SPLASH! milk science update: April 2017 Issue

This month’s issue features antioxidants in milk, non-food uses for milk casein, milk microRNAs, and glycogen in human milk.

The Ultimate Superfood? Milk Offers Up a Glass Full of Antioxidants

The Ultimate Superfood? Milk Offers Up a Glass Full of Antioxidants

Superman earned his “super” for his ability to outrun a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superfoods like açaí berries, kale, and tomatoes earned their “super” for their high concentration of nutrients, particularly those that act as antioxidants. The superlative name is appropriate. Antioxidants possess superhero-like powers that prevent damage to cells and DNA from oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of developing certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. Read More...

Paper, Plastic or Milk?: Non-Food Uses for Milk Casein

Paper, Plastic or Milk?: Non-Food Uses for Milk Casein

“Paper or plastic?” This simple question, asked daily at grocery stores and markets around the world, has become increasingly complex over the past couple of decades. The choice between all-natural, biodegradable fibers and synthetic, single-use films has political and environmental consequences ranging from deforestation to endangered sea turtles. But a recent innovation in the development of food packaging may signal a new option altogether. Instead of recycling or wasting your bag, what if you could eat it? Read More...

Milk microRNAs—Lots of Potential Functions but Conflicting Evidence

Milk microRNAs—Lots of Potential Functions but Conflicting Evidence

Controversy in science is good. It invites additional investigation generating new data, and ultimately there is either adequate proof or a lack of substantiation of an idea. The scientific idea then either swims into the future or sinks into oblivion. It is a proven but brutal, survival- of-the-fittest evolutionary process. This is how science works. In the intriguing case of the functions of milk microRNAs, this laborious scientific process is still underway. Read More...

Human Milk Contains Glycogen

Human Milk Contains Glycogen

Even though human milk is one of the most important substances to the healthy development of people everywhere, its basic composition is still the subject of entirely new discoveries. In a paper published in February this year, researchers from two institutions in Japan—the Institute of Health Sciences at Ezaki Glico Company and the University of Shiga Prefecture—report the presence of glycogen in human milk. Over the years, there have been circumstantial suggestions that human milk may contain this carbohydrate. But this new finding is the first example of strong, confirmatory evidence of glycogen’s presence. Read More...