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Concept: Cheese


Cows' milk generally contains two types of β-casein, A1 and A2 types. Digestion of A1 type can yield the peptide β-casomorphin-7, which is implicated in adverse gastrointestinal effects of milk consumption, some of which resemble those in lactose intolerance. This study aimed to compare the effects of milk containing A1 β-casein with those of milk containing only A2 β-casein on inflammation, symptoms of post-dairy digestive discomfort (PD3), and cognitive processing in subjects with self-reported lactose intolerance.

Concepts: Protein, Psychology, Milk, Behaviorism, Digestion, Lactose intolerance, Cheese, Casein


This experiment was aimed to determine proper physical traits in the diet for goats by investigating the effects of physically effective neutral detergent fiber (peNDF) content on dry matter intake (DMI), digestibility, and chewing activity in black goats fed with total mixed ration (TMR).

Concepts: Energy, Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Cheese, Goat, Diet of Japan, Capra, Goats


Domestication is an excellent model for studies of adaptation because it involves recent and strong selection on a few, identified traits [1-5]. Few studies have focused on the domestication of fungi, with notable exceptions [6-11], despite their importance to bioindustry [12] and to a general understanding of adaptation in eukaryotes [5]. Penicillium fungi are ubiquitous molds among which two distantly related species have been independently selected for cheese making-P. roqueforti for blue cheeses like Roquefort and P. camemberti for soft cheeses like Camembert. The selected traits include morphology, aromatic profile, lipolytic and proteolytic activities, and ability to grow at low temperatures, in a matrix containing bacterial and fungal competitors [13-15]. By comparing the genomes of ten Penicillium species, we show that adaptation to cheese was associated with multiple recent horizontal transfers of large genomic regions carrying crucial metabolic genes. We identified seven horizontally transferred regions (HTRs) spanning more than 10 kb each, flanked by specific transposable elements, and displaying nearly 100% identity between distant Penicillium species. Two HTRs carried genes with functions involved in the utilization of cheese nutrients or competition and were found nearly identical in multiple strains and species of cheese-associated Penicillium fungi, indicating recent selective sweeps; they were experimentally associated with faster growth and greater competitiveness on cheese and contained genes highly expressed in the early stage of cheese maturation. These findings have industrial and food safety implications and improve our understanding of the processes of adaptation to rapid environmental changes.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Natural selection, Bacteria, Evolution, Fungus, Penicillium, Cheese


Dietary guidelines suggest consuming a mixed-protein diet, consisting of high-quality animal, dairy, and plant-based foods. However, current data on the distribution and the food sources of protein intake in a free-living, representative sample of US adults are not available. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2010, were used in these analyses (n = 10,977, age ≥ 19 years). Several US Department of Agriculture (USDA) databases were used to partition the composition of foods consumed into animal, dairy, or plant components. Mean ± SE animal, dairy, and plant protein intakes were determined and deciles of usual intakes were estimated. The percentages of total protein intake derived from animal, dairy, and plant protein were 46%, 16%, and 30%, respectively; 8% of intake could not be classified. Chicken and beef were the primary food sources of animal protein intake. Cheese, reduced-fat milk, and ice cream/dairy desserts were primary sources of dairy protein intake. Yeast breads, rolls/buns, and nuts/seeds were primary sources of plant protein intake. This study provides baseline data for assessing the effectiveness of public health interventions designed to alter the composition of protein foods consumed by the American public.

Concepts: Public health, Health, Nutrition, Milk, Food, Diet, Bread, Cheese


Fungi exhibit substantial morphological and genetic diversity, often associated with cryptic species differing in ecological niches. Penicillium roqueforti is used as a starter culture for blue-veined cheeses, being responsible for their flavor and color, but is also a common spoilage organism in various foods. Different types of blue-veined cheeses are manufactured and consumed worldwide, displaying specific organoleptic properties. These features may be due to the different manufacturing methods and/or to the specific P. roqueforti strains used. Substantial morphological diversity exists within P. roqueforti and, although not taxonomically valid, several technological names have been used for strains on different cheeses (e.g., P. gorgonzolae, P. stilton). A worldwide P. roqueforti collection from 120 individual blue-veined cheeses and 21 other substrates was analyzed here to determine (i) whether P. roqueforti is a complex of cryptic species, by applying the Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition criterion (GC-PSR), (ii) whether the population structure assessed using microsatellite markers correspond to blue cheese types, and (iii) whether the genetic clusters display different morphologies. GC-PSR multi-locus sequence analyses showed no evidence of cryptic species. The population structure analysis using microsatellites revealed the existence of highly differentiated populations, corresponding to blue cheese types and with contrasted morphologies. This suggests that the population structure has been shaped by different cheese-making processes or that different populations were recruited for different cheese types. Cheese-making fungi thus constitute good models for studying fungal diversification under recent selection.

Concepts: Evolution, Biology, Species, Fungus, Ascomycota, Penicillium, Cheese, Penicillium roqueforti


The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium bc and have been interpreted typologically as ‘cheese-strainers’, although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ(13)C and Δ(13)C values of the major fatty acids in milk. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities.

Concepts: Milk, Butter, Europe, Cattle, Dairy, Neolithic, Cheese, Curd


The mainstay of treatment of IgE-mediated cow milk allergy (IMCMA) is an avoidance diet, which is especially difficult with a ubiquitous food like milk. Milk oral immunotherapy (MOIT) may be an alternative treatment, through desensitization or induction of tolerance.

Concepts: Nutrition, Milk, Cattle, Lactose intolerance, Cheese, Milk allergy, Soy milk, Almond milk


Kopanisti is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) traditional soft Greek cheese manufactured exclusively in the Cycladic island complex. It is made from raw bovine, ovine or caprine milk or a mixture of them without the addition of any lactic acid cultures. It has a spreadable texture, an intense salty and peppery taste and a strong flavour. Although Kopanisti cheese has properties similar to those of mould-ripened cheeses, its volatile compound content has never been reported. In this study the volatile compound content and lipolysis level of ten commercial Kopanisti samples were investigated.

Concepts: Acid, Milk, Cattle, Lactic acid, Pasteurization, Cheese, Volatile, Greece


A RP-HPLC method, developed for the separation and quantification of the most common genetic variants of bovine milk proteins, was successfully applied to the analysis of water buffalo milk. All the most common buffalo casein and whey proteins fractions, as well as their genetic variants, were detected and separated simultaneously in 40 min. Purified buffalo proteins were used as calibration standards and a total of 536 individual milk samples were analysed for protein composition. α(S1)-, α(S2)-, βγ-, and κ-casein were 32.2%, 15.8%, 36.5%, and 15.5%, respectively, of total casein content, whereas content of β-Lactoglobulin was approximately 1.3 times as high as that of α-Lactalbumin. The existence of a polymorphism of κ-casein was demonstrated in Mediterranean water buffalo and α(S1)- and κ-casein genetic variants were successfully detected by RP-HPLC.

Concepts: Nutrition, Whey protein, Milk, Butter, Chromatography, Cheese, Casein, Water Buffalo


Samples of fresh skim milk, reconstituted micellar casein, and casein powder were sonicated at 20kHz to investigate the effect of ultrasonication. For fresh skim milk, the average size of the remaining fat globules was reduced by approximately 10nm after 60min of sonication; however, the size of the casein micelles was determined to be unchanged. A small increase in soluble whey protein and a corresponding decrease in viscosity also occurred within the first few minutes of sonication, which could be attributed to the breakup of casein-whey protein aggregates. No measurable changes in free casein content could be detected in ultracentrifuged skim milk samples sonicated for up to 60min. A small, temporary decrease in pH resulted from sonication; however, no measurable change in soluble calcium concentration was observed. Therefore, casein micelles in fresh skim milk were stable during the exposure to ultrasonication. Similar results were obtained for reconstituted micellar casein, whereas larger viscosity changes were observed as whey protein content was increased. Controlled application of ultrasound can be usefully applied to reverse process-induced protein aggregation without affecting the native state of casein micelles.

Concepts: Proteins, Whey protein, Milk, Butter, Micelle, Cheese, Casein, Whey