• The Importance of Different On-Farm Feeding and Management Practices on Milk Protein Concentration and Yield

      Murphy, J.J.; Harrington, D.; Cliffe, D.; Crilly, Jim (Teagasc, 2006-01-01)
      The objective of this project was to identify the most important factors which influence milk protein concentrations and yields on farms. Data collected on approximately 300 DairyMis farms were subjected to statistical evaluation by regression analysis, analysis of variance and factor analysis. The range in protein concentrations was 12% of the mean value compared to a variation in protein yield of 86% of the mean. The range in milk yield was 90% of the mean value. Initially data from 1995 were analysed. The regression model used only accounted for 4% of the variation between farms in milk protein concentration but for over 97% of the variation in milk protein yield. Milk protein yield was highly correlated with milk yield. Confining the analysis to Spring-calving herds only in 1995 (n=128) gave similar results but including genetic data in the regression model, for those spring-calving herds for which it was available (n = 36), explained approximately 25% of the variation in protein concentration. Analysis of variance on the spring-calving herd data (for 1994, 1995 and 1996) divided into quartiles on the basis of protein concentration indicated that higher protein concentration was associated with later calving, a higher proportion of milk produced on pasture and lower milk yield per cow. Factor analysis on all herds in 1994, 1995 and 1996 indicated that higher protein concentration was associated with Spring-calving herds, larger herds and with grass based milk production. These three factors accounted for 8% of the observed variation in milk protein concentration.
    • Improved Food Safety through Sterility of Air in Food Processing and Packaging.

      O'Callaghan, Donal; Murphy, P.; Lynch, Denise B; Coleman, S. (Teagasc, 1999-06-01)
      The aims of this research were to develop reliable methods for evaluating the level of airborne micro-organisms in food processing facilities and to study the viability and behaviour of micro-organisms in air filtration systems. The main conclusions were as follows: · Assessment of air quality involves monitoring both particulate and microbial levels as there is no simple relationship between these phenomena in a food process environment. · The large fluctuations in microbial levels found in air in these studies underline the necessity of frequent and regular air sampling in processing facilities. · It was established that micro-organisms can grow inside an air filter under certain environmental conditions and give rise to intermittent microbial germ contamination of the cleaned air. · It was demonstrated that flowing air affects the survival of microorganisms and the survival rate is dependent on filter class. Hence more emphasis on filter design aimed at effective microbial control is advised. · A combined system for filtering and sterilisation by ozone was demonstrated to be an efficient technique for extending the microbial separation efficiency of air filters.
    • Improved Technologies For Baled Silage.

      O'Kiely, Padraig; Forristal, Dermot; Brady, K.; McNamara, Keelan; Lenehan, J.J.; Fuller, Hubert T.; Whelan, Jackie (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      This present report summaries the findings of the more recent research on baled silage.The contents of this report are presented under the following headings:1. Characteristics of baled silage on Irish farms - a survey 2. Mechanisation in the field 3. Forage and plastic 4. Schzophyllum commune 5. Preventing wildlife damage 6. Growth by cattle
    • Improving Technology Transfer and Research Commercialisation in the Irish Food Innovation System

      Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Paul; Kelly, Deborah; Buckley, Marie; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/10/2009)
      The process by which knowledge generated by publicly-funded research is transferred to industry – technology transfer – has been criticised as being inefficient and having limited success. This research project aimed to obtain a better understanding of the technology transfer process and thereby contribute to policy development and provide guidance for researchers to improve the process. Through a series of focus groups, surveys, case studies and depth interviews, the research identified five key challenges that exist in the context of the Irish food innovation system. These relate to communication, industry capabilities, research capabilities, strategic management and socialisation. To address these challenges, a selection of tools, illustrative case studies and recommendations for a range of stakeholders on how to deal with each of these challenges is provided on the project website (www.dit.ie/toolbox/).
    • Improving the quality of gluten-free products

      Gallagher, Eimear; McCarthy, Denise; Gormley, Ronan T.; Arendt, Elke (Teagasc, 2004-03)
      The incidence of coeliac disease or other allergic reactions/intolerances to gluten is increasing, largely due to improved diagnostic procedures and changes in eating habits. The worldwide number of sufferers of coeliac disease has been predicted to increase by a factor of ten over the next number of years, resulting in a growing market for gluten-free cereal-based products. Market research has shown that many of the products currently on sale are of inferior quality. The replacement of gluten presents a major technological challenge, as it is an essential structure-building protein which is necessary for formulating high quality cereal-based goods. Therefore, the production of high quality gluten-free bread is difficult.
    • Improving the Quality of Low Fat Cheddar Cheese

      Guinee, Timothy P.; Fenelon, Mark; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Mulholland, E. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The aims of this study were to elucidate the contribution of fat to cheese biochemistry and texture and to improve the texture and flavour of half-fat Cheddar cheese by modifications in make procedure, the addition of a fat mimetic, and/or the use of novel starter cultures/bacterial culture adjuncts. The main conclusions were as follows: A 'Moorepark Process' has been established for the production of half-fat Cheddar cheese with improved sensory acceptability. The flavour and texture of half-fat (17% w/w) Cheddar was improved by modification of the cheesemaking procedure and/or ripening conditions and through the use of novel starter cultures and/or bacterial culture adjuncts. Extensive databases have been compiled on: the effects of fat on the compositional, microbiological, biochemical, rheological and sensory properties of, and the yield of, Cheddar cheese. the compositional, biochemical and sensory characteristics of commercial Cheddar cheeses of different fat levels, available on the Irish and UK markets. Reduction in the fat level of Cheddar cheese resulted in a marked deterioration both in texture and flavour due to: increases in cheese hardness and fracture stress, indicating that the cheese became more elastic, tough and less amenable to mastication. a higher ratio of secondary-to-primary proteolysis a reduction in the level of primary proteolysis and an increase in the concentration of hydrophobic peptides which are conducive to bitterness.
    • Improving the Yield and Quality of Arable Crops in Organic Production Systems

      Crowley, J.G. (Teagasc, 2005-04-01)
      Ireland's ability to supply organic arable products to meet future market requirements depends on the provision of scientific quantitative information on the production of these crops. The conversion of an 8-ha site at Oak Park is described. The establishment of a single stockless 7-year rotation (wheat, potatoes, oats, legume, spring barley followed by two years’ grass/clover lea) with three replicates is described. The results of the first series of experiments are presented and the possible implications discussed.
    • Improving yield and quality of forage maize.

      Crowley, J.G. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      Maize silage is recognised world-wide as a high quality winter feed for livestock. Attempts to introduce the crop to Ireland in the early 1970’s failed because of the lack of suitable varieties. The release of maize varieties adapted to the colder North European and Irish climates has for the first time offered Irish beef and dairy farmers the opportunity to exploit the valuable assets of this crop. The transfer of the technology of growing maize under photodegradable polythene developed in France could further enhance the development of forage maize production in Ireland. The results presented show that the early type hybids released over the past five years are capable of producing high yields of high quality silage in selected sites across Ireland. To achieve satisfactory yields, site selection, early sowing and the use of adapted early maturing varieties is essential. Sowing maize through a photodegradable polythene film laid on the soil surface has proved successful. This technique can increase yields on average by 3.5 t/ha, increase dry matter content by 5% and starch content by ten percentage points. The system also advances maturity by approximately three weeks, guaranteeing that on most farms the maize crop will be mature and ready for harvest before the first heavy autumn frost.
    • Increasing intake by the development of optimal grazing management in relation to animal behaviour at pasture.

      Linnane, M.; Brereton, A. J.; Giller, P.S. (Teagasc, 1999-12-01)
      In each month from July to December, grazing activity for each of 12 animals was recorded over a number of days continuously using vibrarecorders. The work was done at Killarney National Park and the animals were heifers of the Kerry breed living under semi-natural conditions with abundant pasture available. In July (16 hour day-length) - all animals began grazing at dawn and grazed for about 2.5 hours. This first bout was followed at intervals of about 2 hours by shorter bouts each about one hour in duration. In late afternoon another bout commenced which continued for 4 to 5 hours through until after dusk. During darkness, about midnight, there was a short bout of grazing. All of the animals behaved thus and the pattern was repeated each day. Total grazing time was near 11 hours each day. By October day-length had decreased. There was still a bout at dawn and a bout at sunset. As in July there were three smaller bouts but all occurred during darkness. The total grazing time was close to 11 hours as before. The pattern of grazing was consistent between animals and days. In August-September-October and November there were always two major bouts of grazing related to dawn and dusk. Grazing total time was always near 11 hours. As day-length decreased the smaller daylight bouts were progressively replaced by bouts during darkness. Similar patterns were also found in studies of grazing Holstein/Friesian heifers and of housed non-lactating cows at Moorepark. The primary feature of the grazing pattern is the bout. The bout implies that there is a control that determines when grazing commences and ends. Rumen capacity plays a part but does not explain why minor bouts are only one hour and major bouts are more than 4 hours. The rigid association of the two major bouts with dawn and dusk implies that light also plays a part. That the total grazing time is constant suggests that yet another control is operating that is related to the state of the animal relative to a target state. And this control relates to a 24-hour period. Domestic bovines do not display any patterns of behaviour related to seasonal or lunar cycles. The patterns appear to be circadian and in that case it would not be surprising to find that the suggested light cue was present as a means of measuring the day.
    • Increasing the logistics efficiency of fresh food exports

      Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Paul; Pitts, Eamonn; Crowley, James; Dolan, Martina; Keary, Roisin; Collins, Alan (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This report is concerned with the impact on the competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry of the logistics process in the food chain including transport, storage and distribution.
    • Increasing the use of AI in suckler herds.

      Diskin, Michael G.; O'Rourke, M.; Roche, J.F.; Sreenan, J.M. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      Reproductive efficiency is a major factor affecting production and economic efficiency of beef herds. For herds using artificial insemination (AI) heat detection rate and calving rate are the two major determinants of compactness of calving and ultimately the calving-to-calving interval. Heat detection is a time consuming repetitive chore that must be carried out up to 5-times each day for as long as AI is used. Heat detection rate, usually measured as submission rate, is hugely variable from herd-toherd but for most herds only between 40% and 70% of cows that exhibit heat are actually detected by the stockman. Despite an increased understanding of the endocrine control of the oestrous cycle the goal of fixed-time insemination is not yet consistently achievable in either cows or heifers treated at different stages of the oestrous cycle and in different physiological states. The overall objective of the this project was to develop an improved cost effective hormonal method to control the time of ovulation to allow beef cows be bred by AI without the need for heat detection. A total of 3 studies were carried out and the results are summarised in this report.
    • Indicator organisms to determine the use of chilling as a critical point in beef slaughter HACCP

      Prendergast, Deirdre M.; Sheridan, James J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/11/2008)
      During chilling, temperatures of carcass surfaces at different sites change over time as do other parameters such as water activity (aw), the structure of the muscle and other tissues, as the carcass enters rigor mortis. Many of these factors are known to have a major effect on cell survival and growth and must be considered in determining the influence of chilling on bacterial survival on carcass surfaces. This study aimed to determine if chilling could be used as a critical control point (CCP) in beef slaughter in relation to pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes, using E. coli and Listeria innocua as pathogen indicators. The present study was designed to determine the influence of (a) chilling at 10oC for 72 h on the survival of E. coli and (b) chilling at 4oC for 72 h on the survival of L. innocua inoculated at different sites on beef carcasses. Three sites (neck, outside round and brisket) were inoculated (1) immediately after dressing while hot (E. coli and L. innocua) and (2) when cold after chilling (L. innocua). The influence of changes in surface aw was also considered and their relationship to the survival of E. coli and L. innocua over time was assessed. The data are discussed in relation to the use of chilling as a CCP in beef hazard analysis (HACCP) and the monitoring of neck temperature as the most suitable CCP.
    • Indicator organisms to determine the use of chilling as a critical point in beef slaughter HACCP

      Prendergast, Deirdre M.; Sheridan, James J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2008-11)
      During chilling, temperatures of carcass surfaces at different sites change over time as do other parameters such as water activity (aw), the structure of the muscle and other tissues, as the carcass enters rigor mortis. Many of these factors are known to have a major effect on cell survival and growth and must be considered in determining the influence of chilling on bacterial survival on carcass surfaces. This study aimed to determine if chilling could be used as a critical control point (CCP) in beef slaughter in relation to pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes, using E. coli and Listeria innocua as pathogen indicators. The present study was designed to determine the influence of (a) chilling at 10oC for 72 h on the survival of E. coli and (b) chilling at 4oC for 72 h on the survival of L. innocua inoculated at different sites on beef carcasses. Three sites (neck, outside round and brisket) were inoculated (1) immediately after dressing while hot (E. coli and L. innocua) and (2) when cold after chilling (L. innocua). The influence of changes in surface aw was also considered and their relationship to the survival of E. coli and L. innocua over time was assessed. The data are discussed in relation to the use of chilling as a CCP in beef hazard analysis (HACCP) and the monitoring of neck temperature as the most suitable CCP.
    • Infiltration rate assessment of some major soils.

      Diamond, J.; Shanley, T. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      Landspreading of fertilisers and wastes require an evaluation of the risk of overland flow in order to minimise risks of polluting rivers and lakes. Infiltration capacity measurements offer a practical means of indexing runoff risk. The objectives of this study were to assess the spatial and temporal variability of infiltration capacity and to assess the capacity of some major Irish soils. Infiltration capacity was measured using double ring infiltrometers at freely drained (8) imperfectly drained (1) and poorly drained (1) sites. The first series was performed for one day in summer. Eight years later a second series was conducted for two days in winter and summer at the same sites. On average six replicates were required in summer and fourteen in winter to estimate the mean with 50 percent precision. Capacities were reasonably stable between years but there was a significant difference between seasons. Capacities in summer were about 3.5 times the winter values. Except on the poorly drained soil the infiltration capacity exceeded or equalled the five year return rainfall rate indicating a very small risk of overland flow in summer. In winter the capacity at three sites, including freely drained sites, were less than 2.5 mm hr-1 indicating a significant general risk in winter.
    • Influence of Enterococci and Thermophilic Starter Bacteria on Cheddar Cheese Flavour

      Beresford, Tom; Cogan, Tim; Wallace, J.; Drinan, D.; Tobin, S.; Piveteau, P.; Carroll, N.; Deasy, B. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      This project set out to identify suitable enterococci and thermophilic starter strains which could be added to the cheese during manufacture (as starter adjuncts) with the specific aims of enhancing flavour during ripening as well as facilitating flavour diversity - a trait sought by many commercial Cheddar companies. This project confirmed the potential of thermophilic lactic acid strains to affect flavour when used as starter adjuncts in Cheddar cheese manufacture. Their use can also lead to the development of novel flavours. Many adjunct cultures proposed to-date to enhance Cheddar flavour are composed of strains of lactococcal starter, selected for their flavouring capacity. However, application of such strains in industry would lead to increased probability of phage attack on the primary starter. On the other hand, thermophilic lactic acid strains are phage unrelated to conventional starter and thus would not lead to the introduction of starter specific phage into the cheese plant. A thermophilic strain from the Moorepark collection (DPC 4571) was shown to have major commercial potential as a flavour enhancer.
    • Influence of feeding systems on the eating quality of beef

      Troy, Declan J.; Murray, Brendan; O'Sullivan, Aileen; Mooney, Teresa; Moloney, Aidan P; Kerry, Joseph P. (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      The objective was to determine pre-slaughter factors which may enhance the eating quality of beef and to assist the Irish beef production chain to exploit these factors to produce beef of higher quality and increased consumer acceptability. The effects of pre-slaughter growth rate, high energy diets, feed type and age at slaughter on beef quality were examined.
    • Ingredient Dehydration of Fermented and Flavour-Sensitive Products.

      Kelly, Philip; Keogh, M.K.; Kelly, J.; Kennedy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-08-01)
      Traditionally, yoghurt is produced in a hydrated form and, thus, possesses a limited shelf-life even when refrigerated. Consumption within a short time of production is advisable, particularly if advantage is to be taken of the putative benefits associated with the ingestion of live yoghurt cultures. The production of an instant yoghurt powder would, thus, provide benefits of shelf-life extension and convenience of preparation and storage. However, the drying of such products is difficult due to low pH, which causes stickiness in drier chambers and makes powder recovery difficult. Furthermore, key flavour components formed by fermentation such as acetaldehyde and diacetyl which contribute to the unique flavour of natural yoghurt are sensitive to heat and easily lost during spray-drying. Hence, a major challenge of this project was to investigate the processing technologies and conditions necessary for the minimisation of flavour losses during the spray-drying of acidified/fermented milk bases, to monitor the effects on drier performance such as powder adhesion to drier walls, and to develop functional forms of the spray-dried ingredients. The main aims of the project were to: - improve yoghurt powder spray-drying efficiency through optimisation of concentrate solids, - investigate the effect of spray-drying conditions on flavour losses of sensitive products such as dehydrated yoghurt and fermented creams,- apply technological approaches for the reduction of flavour losses: a) ingredient formulation, b) modification of fermentation conditions, - investigate the production of agglomerated forms of spray-dried yoghurt powders, - study factors affecting the physical properties such as rheological characteristics and powder bulk density, and - adapt technology to ensure greater viability of culture cell numbers at the end of the drying process.
    • Ingredient Development using a Pilot-Scale Tall-Form Spray Drier

      Kelly, Philip; Kelly, J.; Harrington, D. (Teagasc, 1998-02-01)
      The main objectives of the project were to establish relationships between process variables and product physicochemical/functional characteristics in the course of processing and drying new dairy-based ingredients such as high-fat and protein-rich products in regular and agglomerated forms. By establishing processing protocols, R&D users of the ingredient drying facilities of Moorepark Technology Ltd may be able to predict the process variables necessary for desired end-product specifications to be achieved, and thus make experimentation more efficient and cost effective, as well as facilitate small scale production runs and sample preparation for market development purposes. Particular emphasis was placed on the development of high fat cream and fat-filled powders, flavour-delivery systems and protein-enriched ingredients. The major achievement of this project is that it is now possible to confidently select the appropriate processing conditions during the spray drying of ingredients in order to attain desired end-product specifications. Based on the use of the newly-installed Tall-form drier, the project succeeded in correlating the effects of process parameters of this technicallyadvanced pilot plant with the physicochemical properties of powders containing varying fat (20-80%) and protein contents. In general, the physicochemical characteristics of fat-filled and cream-filled powders with similar fat contents were similar except for higher solubility index values (range 0.1-0.6) in the case of the former particularly in the range 26-28% fat. Furthermore, the free fat content of powders may now be controlled much more precisely using an appropriate combination of total fat, atomiser nozzle selection and post-drying blending.
    • Innovation in small food processing enterprises and dynamics of local development

      Mahon, Denise; Pitts, Eamonn; European Commission (Teagasc, 2005-01)
      The extent of innovation in small food processing firms in the Border and South West regions of Ireland were examined as were the factors relating to innovation in these firms. Eighty-five percent of firms undertook some form of innovation in the five years preceding the study. Innovation within firms was related to the youth of the manager and of the firm itself and was also associated with investment in staff training and in Research and Development (R&D) by the firm and with numbers of qualified staff.
    • Integrated disease and pest control in Irish mushroom tunnels.

      Staunton, Liam; Dunne, R. (Teagasc, 2001-02-01)
      This project set out, in the year 1999, to develop and disseminate an integrated pest and diseases management system for mushrooms. The project was a natural successor to project 4095 (Chemical and Biological Control of Mushroom Pests and Diseases). The main objective was to research and bring together information on efficient methods of control and to put this information into a suitable blueprint to enable Irish growers achieve satisfactory disease and pest control with minimal pesticide usage. Factors identified for improved disease control include: (1) Avoidance of soil contamination including dust in the growing unit (2) Protection of new casing (3)Good hygienic practices (4) Use of spore grade filters on the air intake (5) Good fly control. People and flies are efficient disease carriers (6) Early detection and eradication (7) Suitable procedures when emptying tunnels (8) Use of steam cookout. Factors identified for improved pest control include: (1) Protection of newly spawned compost (2) Exclusion by screening air inlets and vents (3) Proper sealing of tunnels and closing doors promptly (4) Early detection by monitoring (5) Judicious use of approved pesticides (6) Biological control methods (7) Early termination of infested crops