Now showing items 1-20 of 2275

    • Red clover: A promising pasture legume for Ireland

      Weldon, B. A.; O'Kiely, P. (2021-04-11)
      Red clover is considered a very productive but short lived perennial legume. Previous research has shown attractive yields for red clover in the first year after establishment (O’Kiely et al., 2006). This experiment quantified the impacts of cultivar, companion grass, harvest schedule and nitrogen fertiliser on crop yield in the sixth year after establishment, and compared these to grass receiving inorganic N fertiliser.
    • Irish dairy farmers’ engagement with animal health surveillance services: Factors influencing sample submission

      McFarland, Lauren; Macken-Walsh, Áine; Claydon, Grace; Casey, Mícheál; Douglass, Alexander; McGrath, Guy; McAloon, Conor G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF 17/S/230 (Science Direct, 2020-08-26)
      A high-quality animal health surveillance service is required to inform policy and decision-making in food-animal disease control, to substantiate claims regarding national animal health status and for the early detection of exotic or emerging diseases. In Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine provides partially subsidized testing of farm animal samples and postmortem examinations to the Irish agriculture sector (farmers) at 6 regional veterinary laboratories (RVL) throughout the country. Diagnoses and data from these submissions are recorded and reported monthly and annually to enable animal health monitoring and disease surveillance. In a passive surveillance model, both the veterinary practitioner and the farmer play a vital role in sample submission by determining which cases are sent to the laboratory for postmortem or diagnostic testing. This paper identified factors influencing Irish dairy farmers' decisions to submit carcasses to RVL. Behavioral determinants of the submission of samples where veterinary professionals are concerned has been studied previously; however, limited work has studied determinants among farmers. This study conducted qualitative analyses of decisions of Irish dairy farmers relevant to diagnostic sample submission to an RVL and to examine the herd-level characteristics of farmers that submitted cases to an RVL. The biographical narrative interpretive method was used to interview 5 case-study farmers who were classified nonsubmitters, medium, or high submitters to the postmortem service based on the proportion of on-farm mortalities submitted to the laboratory service in 2016. The data obtained from these interviews were supplemented and triangulated through dairy farmer focus groups. The data were thematically analyzed and described qualitatively. In addition, quantitative analysis was undertaken. Data for herds within the catchment area of a central RVL were extracted, and a multivariable logistic regression model was constructed to examine the relationship between herds from which carcasses were submitted to the laboratory and those from which none were submitted. Results from the analysis show that the farmer's veterinary practitioner was the primary influence on submission of carcasses to the laboratory. Similarly, the type of incident, logistical issues with transporting carcasses to the laboratory, influence of peers, presence of alternative private laboratories, and a fear of government involvement were key factors emerging from the case-study interview and focus group data. Herd size was identified in both the qualitative and quantitative analysis as a factor determining submission. In the logistic regression model, herd size and increased levels of expansion were positively correlated with the odds of submission, whereas distance from the laboratory was negatively associated with odds of submission. These results identify the main factors influencing the use of diagnostic services for surveillance of animal health, signaling how services may be made more attractive by policy makers to a potentially wider cohort of users.
    • Prebiotic administration modulates gut microbiota and faecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations but does not prevent chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced apnoea and hypertension in adult rats

      O'Connor, Karen M.; Lucking, Eric F.; Bastiaanssen, Thomaz F.S.; Peterson, Veronica L.; Crispie, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D.; Clarke, Gerard; Cryan, John F.; O'Halloran, Ken D.; Science Foundation Ireland (Science Direct, 2020-08-30)
      Background Evidence is accruing to suggest that microbiota-gut-brain signalling plays a regulatory role in cardiorespiratory physiology. Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH), modelling human sleep apnoea, affects gut microbiota composition and elicits cardiorespiratory morbidity. We investigated if treatment with prebiotics ameliorates cardiorespiratory dysfunction in CIH-exposed rats. Methods Adult male rats were exposed to CIH (96 cycles/day, 6.0% O2 at nadir) for 14 consecutive days with and without prebiotic supplementation (fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides) beginning two weeks prior to gas exposures. Findings CIH increased apnoea index and caused hypertension. CIH exposure had modest effects on the gut microbiota, decreasing the relative abundance of Lactobacilli species, but had no effect on microbial functional characteristics. Faecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, plasma and brainstem pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations and brainstem neurochemistry were unaffected by exposure to CIH. Prebiotic administration modulated gut microbiota composition and diversity, altering gut-metabolic (GMMs) and gut-brain (GBMs) modules and increased faecal acetic and propionic acid concentrations, but did not prevent adverse CIH-induced cardiorespiratory phenotypes. Interpretation CIH-induced cardiorespiratory dysfunction is not dependant upon changes in microbial functional characteristics and decreased faecal SCFA concentrations. Prebiotic-related modulation of microbial function and resultant increases in faecal SCFAs were not sufficient to prevent CIH-induced apnoea and hypertension in our model. Our results do not exclude the potential for microbiota-gut-brain axis involvement in OSA-related cardiorespiratory morbidity, but they demonstrate that in a relatively mild model of CIH, sufficient to evoke classic cardiorespiratory dysfunction, such changes are not obligatory for the development of morbidity, but may become relevant in the elaboration and maintenance of cardiorespiratory morbidity with progressive disease. Funding Department of Physiology and APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork, Ireland. APC Microbiome Ireland is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, through the Government's National Development Plan.
    • Phenotypic relationships between milk protein percentage and reproductive performance in three strains of Holstein Friesian cows in Ireland

      Yang, L; Lopez-Villalobos, N; Berry, Donagh; Parkinson, T (2021-04-11)
      The relationship between milk protein percentage and fertility in seasonal calving, dairy cattle in Ireland was quantified using a total of 584 lactation records, collected over a five-year period from experiments comparing three strains of Holstein-Friesian cows under three different feeding systems. Logistic regression analyses showed that increased protein percentage during early lactation was positively associated with the probability of a cow becoming pregnant to its first service (P <0.05). Similarly, protein percentage during the lactation had a positive (P <0.01) association with overall pregnancy rate. The results suggest that negative energy balance in early lactation or during the whole lactation causes a shortage of glucose to the udder, this restricts the synthesis of milk protein in the udder and causes a lower milk protein percentage. During negative energy balance there is also a concurrent reduction of IGF-І, LH and oestradiol secretion, which consequently delay ovarian follicular development, and hence impairs reproductive performance. In conclusion, cows with higher milk protein percentage during early lactation have a greater likelihood of becoming pregnant earlier in the breeding season, and have a higher conception rate.
    • Microbiota and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories: Role of Maternal and Early-Life Nutrition

      Codagnone, Martin G.; STANTON, CATHERINE; O'Mahony, Siobhain M.; Dinan, Timothy G.; Cryan, John F.; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; Nestlé Nutrition Institute; 754535; 12/RC/2273 (S. Karger AG, 2019-06-24)
      Pregnancy and early life are characterized by marked changes in body microbial composition. Intriguingly, these changes take place simultaneously with neurodevelopmental plasticity, suggesting a complex dialogue between the microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the natural trajectory of microbiota during pregnancy and early life, as well as review the literature available on its interaction with neurodevelopment. Several lines of evidence show that the gut microbiota interacts with diet, drugs and stress both prenatally and postnatally. Clinical and preclinical studies are illuminating how these disruptions result in different developmental outcomes. Understanding the role of the microbiota in neurodevelopment may lead to novel approaches to the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
    • Physicochemical Characteristics of Protein-Enriched Restructured Beef Steaks with Phosphates, Transglutaminase, and Elasticised Package Forming

      Baugreet, Sephora; Kerry, Joseph P.; Allen, Paul; Gallagher, Eimear; Hamill, Ruth; Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 11/F/045 (Hindawi Limited, 2018)
      Restructured beef steaks were formulated by adding protein-rich ingredients (pea protein isolate (PPI), rice protein (RP), and lentil flour (LF) (at 4 and 8%)), phosphate (0.2%), and two binding agents: 1% (TG) and 0.15% (TS). The effects of their addition on the physicochemical properties of the beef steaks were investigated. Protein content of the RP8TG sample was significantly higher than that of the control in both the raw and cooked state. Raw LF4TS exhibited greater () a values than the control; however, after the cooking process, L, a, and b values were similar for all treatments. Textural assessment showed that elevating protein level increased () hardness, chewiness, cohesiveness, and gumminess in cooked restructured steaks. LF addition reduced all textural values assessed, indicating a strong plant protein effect on texture modification. The commercial binder produced a better bind in combination with protein ingredients. This facilitated the production of uniformed restructured beef steaks from low-value beef muscles with acceptable quality parameters using a novel process technology.
    • 583 Evidence-based social learning for safety and health promotion among irish dairy farmers

      O'Connor, T; Meredith, D; Kinsella, J; McNamara, J (BMJ Journals, 2018-04-24)
      Introduction Farming is an occupation that incurs high rates of occupational injuries and illness, including fatalities. Internationally, legislative approaches to improve agricultural occupational safety and health (OSH) practices have been inconsistent in achieving those objectives. Many alternative initiatives to influence agricultural OSH practices have been developed, frequently emphasising information provision. In Ireland, evaluation of information provision approaches, such as classroom-based learning, has found that this is ineffective for improving agricultural OSH practices. However, peer-based learning using communities of practice (COPs), such as Teagasc dairy farmer discussion groups, presents a promising context for agricultural OSH promotion in Ireland. Research has established the efficacy of farmer discussion groups for promoting adoption of novel technologies and production practices. Little research has been undertaken to assess whether they are effective for promoting agricultural OSH practices. This paper describes the extent to which Teagasc dairy discussion groups engage with agricultural OSH, and identifies the characteristics associated with agricultural OSH engagement. The results are evaluated with respect to the existing literature regarding effective social learning for farming and OSH promotion, to assess the suitability of these COPs for agricultural OSH promotion. Methods Information about discussion group characteristics and engagement with OSH topics was collected using a survey of Teagasc dairy discussion group members, and a survey of Teagasc dairy discussion group facilitators. The statistical software R was used to assess variation in discussion group engagement with OSH, and the group characteristics statistically associated with that variation. Result Analysis of the results is ongoing and will be completed in September 2017. Discussion The findings of this study, including the evaluation framework developed from literature review, can contribute to effective agricultural OSH promotion in Ireland, and internationally. This is especially true for other countries with existing farmer COPs, such as farmer discussion groups in New Zealand and Wales.
    • Thermal gelation and hardening of whey protein beads for subsequent dehydration and encapsulation using vitrifying sugars

      Hansen, Mackenzie M.; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Roos, Yrjö H.; Lauritzson Foundation; University College Cork (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
      Solid beads were developed using whey protein isolate (WPI) and sugars for controlled hardening and vitrification of wall materials. A concentrated mixture of WPI and sucrose in water, intended for use as gelling and glass-forming ingredients, respectively, was used to form liquid feeds with varying pH, viscosities, surface tensions, solids contents and compositions. Using a peristaltic pump, feeds flowed continuously through silicon tubing and formed droplets. Rapid solidification occurred when droplets were submerged in heated, stirred oil; beads were harvested for vacuum oven drying. Dispersions were characterized by viscosity and flow testing. Dried beads were characterized for porosity, hardness, diameters, and water activity, and microstructures were analyzed with microscopy. Drop-forming dispersions comprised of 40% WPI with 10% sucrose by mass possessed structure forming and shape retention qualities. Feed composition influenced characteristics of the final product more strongly than processing conditions including heating times and temperatures.
    • Predicting cow milk quality traits from routinely available milk spectra using statistical machine learning methods.

      Frizzarin, Maria; Gormley, I. C.; Berry, Donagh; Murphy, T. B.; Casa, A.; Lynch, A.; McParland, Sinead; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 18/SIRG/5562; et al. (Elsevier for American Dairy Science Association, 2021)
      Numerous statistical machine learning methods suitable for application to highly correlated features, as exists for spectral data, could potentially improve prediction performance over the commonly used partial least squares approach. Milk samples from 622 individual cows with known detailed protein composition and technological trait data accompanied by mid-infrared spectra were available to assess the predictive ability of different regression and classification algorithms. The regression-based approaches were partial least squares regression (PLSR), ridge regression (RR), least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), elastic net, principal component regression, projection pursuit regression, spike and slab regression, random forests, boosting decision trees, neural networks (NN) and a post-hoc approach of model averaging (MA). Several classification methods (i.e., partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA), random forests, boosting decision trees, and support vector machines (SVM)) were also used after stratifying the traits of interest into categories. In the regression analyses, MA was the best prediction method for 6 of the 14 traits investigated (a60, alpha s1 CN, alpha s2 CN, kappa CN, alpha lactalbumin, and beta lactoglobulin B), while NN and RR were the best algorithms for 3 traits each (RCT, k20, and heat stability, and a30, beta CN, and beta lactoglobulin A, respectively), PLSR was best for pH and LASSO was best for CN micelle size. When traits were divided into two classes, SVM had the greatest accuracy for the majority of the traits investigated. While the well-established PLSR-based method performed competitively, the application of statistical machine learning methods for regression analyses reduced the root mean square error when compared to PLSR from between 0.18% (kappa CN) to 3.67% (heat stability). The use of modern statistical ML methods for trait prediction from MIRS may improve the prediction accuracy for some traits.
    • Easy phylotyping of Escherichia coli via the EzClermont web app and command-line tool

      Waters, Nicholas R.; Abram, Florence; Brennan, Fiona; Holmes, Ashleigh; Pritchard, Leighton; The James Hutton Institute; National University of Ireland, Galway (Microbiology Society, 2020-09-01)
      The Clermont PCR method for phylotyping Escherichia coli remains a useful classification scheme even though genome sequencing is now routine, and higher-resolution sequence typing schemes are now available. Relating present-day whole-genome E. coli classifications to legacy phylotyping is essential for harmonizing the historical literature and understanding of this important organism. Therefore, we present EzClermont – a novel in silico Clermont PCR phylotyping tool to enable ready application of this phylotyping scheme to whole-genome assemblies. We evaluate this tool against phylogenomic classifications, and an alternative software implementation of Clermont typing. EzClermont is available as a web app at, and as a command-line tool at
    • Fabrication of Ligusticum chuanxiong polylactic acid microspheres: A promising way to enhance the hepatoprotective effect on bioactive ingredients

      Ge, Huifang; Lin, Peixuan; Luo, Taiduan; Yan, Zhiming; Xiao, Jianbo; Miao, Song; Chen, Jichen; National Natural Science Foundation of China; Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province; No. 31201350; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-07)
      Ligusticum chuanxiong extract-polylactic acid sustained-release microspheres (LCE-PLA) are fabricated in this study for enhancing both duration and hepatoprotective efficacy of the main bioactive ingredients. LCE-PLA in vitro release, cytotoxicity and in vivo hepatoprotective effect were discussed to evaluate its efficiency and functionality. Results demonstrated that the optimal drug-loading rate and encapsulation efficiency of tetramethylpyrazine (TMP, the main active ingredient) were 8.19%, 83.72%, respectively. The LCE-PLA in vitro release of TMP showed prolong 5-fold and in vitro cytotoxicity declined 25.00% compared with naked LCE. After 6 weeks of in vivo intervention in high fat diet mice, both liver aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were higher in LCE-PLA group than LCE group. The above results indicated that TMP had a higher bioavailability of hepatoprotection when encapsulation of LCE-PLA was applied. The current study has provided a promising novel way to enhance the efficacy of short half-life ingredients.
    • Establishing nationally representative benchmarks of farm-gate nitrogen and phosphorus balances and use efficiencies on Irish farms to encourage improvements

      Thomas, I.A.; Buckley, C.; Kelly, E.; Dillon, E.; Lynch, J.; Moran, B.; Hennessy, T.; Murphy, P.N.C.; Environmental Protection Agency; 2015-SE-DS-7 (Elsevier BV, 2020-06)
      Agriculture faces considerable challenges of achieving more sustainable production that minimises nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses and meets international obligations for water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. This must involve reducing nutrient balance (NB) surpluses and increasing nutrient use efficiencies (NUEs), which could also improve farm profitability (a win-win). To set targets and motivate improvements in Ireland, nationally representative benchmarks were established for different farm categories (sector, soil group and production intensity). Annual farm-gate NBs (kg ha−1) and NUEs (%) for N and P were calculated for 1446 nationally representative farms from 2008 to 2015 using import and export data collected by the Teagasc National Farm Survey (part of the EU Farm Accountancy Data Network). Benchmarks for each category were established using quantile regression analysis and percentile rankings to identify farms with the lowest NB surplus per production intensity and highest gross margins (€ ha−1). Within all categories, large ranges in NBs and NUEs between benchmark farms and poorer performers show considerable room for nutrient management improvements. Results show that as agriculture intensifies, nutrient surpluses, use efficiencies and gross margins increase, but benchmark farms minimise surpluses to relatively low levels (i.e. are more sustainable). This is due to, per ha, lower fertiliser and feed imports, greater exports of agricultural products, and for dairy, sheep and suckler cattle, relatively high stocking rates. For the ambitious scenario of all non-benchmark farms reaching the optimal benchmark zone, moderate reductions in farm nutrient surpluses were found with great improvements in profitability, leading to a 31% and 9% decrease in N and P surplus nationally, predominantly from dairy and non-suckler cattle. The study also identifies excessive surpluses for each level of production intensity, which could be used by policy in setting upper limits to improve sustainability.
    • Application of the TruCulture® whole blood stimulation system for immune response profiling in cattle

      O’Brien, Megan B.; McLoughlin, Rachel M.; Meade, Kieran G.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 0005GE (Elsevier BV, 2020-03)
      Capturing the phenotypic variation in immune responses holds enormous promise for the development of targeted treatments for disease as well as tailored vaccination schedules. However, accurate detection of true biological variation can be obscured by the lack of standardised immune assays. The TruCulture® whole blood stimulation system has now been extensively used to detect basal and induced immune responses to a range of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in human peripheral blood. This study demonstrates the optimisation of this commercially available assay for systemic immune phenotyping in cattle. The early immune response in Holstein-Friesian bull calves (n = 10) was assessed by haematology, flow cytometry and cytokine expression profiling after 24 h ex-vivo PAMP (LPS, poly (I:C) and zymosan) stimulation in TruCulture® tubes. A comparative analysis was also performed with a traditional whole blood stimulation assay and cell viability using both systems was also evaluated. Results: Supernatant collected from TruCulture® tubes showed a significant increase in IL-1β and IL-8 expression compared to null stimulated tubes in response to both LPS and zymosan. In contrast, a detectable immune response was not apparent at the standard concentration of poly (I:C). Conventional whole blood cultures yielded similar response profiles, although the magnitude of the response was higher to both LPS and zymosan, which may be attributed to prokaryotic strain-specificity or batch of the stimulant used. Despite being a closed system, HIF1A expression – used as a measure of hypoxia was not increased, suggesting the TruCulture® assay did not negatively affect cell viability. This represents the first reported use of this novel standardised assay in cattle, and indicates that the concentration of poly (I:C) immunogenic in humans is insufficient to induce cytokine responses in cattle. We conclude that the low blood volume and minimally invasive TruCulture® assay system offers a practical and informative technique to assess basal and induced systemic immune responses in cattle.
    • Influence of sodium hexametaphosphate addition on the functional properties of milk protein concentrate solutions containing transglutaminase cross-linked proteins

      Power, Orla M.; Fenelon, Mark; O'Mahony, James A.; McCarthy, Noel; Teagasc Wash Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-05)
      The functional properties of milk protein concentrate (MPC) powders are often hindered by their poor solubility. Calcium chelating salts have been shown to improve powder solubility, but generally their action contributes to higher viscosity due to disintegration of casein micelles and higher levels of serum-phase calcium. To help mitigate increases in viscosity associated with calcium chelation, transglutaminase (TGase), an enzyme that covalently crosslinks protein, was employed in an effort to stabilise the casein micelle structure. Sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) was added to control (C-MPC) and TGase crosslinked MPC (TG-MPC) dispersions at concentrations of 5, 12.5 and 25 mm prior to analysis. TG-MPC dispersions had lower viscosity than C-MPC dispersions across all SHMP concentrations studied. Crosslinking limited micelle dissociation on SHMP addition and led to greater retention of the white colour of the protein dispersions, while the turbidity of C-MPC dispersions decreased with increasing SHMP addition.
    • Enrichment use in finishing pigs and its relationship with damaging behaviours: Comparing three wood species and a rubber floor toy

      Chou, Jen-Yun; D’Eath, Rick B.; Sandercock, Dale A.; O’Driscoll, Keelin; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Scottish Government; 14/S/871 (Elsevier BV, 2020-03)
      Environmental enrichment in pig housing is a legal requirement under current EU legislation, but some recommended loose materials may cause obstructions in fully-slatted systems. Wood is an organic material that could be compatible with slatted systems. This study investigated enrichment use in finishing pigs (three wood species and a rubber floor toy) and explored the relationship between use and damaging behaviours, and physiological and physical measures of stress and injury. Individual variation in enrichment use within pen was also investigated. Pigs (12 weeks old; week 0) were housed in 40 pens of seven pigs (n = 280). One of four different enrichment items (one spruce, larch, or beech wooden post, or rubber floor toy) was randomly assigned to each pen (10 pens/treatment). The behaviour of each individually marked pig was observed continuously from video recordings taken on six different occasions (twice during week 2, 4 and 7; 1 h per occasion). Individual tail/ear lesion and tear staining scores were recorded every 2 weeks. Saliva samples for cortisol analysis were obtained from three focal pigs per pen every 2 weeks. These focal pigs were selected based on the latency to approach the experimenter on the first sampling day and classified as ‘Approach’, ‘Neutral’ or ‘Avoid’. Carcasses were inspected for tail lesions and potential oral damage. Time spent using enrichment was higher in pigs with spruce and rubber toy than with larch and beech (P < 0.001). Spruce was used up the most quickly and was the softest of the wood species (P < 0.001). High use of spruce was not due to consistent high use by certain pigs. No treatment effect on any other behaviour was recorded, but enrichment use was positively correlated with damaging behaviours at pen level (P < 0.001). Spruce pigs had slightly more severe tail lesion scores than Beech (P < 0.05). Salivary cortisol did not differ between treatments but was higher in ‘Avoid’ than ‘Approach’ pigs (P = 0.04). No clear oral damage that could be attributed to using wood was found. By investigating enrichment use at both pen and individual level, a more complete picture was obtained of how pigs used the enrichment. Wood appears to be a safe material to use as environmental enrichment for pigs and a softer wood species was preferred by pigs with equal preference for the rubber floor toy.
    • Risky (farm) business: Perceptions of economic risk in farm succession and inheritance

      Leonard, Brian; Farrell, Maura; Mahon, Marie; Kinsella, Anne; O'Donoghue, Cathal; Royal Dublin Society; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
      Highlights • Generational renewal is high on the political agenda for agriculture, with young farmers linked to positive outcomes. • There are limited policy incentives for older farmers to consider engaging in the farm succession and inheritance process. • Farmers perceive risks and uncertainties regarding the transfer process, and thus avoid handing over to their successors. • Taxation, retirement income, long term care cost, and marital breakdown are motivations for farmers to retain ownership. • Financial incentives related to generational renewal must aim to alleviate the level of risk perceived by farmers.
    • Review of near-infrared spectroscopy as a process analytical technology for real-time product monitoring in dairy processing

      Pu, Yuan-Yuan; O'Donnell, Colm; Tobin, John T.; O'Shea, Norah; Dairy Processing Technology Centre; Enterprise Ireland; TC/2014/0016 (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
      Real-time process/product monitoring can be achieved using suitable process analytical technologies (PAT) to improve process efficiencies and product quality. In the dairy industry, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has been utilised as a laboratory analytical method (off-line) for compositional analysis of dairy products since the 1970s. Recent advances in NIR technology and instrumentation have widened its applications from a bench-top analytical instrument to a promising PAT tool for on-line and in-line implementation. This review focuses on the use of NIR technology for real-time monitoring of dairy products, by briefly outlining the measurement principle, NIR instrument configurations, in-line sampling methods, calibration models development, some practical considerations for process installation, and current state of the art in on-line and in-line NIR applications (2012 to date) for continuous process monitoring in the production of dairy products. The challenges and additional resources required to improve production efficiencies using NIR spectroscopy are also discussed.
    • Fabrication and characterization of highly re-dispersible dry emulsions

      Lu, Wei; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Kelly, Alan L.; Miao, Song; Shanghai Pujiang Program; Shanghai Jiao Tong University; 19PJ1406500; 19X100040028 (Elsevier BV, 2020-05)
      Highly re-dispersible dry emulsions were obtained through drying konjac glucomannan (KGM) or monoglyceride (MG) structured O/W emulsions. Emulsion powders showed different morphologies, particle size and surface microstructures, depending on the drying method (spray/freeze-drying), and the emulsion compositions. The introduction of a low level of KGM (0.15 wt%) and MG (1 wt%) significantly reduced the level of maltodextrin as wall material. All powdered emulsions showed rapid re-hydration in water. Compared with original emulsions before drying, re-constituted emulsions from spray-dried powders showed slightly increased mean droplet size while that from freeze-dried ones showed slightly decreased mean droplet size. KGM significantly decreased the initial viscosity (p < 0.05) but increased the creaming stability (p < 0.05) of re-constituted emulsions. Measurement of β-carotene content in re-constituted oil droplets fractions indicated that emulsion powders have good re-dispersibility in water (>93% in average). The findings in this study make it possible to obtain emulsion powders and their reconstitutions with desired properties by structuring the original emulsions before drying, and confirmed the possibility of KGM and MG in producing low-cost emulsion powders and the potential of these dry emulsions as novel solid delivery carriers for lipophilic components.
    • Dynamic in situ imaging of semi-hard cheese microstructure under large-strain tensile deformation: Understanding structure-fracture relationships

      Lamichhane, Prabin; Auty, Mark A.E.; Kelly, Alan L.; Sheehan, Diarmuid (JJ); Dairy Research Ireland; Ornua; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; RMIS 6259 (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
      Changes in the microstructure of semi-hard cheeses were observed in situ under tensile deformation by placing a microtensile stage directly under a confocal scanning laser microscope, and recording force/displacement data simultaneously. On tensile deformation, detachment of fat globules and their subsequent release from the cheese matrix were observed, suggesting that they are weakly bonded to or entrapped within the cheese matrix. Moreover, an inherent micro-defect was observed at a curd granule junction within the cheese matrix, which fractured along the curd granule junction under tensile deformation, suggesting that such micro-defects could be a key to the formation of undesirable slits or cracks. Furthermore, the fracture behaviour of semi-hard cheese varied with ripening temperature, coagulant type, and inhibition of residual chymosin activity. Overall, this study demonstrated the potential of dynamic in situ imaging of cheese microstructure for developing a greater understanding of the breakdown behaviour of cheese matrices.
    • Microfiltration of raw milk for production of high-purity milk fat globule membrane material

      Hansen, Steffen F.; Hogan, Sean; Tobin, John; Rasmussen, Jan T.; Larsen, Lotte B.; Wiking, Lars; Arla Foods for Health Centre; Arla Food Ingredients; Innovation Fund Denmark; 5158-00014B (Elsevier BV, 2020-07)
      Commercial ingredients containing milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) material are currently isolated from heavily processed dairy streams. The aim of this study was to achieve a more gentle isolation of MFGM material by means of ceramic dia-microfiltration of raw whole milk to separate fat globules from casein micelles and whey proteins prior to MFGM extraction. A pilot-scale experiment with 1.4 μm pore size (membrane surface area 1.05 m2) resulted in an optimal outcome of low permeation of fat (2.5% permeation) and high permeation of proteins (97% permeation). This yielded an MFGM isolate with 7% w/w polar lipids and 30% w/w proteins, where contamination of non-MFGM proteins was only 25% of total protein content. Furthermore, mild pasteurization (72 °C, 15 s) introduced either before or after microfiltration had no impact on filtration efficiency or MFGM yield and composition. The work describes an industrially relevant production method for a less-processed MFGM material of high purity with potential for further separation and valorisation of protein-rich permeate streams.