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 World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>