Rapid test for A1 beta-casein launched

A rapid on-site test to help dairy manufacturers identify A1 beta-casein in milk recently was introduced to the market by SwissDeCode. The test will help companies participate in the A2 milk market, according to the Swiss company.

Cow’s milk consists of two types of protein – whey and casein. Originally all cows produced A2 beta-casein. But with evolution a natural genetic mutation resulted in cows producing A1 type beta-casein. Domestication of cattle contributed to a mixed population that produces A1, A2 or both types of beta-casein. Most milk contains both A1 and A2 beta-casein, according to SwissDeCode.

The structure of A2 beta-casein is more comparable to human milk beta-casein. Previous claims state that A2 milk may be beneficial for consumers because it may reduce flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain. It also may help to maintain growth and development functions in infants. Medical research is expected to provide more clarity on benefits to humans in coming years.

Some dairy companies are offering A2-verified milk products. Rapid deoxyribonucleic acid-based tests can be used to detect adulteration and contamination, but also to perform quality control of products in premium segments, said Brij Sahi, CEO and cofounder of SwissDeCode.

The company’s milk test detects the A1 allele of the beta-casein gene and includes material necessary to prepare DNA from a milk sample, to amplify the specific DNA sequence and to detect the amplification product. It provides results in less than 50 minutes, according to the company. Visit swissdecode.com for more information.

Agencies agree to enhance dairy-export efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently signed a memorandum of understanding outlining strengthened coordination to facilitate export of milk and dairy products.

The increasing trend by trading partners requesting additional information and assurances from dairy exporters requires an exceptional level of coordination by government authorities to address and facilitate requests, said Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response.

Greg Ibach, USDA under secretary of marketing and regulatory programs, said that with the memo of understanding the agencies have defined functions needed to help the dairy industry improve efficiency and effectiveness. They each will focus on their core competencies to engage on certain issues, he said.

The FDA provides regulatory oversight of programs that cover U.S. dairy facilities, ensuring dairy-product safety. Through its dairy-grading service USDA issues dairy-sanitary certificates, coordinating interagency collaboration related to U.S. exports of dairy products, and negotiating with foreign countries on certifications to meet import requirements. Visit ams.usda.gov and search for "dairy exports" and fda.gov and search for "food export certificates" for more information.

China's milk sales increase

Milk sales in China are predicted to reach about $27 billion in 2020. That is $1.6 billion greater than the previously projected pre-COVID value, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

China invested heavily in modernizing its dairy industry for the past several years and officially promotes the health benefits of milk consumption, said Ryan Whittaker, a consumer analyst at GlobalData. Milk often is positioned as a way to add more protein to the diet, and to help build and maintain the body’s immune system. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Chinese consumers to focus on their health prompting a surge in demand, Whittaker said.

Forty-seven percent of Chinese consumers consider themselves ‘extremely concerned’ about their health and 52 percent said they were ‘quite’ or ‘slightly concerned,’ according to GlobalData’s most recent consumer survey. Just two percent of the respondents said they were not at all concerned.

The impact of the pandemic on cooking at home shouldn’t be overlooked, according to GlobalData. During China’s lockdown consumers cooked for themselves far more than before. Visit globaldata.com for more information.

Dairy ingredients forecast to reach $81 billion

The global dairy-ingredients market is estimated to be valued at $54 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach a value of $81 billion by 2025, according to market analyst marketsandmarkets. An increase in the consumption of ready-to-eat and functional foods, complemented by the versatile application of dairy ingredients and increased consumer awareness about healthy eating habits, have been driving the global dairy-ingredients market.

The Asia Pacific region is the dominant market for dairy ingredients and is expected to experience the fastest growth among all regions. An increase in health awareness has driven the market for functional and fortified foods, which is creating demand for dairy ingredients. Ingredients such as milk powder are being used in infant formulas and sports drinks. Visit marketsandmarkets.com and search for "Dairy Ingredients Market" for more information.

Cooperative tests manure to fuel

The United Kingdom’s dairy cooperative Arla recently launched a trial that aims to transform manure into fuel. Farmer-members will send manure to an anaerobic-digestion plant where it will be processed into biomethane and converted into fuel. The process also will create fertilizer that farmers can use on their fields – making it a closed system.

The three-month test will involve two special Arla tankers that have been adapted to run on biofuel. The tankers transport milk between dairy-processing sites. Arla will use manure from 500 cows – 190 metric tons of slurry each week – to create about 59,000 pounds of biofuel to power trial vehicles.

Arla is using the trial to assess opportunities for scaling biomethane-powered transport across its value chain. If it proves successful the cooperative will lay a foundation for how the dairy industry can join forces with government and other partners to enable new fuel solutions that reduce environmental impact. Visit arla.com for more information.