage in more vigorous physical activity consume more calories than those less physically active, but tend to have relatively low body fat, putting them at lower risk for cardiometabolic disease. It is possible that consuming more calories allows for greater consumption of bone- and growth-enhancing nutrients. This combined with the effect of vigorous activity may have favorable effects not only on risk for cardiometabolic disease, but also on bone health.

Dairy products with calcium and vitamin D provide building material for bone, while vigorous physical activity provides the mechanical stimulation needed to promote bone formation. These results indicate that interventions designed to help youth develop healthy bodies should focus on encouraging physical activity and eating sufficient food and nutrients rather than on negative messages of restricting calories, which may lead to reduced intake of nutrients critically needed for growth.

The results of this study confirm the guiding principles of the in-school nutrition and physical activity program, Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), launched by National Dairy Council® and the National Football League®, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture. This interactive program, available in schools across the country, encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. FUTP 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools.

Gutin B, Stallmann-Jorgensen IS, Le AH, Johnson MH, Dong Y. Relations of diet and physical activity to bone mass and height in black and white adolescents. Pediatric Rep. 2011;3(2):e10
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Research from the Dairy Research Institute

Cracking the Flavor Code for Low-fat Cheese: Key Compounds That Differentiate Between Reduced-fat and Full-fat Flavor Identified

Twelve key compounds in aged full-fat Cheddar cheese have been identified that impart balanced flavor when added to 75 percent reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. The aged Cheddar cheese aroma intensity of reduced-fat model cheese with these added compounds was not different from the aroma intensity of commercial aged full-fat Cheddar. As consumers continue to seek healthier foods, lower-fat cheeses are of interest; however, they will purchase and eat only those foods that resemble the full-fat versions. The main challenge facing low-fat Cheddar manufacturers is maintaining flavor and texture profiles.

Researchers at the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center at North Carolina State University evaluated the sensory response to aroma-active cheese flavor compounds in model full-fat and reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. The study established the role that 23 volatile compounds play in these cheeses, using descriptive analysis of cheese model systems. A trained sensory panel evaluated the sensory properties of the cheeses after the compounds were added to full-fat and reduced-fat Cheddar that was aged for three weeks. Twelve compounds were identified as especially key and were added to the model cheeses that were then presented to a consumer panel for sensory evaluation. These findings will help manufacturers continue to develop low-fat cheeses that have acceptable flavors capable of gaining consumer acceptance.

Kim MK, Drake SL, Drake MA. Evaluation of key flavor compounds in reduced- and full-fat Cheddar cheeses using sensory studies on model systems. J Sens Studies. 2011;26(4):278-290.
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Whey Protein Solutions Should be Held for Less Than 12 Hours Before Drying for Best Quality

Minimizing the storage time of liquid whey protein retentates before drying is one of the control steps that can help reduce the formation of off-flavors and maximize quality and shelf-life of spray-dried protein powders. Whey protein powders should have a very bland flavor so that no off-flavors are evident in the final product. Several researchers have previously identified residual fat content, bleaching method, cheese type and raw whey storage time as critical parameters in the manufacture of quality whey protein products. Now they have demonstrated that the retentates should be held for less than 12 hours before drying.

In this study conducted by the Southeast Dairy Research Center at North Carolina State University, whey protein retentates were obtained from two commercial manufacturers and evaluated for up to 48 hours of storage. The samples also were spray-dried at the manufacturers’ pilot plants and the resulting powder was evaluated for storage stability. Both Cheddar and mozzarella whey proteins were tested. Product testing and shelf-life determination, including both chemical and sensory analysis, were conducted over a 12-month period. Desirable cooked/milky flavors decreased with increased storage time. “Cardboard off-flavor” and astringency increased with increased holding time of the liquid retentates.

Whey protein products are part of the growing $100 billion functional foods market, but must compete with other protein products in both quality and functionality. Research efforts are underway to identify methods to increase the quality, value and marketability of whey proteins to ensure that the market for whey protein products continues to grow.

Whitson M, Miracle RE, Bastian E, Drake MA. Effect of liquid retentate storage on flavor of spray-dried whey protein concentrate and isolate. J Dairy Sci. 2011;94(8):3747-3760.
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Dairy Bacterium Produces a Natural Food Preservative

Bifidobacterium longum, a probiotic bacterium, can produce a small protein that has natural food preservative properties. Understanding when and how the bacterium produces this protein was the goal of this research. The researchers found that they could increase the production of the protein which should improve the chances of using it to help extend shelf life of dairy foods.

The small protein, referred to as a lantibiotic, has an unusually broad inhibition spectrum of activity against other gram-positive bacteria and some gram-negative bacteria, making it a unique food preservative. Additionally, lantibiotics have high stability, which increases the types of food where they could be used. Previously, Bifidobacterium longum DJO10A was demonstrated to produce a lantibiotic but only during growth on agar. Researchers at the Midwest Dairy Center at the University of Minnesota evaluated the feasibility for production of lantibiotics in broth by studying the genetic mechanism controlling its production. The scientists provided evidence that while agar and broth cultures were different in how they initiated lantibiotic production, it is possible to induce the gene cluster in broth media if sufficient lantibiotics were first added to the growth media. Production in a liquid system will increase the chances of using lantibiotics in food preservation.

Lee JH, Li X, O’Sullivan DJ. Transcription analysis of a lantibiotic gene cluster from Bifidobacterium longum DJO10A. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011;77(17)5879-58887
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O’Sullivan DJ, Lee JH. Lantibiotics and uses thereof. U.S. Pat. 7,960,505.
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Cheese Manufactured at Higher Temperatures Retains Less Fat

The desire for faster cheese manufacturing and the use of mixed Streptococcus/Lactococcus cultures has resulted in higher set temperatures for some Cheddar cheese plants, which also can result in lower yield. Investigators from Australia created cheeses that were set at different temperatures but had the same gel strength at cut by varying the time to cut. The temperature at which the coagulant enzyme is added to the cheese vat controls the resulting cheese microstructure and ability of the curd to retain fat. When the cheese vat was set at 27° or 30° C, more fat was retained than when the vat was set at 33° or 36° C.

Results showed:

  • At the lowest temperatures, the protein structure consisted of fine protein strands that regularly interconnected into a structure network that trapped the fat particles.
  • At the highest temperature, the network consisted of coarse protein strands. The coarse strands formed a more irregular network that may have allowed more fat losses.

Moisture and pH of the final cheeses were controlled by other downstream time parameters so that the four cheeses had similar composition characteristics. Micrographs demonstrated the differences in the cheese microstructure that resulted from the different set temperatures. Cheese fat loss from the curd also was estimated, with higher fat losses occurring at the higher temperatures. There were no other temperature-related differences in component yield. These results indicatethere are economic consequences for setting the vat at too high a temperature.

Ong L, Dagastine RR, Auty MAE, Kentish SE, Gras SL. Coagulation temperature affects the microstructure and composition of full fat Cheddar cheese. Dairy Sci Technol. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011 July 20. DOI 10.1007/s13594-011-0033-6.
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Sustainability
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Best Opportunities Identified to Reduce Energy Use in Dairy Plant Operations

Researchers evaluated energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a multiproduct dairy processing plant (fluid milk, cream, cottage cheese and whey powder) and concluded that, of the four products analyzed, cottage cheese and whey powder require the highest energy input. The final products had GHG emissions of 840 and 1,311 g CO2e/kg, respectively; followed by fluid milk and cream at 139 and 129g CO2e/kg of final product, respectively. This research builds on a recently completed life cycle assessment study1, which determined that, while the majority of greenhouse gas emissions for fluid milk occur during the crop and milk production stage, approximately 5 percent of GHG emissions for fluid milk occur during processing and packaging.

GHG reduction strategies should focus on the largest energy-consuming equipment and processes, which — for the multi-product process flows in this study — were those that consume steam. Using an available detailed process flow diagram, along with mass and energy balance data, researchers found that the largest GHG-emitting unit operations were cooking, cold storage, drawing/washing/cooling and pasteurization-cooling. In addition, combined emissions from space heating and clean in place (CIP) were found to be significant, consuming close to the same percentage of natural gas as all process heating.

The authors concluded, “Considering that the U.S. processes over 85x109 kg (187.39x109 pounds) of raw milk each year, the scale is large enough that efforts to reduce energy use have the potential to significantly reduce operating costs and GHG emissions.”

1Thoma G, Popp J, Nutter D, et al. Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Fluid Milk in the U.S., University of Arkansas. 2010.

Tan AJ, Nutter DW, Milani FM. GHG emissions and energy use from a multi-product dairy processing plant. ECTC Proceedings, ASME Early Career Technical Conference, March 31-April 2, 2011.
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What Can Cows Learn From Wallabies? New Approach to Microbial Genomics Research May Help Reduce Methane Emission

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is spearheading a collaborative effort by dairy scientists to identify existing and potential research that could help the dairy industry reduce methane emissions by dairy cattle, a significant contributor to the carbon footprint of dairy products. This study provides an example of how microbial genomics research can result in the discovery and isolation of new bacteria that may help reduce methane emissions in livestock.

Recent research has shown that macropods (e.g., kangaroos and wallabies) produce 80 percent less methane per unit of digestible energy intake than ruminants. Scientists isolated a previously uncultured bacterium from the microbial community of the Tammar wallaby’s forestomach and found that the metabolism might help explain the characteristically lower methane emissions in macropods. The researchers relied on genomics data to establish the presence and dominance of an uncultured bacterium affiliated to the family Succinivibrionaceae in the wallaby microbiota.

Members of this bacterial family produce succinate (a short-chain fatty acid) that potentially redirects hydrogen away from methane-producing processes. The researchers used a combination of databases and a binning algorithm (process for identifying from what organism a particular sequence has originated) to partially reconstruct the bacterium’s metabolism and predict its functional capabilities. This information was used to design a defined enrichment growth medium that allowed for isolation and cultivation of the bacterium, free from contaminating organisms.

The experimental strategy employed by these researchers allowed them to accurately reconstruct the genome of a previously uncultured organism, predict its metabolism, isolate it and test its metabolic functions in pure culture. These results highlight the potential for genomics-directed isolation of uncultured organisms from the rumen of cattle that can have a significant impact on methane production and efficiency of nutrient utilization for dairy production.

Pope PB, Smith W, Denman SE, et al. Isolation of Succinivibrionaceae implicated in low methane emissions from tammar wallabies. Sci. 2011;333(6042):646-648.
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Key Dates
Research from the Dairy Research Institute being presented at key industry meetings.

North American LCA Conference
Oct. 4-6, 2011
Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.


Life Cycle Sustainability of Dairy Production: From Regional to National and Global Scale
Ying Wang, Dairy Research Institute™
Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas
Olivier Jolliet, Andrew Henderson and Anne Asselin, University of Michigan, School of Public Health
Manuele Margni and Rosie Saad, CIRAIG, École Polytechnique de Montréal
Julie-Anne Chayer, Quantis

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Global Cheese Technology Forum
Oct. 11-12, 2011
Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nev.


What's on the Nutritional Horizon for Cheese
Carol Blindauer, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®

Developments in Reduced- and Low-fat Cheese
Nana Farkye, California Polytechnic State University

Cheese Life Cycle Assessment
Ying Wang, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Developing a New Category of Cheese Snacks
Donald McMahon, Utah State University

Controlling the Flavor of Whey and Whey Products
MaryAnne Drake, North Carolina State University

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Retail Sustainability Conference
Oct. 12-14, 2011
Peabody Orlando Hotel, Orlando, Fla.


Collaborating with Product Suppliers
Laura Mandell, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®

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IDF World Dairy Summit 2011
Oct. 15-19, 2011
Auditorium Paganini and Congress Centre of the Municipality of Parma, Parma, Italy


U.S. Initiatives to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of the Dairy Sector
Erin Fitzgerald, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®

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ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings
Oct. 16-19, 2011
Henry Gonzales Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas


An Internet-based Decision Support Tool to Help Dairy Producers Assess, Measure and Mitigate Environmental Impacts of On-farm Practices
Ying Wang, Dairy Research Institute

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2011 Net Impact Conference
Oct. 27-29, 2011
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore.


A Virtual Journey: The path to bringing milk from farm to table while improving sustainability
Sandra Vijn, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®

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Dairy Research Institute publishes its own scientific insights in this newsletter as well as research and other items of interest of other organizations. Methodologies, conclusions or findings of third party studies do not necessarily reflect the views or carry the endorsement of Dairy Research Institute.