The aim of this study was to assess the influence of the amounts of the αS1-, αS2-, β-, and κ-casein (CN) and the α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin protein fractions on the efficiency of the cheese-making process independently of their genetic polymorphisms. The study was carried out on milk samples from 1,271 Brown Swiss cows from 85 herds classified into 4 categories according to management, feeding, and housing characteristics (traditional and modern systems). To assess the efficiency of the cheese-making process, we processed the milk samples according to a laboratory cheese-making procedure (1,500 mL/sample) and obtained the following measures: (1) 3 percentage cheese yields (%CYcurd, %CYsolids, %CYwater), (2) 2 daily cheese yields obtained by multiplying %CY (curd and total solids) by daily milk yields (dCYcurd, dCYsolids), (3) 4 measures of nutrient recovery in the curd (RECfat, RECprotein, RECsolids, RECenergy), and (4) 2 measures of cheese-making efficiency in terms of the ratio between the observed and theoretical %CY (Ef-%CYcurd, Ef-%CYsolids). All the aforementioned traits were analyzed by fitting 2 linear mixed models with protein fractions as fixed effects expressed as percentage in the milk (model M-%milk) and as percentage of the total casein content (model M-%cas) together with the effects of total casein content (only in model M-%cas), daily milk yield (only in model M-%milk; not for dCY traits), dairy system, herd (random effect), days in milk, parity, and vat. The efficiency of overall cheese yield (Ef-%CYcurd) was mostly positively associated with β-CN content in the milk, whereas Ef-%CYsolids was greater with higher amounts of κ-CN and αS1-CN (M-%milk) due to the strong influence of both fractions on the recovery rate of milk components in the curd (fat and total solids, protein with αS1-CN only) when expressed as percentage of milk and of total casein; only β-CN was more important for RECprotein. In contrast, we found β-lactoglobulin to be highly negatively related to all the traits related to the cheese-making process and to the daily cheese yield per cow, whereas α-lactalbumin was positively associated with the latter traits. Additional research on this topic is needed, with particular focus on the genetic and genomic aspects of the role of protein fractions in the cheese-making process and on the associations between genetic polymorphisms in milk protein and milk nutrient recovery in the curd.
Variations in milk protein fractions affect the efficiency of the cheese-making process / Cipolat-Gotet, Claudio; Cecchinato, Alessio; Malacarne, Massimo; Bittante, Giovanni; Summer, Andrea. - In: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 0022-0302. - (2018). [10.3168/jds.2018-14503]
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