SPLASH!® milk science update: November 2018 Issue

This month’s issue features emulsifiers in alternative milks and the IMGC Symposium.

Milk Science Collaboration Leads the Way

Milk Science Collaboration Leads the Way

During the last two decades, there has been a revolution in the way science is undertaken. The minor discoveries in the past, such as the earth revolving around the sun, E=mc2, the discovery of penicillin, and the gene basis to hereditary, were originally made by inspired individuals largely acting in isolation. They saw what no one else could see. The iconic public image of these scientists highlights their unkempt appearance and seeming disconnect with the immediate world mirroring a solitary mind languishing in abstract places. All that has now changed. Collaboration on the scale of the consortium now rules the scientific roost, as it accelerates the discovery process. At its heart, collaboration is the brewing pot for new ideas. Why is this important? New ideas lead to innovation, which is the fuel for large increases in industry productivity, the birth of new industries, and major societal advances. But how do you measure the success of collaboration? Read More...

What’s in the Dairy Case? Potential Health Risks of Emulsifiers from Plant-Based Milks

What’s in the Dairy Case? Potential Health Risks of Emulsifiers from Plant-Based Milks

Thousands of years ago, soymilk was nothing more than bean-flavored water, and if a food couldn’t be pickled, cured, fermented, or dried, it could not be preserved. Thanks to emulsifiers—natural and synthetic substances used to improve food texture, make foods more uniform in consistency, or increase a food’s shelf life—modern-day humans can enjoy soymilk with a creamy consistency and baked goods that stay fresh for months in the pantry. But do these improvements come at a cost? Although emulsifiers such as carrageenan have been classified as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA, a growing body of evidence suggests they may be partly responsible for increasing the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases and the metabolic syndrome over the last 50 years. Although it may come as no surprise that processed foods are not good for overall health, many foods that consumers select because they are believed to be healthy, including some plant-based milk substitutes, contain ingredients that could potentially be making us sick. Read More...

Biochemical Evidence that Breastfeeding Reduces the Odds of Diabetes

Biochemical Evidence that Breastfeeding Reduces the Odds of Diabetes

What percentage of people with diabetes have yet to be diagnosed? In one advanced democracy with a good public health system—the United Kingdom—the figure is thought to be about 20%. Common sense suggests that in countries where healthcare is not free at the point of use, this percentage is probably higher. Because so many people who have diabetes do not know it, studies of diabetes that rely on self-reported cases always come with a sliver of doubt. This is why some newly published research by Erica P. Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, and her colleagues, is important. It is the first long-term study—using biochemical diagnosis—to show that breastfeeding reduces the odds of a woman developing diabetes. Read More...

The Magic of Milk in the Morning

The Magic of Milk in the Morning

Odds are, your mother told you “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And, as is usually the case, your mother was right. Scientific studies continually support this folk wisdom—people that eat breakfast weigh less, are less likely to gain lost weight back, and have more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day compared with those who skip the first meal of the day. Not all breakfast foods offer these health benefits, however. Sorry bagels and donuts, but studies consistently show that protein-packed breakfast foods may make the biggest impact when it comes to jump-starting your metabolism and limiting spikes in blood sugar and overall daily food intake. But a new study shows that you may be able to have your breakfast carbohydrates and eat them too—as long as you eat them with milk. Read More...