SPLASH!® milk science update: August 2018 Issue

This month’s issue features premature babies, soy milk, food allergies, and metabolics and yogurt.

Very Small Babies Benefit from Either Human or Cow-Based Milk Fortifiers

Very Small Babies Benefit from Either Human or Cow-Based Milk Fortifiers

Life’s tough for very small premature babies. They face a daunting list of potential complications that could challenge their present and future health, and sometimes their survival. Their families dread hearing the foreboding medical word “complication.” Babies weighing less than 1.5 kg (3 lb 4 oz) are classified by the World Health Organization as very low-birth-weight (VLBW) babies. To put that into perspective, the average birth weight in the USA is 3.3 kg (7 lb 4 oz) with 95% of babies ranging between a petite 2.5 kg (5 lb 8 oz) and the king or queen of the nursery at 5 kg (11 lb). Amazingly, many VLBW babies overcome their early life challenges with help from intensive neonatal medical care and go on to face the more important challenges within a child’s life, like learning to swim and passing grammar tests at school. One factor contributing to the health of VLBW babies is the use of milk-based nutritional fortifiers. But which fortifier is best? Read More...

What’s in the Dairy Case? Soy Milk: The Original Alternative Milk

What’s in the Dairy Case?  Soy Milk: The Original Alternative Milk

Humans domesticated soybeans over 10,000 years ago—roughly the same time that cattle were domesticated—so it should be no surprise that soy “milk” is the original plant-based milk alternative. The first soymilk, believed to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago, was a byproduct from the tofu-making process and was much more like bean-flavored water than the “milk” you find in grocery stores today. Thanks to thickening agents and emulsifiers (as well as many other technological advancements that remove components associated with the “beany” flavor), soymilk has become one of the most widely consumed plant-based milk alternatives in the U.S. and across the globe. Read More...

Unique Sugars in Human Milk Cut Infant Food Allergies

Unique Sugars in Human Milk Cut Infant Food Allergies

Often, studies that investigate a possible association between breastfeeding and the development of allergies find one, but not every time. For many researchers this would simply suggest random variation in the world. However, for Kozeta Miliku, of the University of Manitoba, Canada, and her colleagues, the variation has sparked a new avenue of research. They have discovered that instead of being random, the suite of mid-sized sugar molecules that are present in an individual mother’s milk contribute to the probability of her infant having food allergies at the age of one. Because the list and amount of these sugars varies from mother to mother, so does the extent to which human milk protects infants from developing allergies. Read More...

How Milk’s Metabolic Footprint Changes After Fermentation Into Yogurt

How Milk’s Metabolic Footprint Changes After Fermentation Into Yogurt

Fermentation is an age-old practice used to make foods last longer and easier to digest. About 40–80 pounds of fermented dairy products are consumed per person each year in Western countries, of which yogurt constitutes about 40%. Yogurt consumption is known to have several beneficial effects, including modulating the immune system, lowering circulating cholesterol, and improving many gastrointestinal conditions such as lactose intolerance, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease [3-5]. However, the mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects are still unclear. Read More...