Simon Höxter, Agriculture - Food Science programme (BSc)
Beloved milk products like cheese are made possible thanks to the protein group caseins. Caseins are organised in spheres, which can merge when certain enzymes or acids are added. The merged spheres form a gel which is the basis for cheesemaking. Cooling can cause some of the caseins to leak out of the spheres, which hypothetically can make dairy production less effective, and give less cheese. There are different types of caseins, like Beta-casein. In turn there can be different genetic variants for a type of casein in different cows. Research has indicated that these genetic variants affect milk properties like protein content and cheese production qualities. Further the relation between genetic variants and the cold induced leakage was examined, which has barely been done before! The results gave indication that contents of protein, caseins and lactose varied with different genetic variants of caseins. When it came to relation between genetic variants and production qualities, the results were less clear. There where slight indication that the leakage of caseins varied between genetic variants. Interestingly, the genetic variant which might have shown the biggest cold induced leakage, also showed the biggest difference in production qualities of the milk before and after it had been cooled. Better understanding about different genetic variants, could also lead to better breeding programs of dairy cows with focus on individual casein variants. This could improve production of different dairy products and give more cheese.