Special Issue "Milk: Bioactive Components and Role in Human Nutrition"

A special issue of Beverages (ISSN 2306-5710).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Milk is a nutritious food item with various beneficial properties and has a long tradition in nutrition, having been part of human diet for thousands of years.

The composition of milk varies among different species, and milk quality is affected by several factors, i.e., season, climate, feeding management, and stage of lactation, as well as heat-treatments and technological processes.

Milk is a valuable source of bioactive components and its role and function in human diet has been increasingly investigated by epidemiological and experimental studies. Consumption of milk is influenced by several variables, i.e., sex, age, ethnicity, and other cultural factors, and specific recommendations vary from country to country.

This Special Issue, will include original researches and review papers, and will provide an overview of the nutritional composition and profile of the bioactive components of milk, its variation, and its impact on human diet.

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Milk: Bioactive Components and Role in Human Nutrition
Beverages 2017, 3(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3040063 - 19 Dec 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the current Special Issue, numerous and different aspects related to milk, an important component of a well-balanced diet, are presented.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Reactions to a Low-Fat Milk Social Media Intervention in the US: The Choose 1% Milk Campaign
Beverages 2017, 3(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3040047 - 25 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
(1) Background: Social media has increased in importance as a primary source of health communication but has received little academic attention. The purpose of this study was to conduct a content analysis of Facebook comments made in response to a five-week statewide social [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Social media has increased in importance as a primary source of health communication but has received little academic attention. The purpose of this study was to conduct a content analysis of Facebook comments made in response to a five-week statewide social media intervention promoting use of 1% low-fat milk. Formative research identified health messages to promote, and 16 health messages consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans were posted. During the intervention, 454 Facebook users posted 489 relevant comments; (2) Methods: The themes of user comments were identified using mixed-methods with qualitative identification of themes supplemented by cluster analysis; (3) Results: Six broad themes with 19 sub-themes are identified: (a) sugar, fat, and nutrients, (b) defiant, (c) watery milk, (d) personal preference, (e) evidence and logic, and (f) pure and natural; (4) The subject of milk is surprisingly controversial, a contested terrain in the mind of the consumer with a variety of competing perspectives that influence consumption. Public reactions to a social media nutrition education intervention are useful in understanding audience psychographics toward the desired behavior, require continual efforts to monitor and manage the social media campaign, but provide an opportunity to maximize the utility of real-time interactions with your audience. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research to Understand Milk Consumption Behaviors in a Food-Insecure Low-Income SNAP Population in the US
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030046 - 18 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Milk, due to its affordability and nutritional value, can fortify the diets of families that experience food insecurity or find a high-quality diet cost-prohibitive. However, it can also be a leading source of excess calories and saturated fat. Yet, little is known about [...] Read more.
Milk, due to its affordability and nutritional value, can fortify the diets of families that experience food insecurity or find a high-quality diet cost-prohibitive. However, it can also be a leading source of excess calories and saturated fat. Yet, little is known about what influences consumer behavior of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients toward the type of milk used or the prevalence of low-fat milk use among this population. This cross-sectional telephone survey of SNAP recipients (n = 520) documented that 7.5% of this population usually consumes low-fat milk, a prevalence that lags behind national figures (34.4%) for the same time-period. There was a weak association between sociodemographic characteristics of SNAP recipients and low-fat milk use. Instead, less low-fat milk consumption was associated with a knowledge gap and misperceptions of the nutritional properties of the different types of milk. Promoting low-fat milk use by correcting these misperceptions can improve the diet of America’s low-income population and reduce food insecurity by maximizing the nutritional value of the foods consumed. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
Bioactive Peptides in Milk: From Encrypted Sequences to Nutraceutical Aspects
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030041 - 14 Aug 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Milk provides a wide range of biologically active compounds that protect humans against diseases and pathogens. The purpose of this work is to describe the main aspects and research lines concerning bioactive peptides: from their chemistry, bioavailability, and biochemical properties to their applications [...] Read more.
Milk provides a wide range of biologically active compounds that protect humans against diseases and pathogens. The purpose of this work is to describe the main aspects and research lines concerning bioactive peptides: from their chemistry, bioavailability, and biochemical properties to their applications in the healthcare sector. In this context, the uses of bioactive peptides in nutraceutical and functional foods have been highlighted, also taking into account the perspective of innovative applications in the field of circular bioeconomy. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
Organic vs. Conventional Milk: Some Considerations on Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Iodine Content
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030039 - 01 Aug 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The organic food market is considerably expanding all over the world, and the related dairy market represents its third most important sector. The reason lies in the fact that consumers tend to associate organic dairy products with positive perceptions: organic milk is eco- [...] Read more.
The organic food market is considerably expanding all over the world, and the related dairy market represents its third most important sector. The reason lies in the fact that consumers tend to associate organic dairy products with positive perceptions: organic milk is eco- and animal-friendly, is not produced with antibiotics or hormones, and according to general opinion, provides additional nutrients and beneficial properties. These factors justify its higher cost. These are the reasons that explain extensive research into the comparison of the differences in the amount of chemical compounds between organic and conventional milk. However, it is not simple to ascertain the potential advantage of organic food from the nutritional point of view, because this aspect should be determined within the context of the total diet. Thus, considering all the factors described above, the purpose of this work is to compare the amount of selected nutrients (i.e., iodine and the fat-soluble vitamins such as alfa-tocopherol and beta-carotene) in organic and conventional milk, expressed as the percentage of recommended daily intakes in one serving. In detail, in order to establish the real share of these biologically active compounds to the total diet, their percent contribution was calculated using the Dietary Reference Values for adults (both men and women) adopted by the European Food Safety Authority. According to these preliminary considerations, the higher cost of organic milk can mainly be explained by the high costs of the management of specific farms and no remarkable or substantial benefits in human health can be ascribed to the consumption of organic milk. In this respect, this paper wants to make a small contribution to the estimation of the potential value and nutritional health benefits of organic food, even though further studies are needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Milk Sphingomyelin Reduces Systemic Inflammation in Diet-Induced Obese Mice and Inhibits LPS Activity in Macrophages
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030037 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
High-fat diets (HFD) increase lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activity in the blood and may contribute to systemic inflammation with obesity. We hypothesized that dietary milk sphingomyelin (SM), which reduces lipid absorption and colitis in mice, would reduce inflammation and be mediated through effects on gut [...] Read more.
High-fat diets (HFD) increase lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activity in the blood and may contribute to systemic inflammation with obesity. We hypothesized that dietary milk sphingomyelin (SM), which reduces lipid absorption and colitis in mice, would reduce inflammation and be mediated through effects on gut health and LPS activity. C57BL/6J mice were fed high-fat, high-cholesterol diets (HFD, n = 14) or the same diets with milk SM (HFD-MSM, 0.1% by weight, n = 14) for 10 weeks. HFD-MSM significantly reduced serum inflammatory markers and tended to lower serum LPS (p = 0.08) compared to HFD. Gene expression related to gut barrier function and macrophage inflammation were largely unchanged in colon and mesenteric adipose tissues. Cecal gut microbiota composition showed greater abundance of Acetatifactor genus in mice fed milk SM, but minimal changes in other taxa. Milk SM significantly attenuated the effect of LPS on pro-inflammatory gene expression in RAW264.7 macrophages. Milk SM lost its effects when hydrolysis was blocked, while long-chain ceramides and sphingosine, but not dihydroceramides, were anti-inflammatory. Our data suggest that dietary milk SM may be effective in reducing systemic inflammation through inhibition of LPS activity and that hydrolytic products of milk SM are important for these effects. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
Milk and Its Sugar-Lactose: A Picture of Evaluation Methodologies
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030035 - 13 Jul 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Lactose is the major disaccharide found in milk, and is catabolized into glucose and galactose by the enzyme lactase. Lactose is an important energy source and ssometimes it is referred to simply as milk sugar, as it is present in high percentages in [...] Read more.
Lactose is the major disaccharide found in milk, and is catabolized into glucose and galactose by the enzyme lactase. Lactose is an important energy source and ssometimes it is referred to simply as milk sugar, as it is present in high percentages in dairy products. Lactose is the primary source of carbohydrates during mammal development, and represents 40% of the energy consumed during the nursing period. Lactose-intolerance individuals have a lactase deficiency; therefore, lactose is not completely catabolized. Lactose intolerance is a significant factor in the choice of diet for many sick people, therefore its content in foods must be monitored to avoid disorders and illnesses. This has created the need to develop simple methods, such as polarimetry, gravimetric, middle infrared, differential pH and enzymatic monitoring, but all these methods are time-consuming, because they required extensive sample preparation and cannot differentiate individual sugars. In order to quantify low levels of lactose, new and more accurate analytical methods have been developed. Generally, they require equipment such as HPLC or High Performance Anion Exchange with Pulsed Amperometric Detection (HPAE-PAD). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Small Prizes Increased Plain Milk and Vegetable Selection by Elementary School Children without Adversely Affecting Total Milk Purchase
Beverages 2017, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3010014 - 17 Feb 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
(1) Background: Pediatric obesity continues to be a major public health issue. Poor food selection in the school cafeteria is a risk factor. Chocolate or strawberry flavored milk is favored by the majority of elementary school students. Previous health promotion efforts have led [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Pediatric obesity continues to be a major public health issue. Poor food selection in the school cafeteria is a risk factor. Chocolate or strawberry flavored milk is favored by the majority of elementary school students. Previous health promotion efforts have led to increased selection of plain milk, but may compromise total milk purchased. In our study, we examined the effectiveness of small prizes as incentives to improve healthy food and beverage selection by elementary school students; (2) Methods: In a small Midwestern school district, small prizes were given to elementary school students who selected a “Power Plate” (PP), the healthful combination of a plain milk, a fruit, a vegetable and an entrée with whole grain over two academic school years; (3) Results: PP selection increased from 0.05 per student to 0.19, a 271% increase (p < 0.001). All healthful foods had increased selection with plain milk having the greatest increase, 0.098 per student to 0.255, a 159% increase (p < 0.001); (4) Total milk purchased increased modestly from 0.916 to 0.956 per student (p = 0.000331). Conclusion: Giving small prizes as a reward for healthful food selection substantially improves healthful food selection and the effect is sustainable over two academic years. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Raw and Heat-Treated Milk: From Public Health Risks to Nutritional Quality
Beverages 2017, 3(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3040054 - 07 Nov 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Consumers have recently shown a preference for natural food products and ingredients and within that framework, their interest in consuming raw drinking milk has been highlighted, claiming nutritional, organoleptic and health benefits. However, a public debate has simultaneously emerged about the actual risks [...] Read more.
Consumers have recently shown a preference for natural food products and ingredients and within that framework, their interest in consuming raw drinking milk has been highlighted, claiming nutritional, organoleptic and health benefits. However, a public debate has simultaneously emerged about the actual risks and benefits of direct human consumption of raw milk. This paper compares the microbiological, nutritional and sensory profile of raw and heat-treated milk, to evaluate the real risks and benefits of its consumption. In detail, it provides an updated overview of the main microbiological risks of raw milk consumption, especially related to the presence of pathogens and the main outputs of risk assessment models are reported. After introducing the key aspects of most commonly used milk heat-treatments, the paper also discusses the effects such technologies have on the microbiological, nutritional and sensory profile of milk. An insight into the scientific evidence behind the claimed protective effects of raw milk consumption in lactose-intolerant subjects and against the onset of asthma and allergy disorders in children is provided. The emergence of novel milk processing technologies, such as ohmic heating, microwave heating, high pressure processing, pulsed electric fields, ultrasound and microfiltration is also presented as an alternative to common thermal treatments. Full article
Open AccessReview
Role of Proteins and of Some Bioactive Peptides on the Nutritional Quality of Donkey Milk and Their Impact on Human Health
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030034 - 10 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Donkey milk could be considered a good and safer alternative, compared to other types of milk, for infants affected by cow’s milk protein allergy, when breastfeeding is not possible. Interestingly, donkey milk has low allergenicity, mainly due to the low total casein amount, [...] Read more.
Donkey milk could be considered a good and safer alternative, compared to other types of milk, for infants affected by cow’s milk protein allergy, when breastfeeding is not possible. Interestingly, donkey milk has low allergenicity, mainly due to the low total casein amount, and the content of some whey proteins that act as bioactive peptides. The amount of lysozyme, an antibacterial agent, is 1.0 g/L, similar to human milk. Lactoferrin content is 0.08 g/L, with this protein being involved in the regulation of iron homoeostasis, anti-microbial and anti-viral functions, and protection against cancer development. Lactoperoxidase, another protein with antibacterial function, is present in donkey milk, but in very low quantities (0.11 mg/L). β-lactoglobulin content in donkey milk is 3.75 g/L—this protein is able to bind and transport several hydrophobic molecules. Donkey milk’s α-lactalbumin concentration is 1.8 g/L, very close to that of human milk. α-lactalbumin shows antiviral, antitumor, and anti-stress properties. Therefore, donkey milk can be considered as a set of nutraceuticals properties and a beverage suitable, not only for the growing infants, but for all ages, especially for convalescents and for the elderly. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Communication Strategies to Improve Healthy Food Consumption among Schoolchildren: Focus on Milk
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030032 - 05 Jul 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
This work provides an updated picture of communication strategies developed to improve healthy dietary habits in schoolchildren, with a focus on the importance of milk consumption. The paper has investigated two main areas: the definition of the main orientations and key points of [...] Read more.
This work provides an updated picture of communication strategies developed to improve healthy dietary habits in schoolchildren, with a focus on the importance of milk consumption. The paper has investigated two main areas: the definition of the main orientations and key points of research approach relative to the communication methods, with special attention to multiple strategies and the identification of their peculiarities to increase daily milk consumption. The school environment is considered as a unique environment to help increase the adoption of a correct dietary habit and lifestyle; it increases physical activity by facilitating the flow of health-related information. In this regard, several studies have highlighted the importance and effectiveness of school-based interventions on a large-scale, also considering multiple contexts, early interventions as well as the involvement of teachers, students and families. The effective actions range from interventions on prices and the availability of desirable and undesirable foods to educational programmes that improve food knowledge and the choices of students and/or their parents. From the nutritional point of view, milk is an important component of a well-balanced diet—especially for children—because it contains essential nutrients. It is a substantial contributor to the daily energy intake; however, its consumption often declines with aging and becomes insufficient. Therefore, developing strategies to increase its consumption is an important objective to reach. Full article
Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Potential of Milk Whey
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030031 - 05 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Milk whey—commonly known as cheese whey—is a by-product of cheese or casein in the dairy industry and contains usually high levels of lactose, low levels of nitrogenous compounds, protein, salts, lactic acid and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Milk whey contains several [...] Read more.
Milk whey—commonly known as cheese whey—is a by-product of cheese or casein in the dairy industry and contains usually high levels of lactose, low levels of nitrogenous compounds, protein, salts, lactic acid and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Milk whey contains several unique components like immunoglobulins (Igs), lactoferrin (Lf), lactoperoxidase (Lp), glycomacropeptide (GMP) and sphingolipids that possess some important antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Some whey components possess anticancer properties such as sphingomyelin, which have the potential to inhibit colon cancer. Immunoglobulin-G (IgGs), Lp and Lf concentrated from whey participates in host immunity. IgGs binds with bacterial toxins and lowers the bacterial load in the large bowel. There are some whey-derived carbohydrate components that possess prebiotic activity. Lactose support lactic acid bacteria (such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli). Stallic acids, an oligosaccharide in whey, are typically attached to proteins, and possess prebiotic properties. The uniqueness of whey proteins is due to their ability to boost the level of glutathione (GSH) in various tissues and also to optimize various processes of the immune system. The role of GSH is very critical as it protects the cells against free radical damage, infections, toxins, pollution and UV exposure. Overall GSH acts as a centerpiece of the body’s antioxidant defense system. It has been widely observed that individuals suffering from cancer, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome and many other immune-compromising conditions have very poor levels of glutathione. The sulphur-containing amino-acids (cysteine and methionine) are also found in high levels in whey protein. Thus, the present review will focus on the therapeutic potential of milk whey such as antibiotic, anti-cancer, anti-toxin, immune-enhancer, prebiotic property etc. Full article
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