Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McGill researcher looks at the genetics behind cheese

04.02.2005


Does Swiss cheese come from Swiss cows? How about blue cheese? Professor of animal science at McGill’s Macdonald campus K.F. Ng-Kwai-Hang has the answer to these questions. He has spent the last 25 years studying the genetics of cows and how this affects quality and type of cheese.



"There are more than 100 different breeds of cows. However, the best milk producers are Holsteins," says Ng-Kwai-Hang. "Within a specific breed, the milk these cows produce is not the same - it differs in its fat, protein and lactose (a type of sugar found only in milk) content. Consequently, the cheese made from this milk will also differ in its composition and the taste will be affected. Basically, cheddar cheese can be made from all milk, but the taste and quality will be different from breed to breed and also within a breed. "By looking at the genetic profile of cows, we are able to predict which one will produce the best cheese."

Ng has identified the role of specific milk protein genes that affect cheese yield, composition and quality. He and his research team have found that small changes or mutations in the DNA of certain genes lead to changes in the protein which results in dramatic changes in the cheese. Their findings show that a mutation in the particular protein, the kappa-casein, is associated with a higher yield of cheese and one which is better quality.


According to Ng, in addition to the two genetic variants for kappa casein mentioned above, there are about 50 known milk protein gene variants and they have diverse effects on dairy product production. These findings have generated a great interest in the dairy industry. Attempts are underway in some countries to breed for specific genetic variants.

"Because the genetic variants are inherited according to simple Mendelian rules, it is possible to breed for specific variants," says Ng. "We are seeing this already where breeding programs are in place to increase the frequency of the B type of kappa-casein in cow populations in order to improve the milk quality and its cheese making characteristics. We are at the forefront of what is possible and can look forward to more efficient cheese production and better quality cheese."

Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>