Special Issue "Primary Production Factors Affecting the Composition and Quality of Milk and Dairy Products across the Supply Chain"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Dairy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tom O'Callaghan
Guest Editor
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, IE
Interests: food science and technology; dairy science; dairy chemistry; dairy processing; dairy-based metabolomics
Dr. Laurence Shalloo
Guest Editor
Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, TEAGASC - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Moorepark, Fermoy , Co. Cork P61 C996
Interests: milk pricing strategies; seasonality of milk production; beef production systems
Dr. John Thomas Tobin
Guest Editor
Department of Food Chemistry and Technology, TEAGASC - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Moorepk, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland
Interests: science of milk to finished product; colloidal science, food structure and soft matter; protein chemistry and behaviour during processing and digestion; novel process technologies for food; collaborative research with industry partners

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Milk is a highly nutritious food product, often consumed throughout a consumers life span in one form or another. There are a variety of factors across the dairy supply chain including primary production practices (feeding systems, housing, breeding, animal health and welfare etc.) and processing technologies that can significantly impact the composition, quality and functionality of liquid milk or dairy ingredients. Milk is a rich reservoir of nutritional and functional ingredients and in recent years there has been an increased emphasis on strategies or technologies to further enrich milk as a source of these components, or to develop novel technologies to isolate, enrich and stabilize these components for use as ingredients in premium formulated products. Enhanced technologies in the field of "foodomics" have also increased our understanding of factors affecting the composition of milk beyond that of traditional wet chemistry methods with implications for prediction of products functionality, digestibility and authentication.

This Special Issue is therefore open to all contributions that examine factors from primary production across the dairy supply chain that can affect the composition, quality and functionality of dairy products, ingredients and their applications. Contributions may include research articles, reviews and short communications pertinent to these topics.

Dr. Tom O'Callaghan
Dr. Laurence Shalloo
Dr. John Thomas Tobin
Guest Editors

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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Dairy
  • Primary production
  • Composition
  • Functionality
  • Processing
  • Foodomics
  • Dairy chemistry

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Combined Metabolomic and Metagenomic Approach to Discriminate Raw Milk for the Production of Hard Cheese
Foods 2021, 10(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010109 - 06 Jan 2021
The chemical composition of milk can be significantly affected by different factors across the dairy supply chain, including primary production practices. Among the latter, the feeding system could drive the nutritional value and technological properties of milk and dairy products. Therefore, in this [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of milk can be significantly affected by different factors across the dairy supply chain, including primary production practices. Among the latter, the feeding system could drive the nutritional value and technological properties of milk and dairy products. Therefore, in this work, a combined foodomics approach based on both untargeted metabolomics and metagenomics was used to shed light onto the impact of feeding systems (i.e., hay vs. a mixed ration based on hay and fresh forage) on the chemical profile of raw milk for the production of hard cheese. In particular, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF) was used to investigate the chemical profile of raw milk (n = 46) collected from dairy herds located in the Po River Valley (Italy) and considering different feeding systems. Overall, a total of 3320 molecular features were putatively annotated across samples, corresponding to 734 unique compound structures, with significant differences (p < 0.05) between the two feeding regimens under investigation. Additionally, supervised multivariate statistics following metabolomics-based analysis allowed us to clearly discriminate raw milk samples according to the feeding systems, also extrapolating the most discriminant metabolites. Interestingly, 10 compounds were able to strongly explain the differences as imposed by the addition of forage in the cows’ diet, being mainly glycerophospholipids (i.e., lysophosphatidylethanolamines, lysophosphatidylcholines, and phosphatidylcholines), followed by 5-(3′,4′-Dihydroxyphenyl)-gamma-valerolactone-4′-O-glucuronide, 5a-androstan-3a,17b-diol disulfuric acid, and N-stearoyl glycine. The markers identified included both feed-derived (such as phenolic metabolites) and animal-derived compounds (such as lipids and derivatives). Finally, although characterized by a lower prediction ability, the metagenomic profile was found to be significantly correlated to some milk metabolites, with Staphylococcaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Dermabacteraceae establishing a higher number of significant correlations with the discriminant metabolites. Therefore, taken together, our preliminary results provide a comprehensive foodomic picture of raw milk samples from different feeding regimens, thus supporting further ad hoc studies investigating the metabolomic and metagenomic changes of milk in all processing conditions. Full article
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