Cheese making relies on milk proteins to form structure

Protein composition of milk affects coagulation and consequently cheese yield according to a study in the Journal of Dairy Science®


Philadelphia, July 20, 2020

Cheese production relies on coagulation of milk proteins into a gel matrix after addition of rennet. Milk that does not coagulate (NC) under optimal conditions affects the manufacturing process, requiring a longer processing time and lowering the cheese yield, which, in turn, has economic impact. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, published by Elsevier, scientists from Lund University studied the protein composition of milk samples with different coagulation properties to learn more about why only some milk coagulates with rennet.

The authors of this study analyzed protein composition in NC and coagulating milk samples from 616 Swedish Red cows. They reported that the relative concentrations, genetic variants, and posttranslational modifications of the proteins all contribute to whether rennet could induce coagulation in each sample. The NC milk had higher relative concentrations of α-lactalbumin and ß-casein and lower relative concentrations of ß-lactoglobulin and κ-casein when compared with coagulating milk.

“The non-coagulating characteristics of milk relate to protein composition and genetic variants of the milk proteins,” said first author Kajsa Nilsson, PhD, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. “Roughly 18 percent of Swedish Red cows produce noncoagulating milk, which is a high prevalence. Cheese-producing dairies would benefit from eliminating the NC milk from their processes, and breeding could reduce or remove this milk trait,” said Dr. Nilsson.

These results can be used to further understand the mechanisms behind NC milk, develop breeding strategies to reduce this milk trait, and limit use of NC milk for cheese processing.

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Notes for editors
The article is “Effects of milk proteins and posttranslational modifications on noncoagulating milk from Swedish Red dairy cattle,” by K. Nilsson, L. Buhelt Johansen, D.J. de Koning, S.I. Duchemin, M. Stenholdt Hansen, H. Stålhammar, H. Lindmark-Månsson, M. Paulsson, W.F. Fikse, and M. Glantz (https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-18357). It appears in the Journal of Dairy Science, volume 103, issue 8 (August 2020), published by FASS Inc. and Elsevier.

It is available at www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(20)30454-9/fulltext.

Full text of the article also is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628 or jdsmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to interview the authors should contact the corresponding author, Kajsa Nilsson, Lund University, at kajsa.nilsson@food.lth.se.

About the Journal of Dairy Science

The Journal of Dairy Science® (JDS), an official journal of the American Dairy Science Association®, is co-published by Elsevier and FASS Inc. for the American Dairy Science Association. It is the leading general dairy research journal in the world. JDS readers represent education, industry, and government agencies in more than 70 countries, with interests in biochemistry, breeding, economics, engineering, environment, food science, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, pathology, physiology, processing, public health, quality assurance, and sanitation. JDS has a 2019 Journal Impact Factor of 3.333 and 5-year Journal Impact Factor of 3.432 according to Journal Citation Reports (Source: Clarivate 2020). www.journalofdairyscience.org

About the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world's population. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry. www.adsa.org

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

Media contacts
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1 732 238 3628
jdsmedia@elsevier.com

Ken Olson, PhD, PAS
American Dairy Science Association®
+1 630 237 4961
keolson@prodigy.net