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Agricultural Experiment Station

Current Projects

These projects are also accessible through the CRIS web site of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Davis Dairy Plant Dryer


NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The US dairy industry recognizes that animal health plays an essential role in feed efficiency and milk quality, as evidenced by the wealth of research conducted on this topic in the last two decades. A major challenge in dairy cow health is the transition from late pregnancy to lactation. This stressful period is characterized by substantial metabolic and physiological changes due to energy demands for fetal growth and lactation. This transition is often correlated with a significant increase in health disorders occurring within the first weeks after birth. These health disorders can severely reduce milk production, reproductive parameters, and cause welfare issues. The large energy demands associated with this transitory period result in an excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which commonly expose cows to increased oxidative stress. The latter occurs when the ROS accumulation surpasses the antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants such as glutathione are well known to be effective in neutralizing ROS. Glutathione is primarily stored in the liver, and storing glutathione before excessive oxidative stress periods, such as the transition period of dairy cows, seems to be a promising alternative to minimize oxidative stress. Glutathione can be synthesized from dietary amino acids such as cysteine and methionine. Therefore, the availability of these amino acids can partially regulate the pool of available glutathione. However, other factors may regulate glutathione storage in the liver, including enzymes related to glutathione biosynthesis, specific metabolic cycles that control available precursors of glutathione, and oxidative stress. Therefore, our goal is to delineate the mechanisms that regulate glutathione storage in the liver prior to calving.To reach this goal, we will determine glutathione concentrations in liver biopsies samples taken during the transition period of dairy cows. We will use this data to perform a retrospective analysis based on cows with high versus low liver glutathione levels. Additionally, we will perform contemporary gene expression and western blot analyses to give us a clearer picture of the transcriptional and metabolic status of enzymes related to glutathione synthesis and storage in the liver of transition dairy cows. We will also collect blood samples to monitor concentrations of glutathione, biomarkers of oxidative stress, liver function, inflammation, as well as hormones such as insulin and cortisol. This information will give us a broader understanding of how adequate reserves of liver glutathione may impact the animal at a systemic level. In addition, we will correlate performance parameters such as milk yield, feed intake, and body condition score in transition cows with high and low liver glutathione. We will also utilize an in vitro mouse hepatocyte model to study the relationship between different precursors of glutathione and glutathione storage under normal and stress conditions.Collectively, these in vivo and in vitro approaches will allow us to delineate the relationships between glutathione precursors and glutathione storage in the liver in ruminant models under stress conditions. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate glutathione storage in transition dairy cows will enable us to devise nutritional and management strategies to prevent oxidative stress and thereby improve animal health and performance.

OBJECTIVES: Objective 1. To define the mechanisms that control liver GSH synthesis and storage in transition dairy cows and assess their effects on performance parameters and welfare postpartum.

Dr. Johan Osorio

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: By 2050, the world population will be 34% higher than today, reaching an estimated 9.1 billion people. Food animal production will need to increase by 1.7-fold to meet the growing world demand for animal protein (FAO, 2012). As a result, animal husbandry systems may become more intensified (concentrated animal feeding operations; CAFO) because fewer natural resources will be available to raise animals. In addition, new biotechnologies (e.g. gene-editing, growth promotants, feed-additives) and better housing systems may be needed to help increase the adaptation rates for domestic animals so that they can remain efficient and healthy, despite a variable climate. However, CAFOs and biotechnologies are often viewed by consumers with animosity over the concern of animal welfare and food safety, therefore, producers have to balance these concerns with productivity despite an increase in climate variability and limited resources. Nonetheless, animals in both intensive and extensive production systems are faced with potential macro- and micro-environmental stressors (Canario et al., 2013). In order to balance these challenges, producers will need to raise and manage farm animals so that they are resilient to environmental stressors. Stress physiology plays a significant role in objectively improving animal welfare, productivity, and ultimately, food security. When animals are not able to cope with macro- and micro-environmental stressors, US livestock producers can lose billions of dollars. For example, St. Pierre et al., et al. (2003) reported that without heat stress abatement measures, total losses in poultry and livestock costs $2.4 billion each year. Dairy cattle were the most affected in this calculation, with a yearly loss of $897 to $1500 million annually (St.-Pierre et al., 2003). In 2003, Mader predicted that the extreme climate variation will cost beef cattle industry members $10-20 million annually. In this multistate project the SDSU station will develop and share a variety of novel methods and techniques with other W3173 research groups to support of the goal of identifying measures of animal stress and well-being and characterizing factors affecting the biology of stress and immune responses. The research conducted at SDSU will expand on the current knowledge base regarding interactions among nutrition, management, and the immune system and how these can influence milk yield in dairy cows and growth and development in dairy calves. The nutritional cost (e.g., energy and protein) of maintaining an adequate immune system remains a major gap in knowledge in the dairy industry and in livestock animals. This represents an opportunity to provide gains in productivity and profitability to dairy farmers. Results of this work will be shared with the dairy industry, as well as general public through various conferences, presentations, and publications. Graduate and undergraduate students will receive substantial training and experience in dairy nutrition, physiology, molecular techniques, animal husbandry, among the core components necessary to achieve the overall objectives outlined in this project.

OBJECTIVES: Identify measures of animal stress and well-being and characterize factors affecting the biology of stress and immune responses Identify and assess genetic components of animal stress and well-being Development of management strategies and/or tools to enhance farm animal well-being under conditions of climatic change or other stressful environments.

Drs. Clifford Hall, Padmanaban Krishnan, Srinivas Janaswamy, Brent Turnipseed, Douglas Raine

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:  The USDA estimates that approximately 1 million hectares of peas, lentils, and chickpeas were harvested across 20 U.S. states in 2018. The crop value was estimated to be approximately 600 million dollars. Protein intake is an indicator of food consumption or lack thereof. Currently, and in the predicted future, protein intake will not meet dietary recommendations. Between 20 and 50 million tons of protein will be needed to fill the current production gap and meet the projected need by 2050. If pea protein were to fill just 1% of this increased demand, by 2050 this would require up to 500 million Kg of protein. The average protein content of peas is approximately 22%, thus 2.3 billion Kg of peas from an additional 1 million hectares would be needed. As a result, up to 1,000 million Kg of starch would also be generated. Thus, the utilization of this starch in food and industrial applications will be part of this assessment. The primary stakeholders for this project include pulse growers, pulse grower associations, and food manufacturers such as seed cleaners, millers, and ingredient suppliers. The interest in pulses such as pea, lentil, and chickpea is due to the nutrient composition, and the fact that these crops can be sustainably produced. The demand world-wide for plant-based protein is growing. To meet this demand, a variety of plant proteins have attracted interest by food manufacturers. Pea, lentil, and chickpea (here after referred to as pulses) will be the pulse crops targeted in this project. Fortification of cereal-based products is an ideal application of pulse ingredients because pulses are rich in folate, minerals, and lysine, an amino acid that is limiting in cereals. Furthermore, the cereal amino acids complement the amino acids in pulses, and when used in the correct proportion, produce a complete protein. However, limited data exists on the nutrient composition of dry pulses and even less data exists on the composition of pulse harvested from different locations and from pulses that have been stored under different environmental conditions (relative humidity and temperature). Furthermore, the impact of de-flavoring and other processing on composition has not been adequately address by researchers. The functionality of the stored and processed pulses also requires additional research. Research in this project will address compositional and functional attributes of pulses obtained from different growing locations, pulses stored under different environmental conditions, and pulses processed under conditions to remove bitterness and undesirable flavors. The information gained from this research will benefit pulse growers by providing them information about pulse varieties and recommendations for storage. Consumers will benefit by having available to them products that are nutrient dense, and for some individuals this would include gluten free products. Functional attributes and composition information will aid food manufacturers in developing products for consumers.

OBJECTIVES: People are aware that diet impacts health, and the message to maintain a healthy diet has been advised by dieticians for over 50 years. However, adopting and maintaining healthy eating habits are among the most difficult challenges people face. As a result, the food industry has focused in recent years on improving the nutritional quality of food products that already have high consumer acceptance. The availability of pulse-based products may contribute to combating diet-related diseases. Reports based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey indicate that individuals who regularly consume pulses weigh less, have a 23% reduced risk of increased waist size, and a 22% reduced risk of being obese. A significant positive effect on body weight in individuals consuming pulse diets compared to a non-pulse control diet has been reported (Kim and Basu 2016; Shana et al. 2016). Eating pulses reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5.5% and 6.6%, respectively, as compared to control diets (Bazzano et al. 2011). Data from several meta-analyses (Padhi and Ramdath 2017) supports that consumption of 2/3 cup of pulses daily lowered cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk through several mechanisms that include cholesterol reduction and reduction of other CVD biomarkers (e.g. blood pressure, inflammatory responses). Developing products with ingredients that have demonstrated health benefits, such as pulses, is one approach to prevent disease. Furthermore, a benefit is the reduction of direct and indirect cost associated with disease. Unfortunately, the direct inclusion of pulses in foods is limited due primarily to flavor and textural issues imparted by pulses in non-traditional applications. Stakeholders identified flavor issues as one of the top concerns regarding increased pulse utilization. In addition, pulse source and age have not been evaluated; thus, the impact of pulses that have been stored under various conditions should be evaluated as a contributor to undesirable pulse flavor. The age of the pulse seed may also affect nutrient composition, functionality, and shelf stability of flours or ingredients made from whole pulses. Understanding and resolving concerns related to using pulse ingredients must be addressed for pulse ingredients to be more widely used by the food industry and consumers. The goal of this project is to understand pulse flavor, functionality, and chemistry for pea, lentil, and chickpea stored under various conditions and processed to remove unwanted flavors. The project addresses needs under the Food and Non-food Products: Development, Processing, Quality, and Delivery topic area of the USDA. Data collected in this study would augment existing knowledge and encourage the food industry to develop commercial foods and foods with novel ingredients. More specifically, the project will improve our knowledge and understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of foods and food ingredients. In the context of this project, pulses include dry pea, lentils, and chickpea. The overall objectives of this project include the understanding of pulse flavor chemistry and methods to mitigate the intense pulse flavor through processing, isolation, and modification of pea components and to determine the impact of pulse storage on nutrient composition and functionality. To address the utilization of dry pulses as an ingredient, the following objectives will be investigated: 1. To assess effects of de-flavoring methods on pulse flour volatile composition, sensory attributes, nutrient composition, and functionality. 2. To isolate and modify protein and starch fractions of pulses and assess the effects of modification on the chemical composition, physical properties, and functional attributes of pulse flours.  3. To characterize the changes in volatile formation, functionality, and nutrient composition of pulses stored under diverse conditions experienced during storage.

SD00H648-18. CARBOHYDRATE BASED CARRIERS OF BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS. (October 2017 - September 2022) Dr. Srinivas Janaswamy

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Bioactive compounds (BCs) provide health benefits, especially for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. A study on pigmented potatoes suggests that the glycemic index is significantly related to the amount of polyphenol present in the potatoes. Similarly, 24 years of research on US men and women clearly highlights the benefits of consuming foods rich in anthocyanins and dietary flavonoids to maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, a 9-month curcumin intervention in a pre-diabetic population significantly lowered the number of pre-diabetic individuals; this suggests the beneficial role of curcumin for preventing Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Thus, supplementation and fortification of foods with BCs are useful for maintaining good health. This concept is further supported by the recent consumer awareness and demand for healthy foods. However, incorporation of BCs in foods is a major technological challenge due to low water solubility, and instability during processing and storage. Thus, delivery of BCS through food systems is a challenge. Carriers that are compatible with the human digestive system will be a solution to effectively incorporate BCs in food and in this regard carbohydrates standout as favorable choice. Carbohydrates composed of starches and polysaccharides are staple foods and form basic energy source for humans. Carbohydrates exhibit a wide variety of unique chemical structures and physiological functions. They are capable of significantly altering texture, gelation and viscosity of aqueous based solutions, and a wide range of products can be developed using carbohydrates as functional ingredients. More importantly, they form the bulk of many foods consumed by humans and play a central role in human health. They are inexpensive; hence, their utilization for delivering BCs will not only be significant in developing health promoting and disease preventing food supplements, functional foods, and medicinal foods, but they also provide the opportunity to exploit highly used and low-cost biomaterials as value-added products. The overall objective of this project is the design and development of novel carbohydrate-based delivery systems for BCs in food, pharmaceutical and medicinal applications. The proposed research is based on the PI's hypothesis that BCs can be effectively embedded and protected in the ordered networks of carbohydrates. The hypothesis is strongly supported by the following five observations. (1) Though polysaccharides are mostly amorphous in nature, structural ordering can be achieved by preparing crystalline structures and well orienting fibers under suitable experimental conditions. (2) In the crystalline state, polysaccharides adopt stable helical structures with well-orchestrated networks stabilized by intra- and inter-helical hydrogen bonds mediated via ordered water molecules and cations. (3) In the polysaccharide network, especially in anionic samples, there are 15-25 Å wide voids often filled with water molecules, and such water pockets are amenable for embedding BCs. (4) In the case of starches, there are water channels of 16Å diameter in root starches such as potato starch that are capable of embedding BCs. (5) Starch granules such as corn starch could be treated with enzymes to create micrometer scale pores amenable for encapsulating BCs. This project will evaluate the optimal conditions for entrapment and release of BCs in carbohydrate networks (oriented fibers, starches and porous starch granules) and establish the stability and bioavailability of entrapped BCs. The loaded amounts of BCs will be determined using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The complexes will be characterized through a series of techniques such as X-ray fiber diffraction, X-ray powder diffraction, Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Differential Scanning Calorimetry. The protection provided by the complexes for the BCs against digestive pH, heat, light and moisture will be established. The release rates will be determined in aqueous, simulated gastrointestinal conditions and rat studies. Overall, the outcome offers an elegant opportunity to design and develop value-added food products based on bioactive compounds that promote good health and prevent diseases.

OBJECTIVES: (1)preserve the structural form of a BC until the time of delivery, and (2) effectively deliver the preserved form to the physiological target. The following two objectives are carefully designed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the proposed research strategy. 1. Explore the effectiveness of various carbohydrate-based carriers in encapsulating BCs 2. Assess the stability and bioavailability of encapsulated BCs.


NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Enhancing the microbial quality and safety of milk and dairy products is an ongoing challenge. As a result of ever changing processing technologies and emerging issues related to spoilage and disease causing microorganisms, effective and efficient control of bacteria in dairy processes is critical if U.S. dairy products are to compete in the multi-billion dollar global export market. Some sporeformers and endospores resist thermal treatments and are primarily responsible for spoilage of milk and dairy products. It is thus imperative to find process interventions to control their proliferation. Our previous research in this area demonstrated hydrodynamic cavitation as a process that can be combined with pasteurization to inactivate thermoduric sporeformers and their spores. Further research in this area can help us scale-up this process, and at the same time identify processing conditions that will influence the sporulation and spore germination behavior of common dairy sporeformers. This will help the dairy industry reduce the adverse effects of sporeformers and manufacture products that can easily compete in global markets. Another important aspect related to dairy products is safety. Several incidences of food poisoning have affected the credibility of dairy products as wholesome for consumers, and resulted in serious economic consequences. For example a recent large outbreak involving Listeria monocytogenes in ice cream resulted in major recalls and shut down ice cream manufacturing facilities for several months. The persistence of Listeria;in dairy processing environments, and ability to cross-contaminate ice cream is not clearly understood. We propose to conduct challenge studies in simulated ice cream manufacturing processes to generate response surface models to predict risk more accurately. This will help us design more robust hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HARPC) for preventing food pathogens such as Listeria. The project will be conducted in collaboration with industrial partners to generate risk models directly applicable under field conditions. The information generated will help the dairy industry prevent food borne outbreaks.Improving the nutritional value of dairy ingredients, especially by designing new products and formulations, is the next thrust area identified by US dairy industry. Probiotic applications will play a significant role in this attempt due to increased consumer acceptance and growth in this sector of fermented dairy products. At the same time, value added byproducts such as whey protein isolates and concentrates provide additional avenues for developing health products. We plan to develop an encapsulated probiotic product using whey protein hydrolysates as encapsulants. Such a product will have the recognized health benefits of both whey proteins and active probiotic cultures. This will provide the dairy industry with another novel dairy product in the healthy products portfolio.

OBJECTIVES: Goal 1: To improve microbial quality and shelf life of milk and dairy products

Objective 1.1: To understand sporulation behavior of common sporeformers during milk powder manufacture Objective 1.2: To apply non-thermal technologies, such as cavitation, to control common dairy spore formers.

Goal 2: To improve microbial safety of dairy processes.

Objective 2.1: To control dairy pathogens such as Listeria by risk analysis, through response surface models.

Goal 3. To develop novel dairy products containing probiotics. 

Objective 3.1: To develop a spray-dried health formulation based on whey protein hydrolysate and probiotics encapsulation.


SD00H619-17 VALUE ENHANCEMENT OF HEALTH, NUTRITION AND ECONOMIC TRAITS OF CEREAL GRAINS (December 2016 - November 2021) Dr. Padmanaban Krishnan, Karl Glover, Sunish Sehgal. Melanie Treml, Sanjeev Anand, Sergio Martinez-Monteagudo.

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:  Increasing food production to meet the demands of a hungry world requires concerted efforts in the area of research into production agriculture, end use, safety, quality evaluation, economics, sustainability and nutrition. Corn, wheat and Oats remain as important cash crops that provide a significant proportion of nutrients to people in the world. The value of traditional cash crops of agriculture such as corn, wheat, soy and oats are determined by their end-use in the market place. Such value is based on the finished food products as consumed by people i.e. after processing. Farmers and producer are often interested in agronomic traits such as yield, disease resistance ease of growing, susceptibility to the environment and production practices. Newer factors such as sustainability and environmental effects also play a part in the choice of varieties employed in farming. End users may have a separate set of criteria to gauge the economic value of the raw materials used in food processing. Different sets of criteria exist for quality determinations of food crops at various stages in the development toward finished food products. Plant breeders, geneticists need close collaboration with quality traits experts to realize their breeding objectives. Quality target trait goals in breeding programs therefore, may change frequently from year to year depending upon growing conditions, making it necessary to monitor multiple quality traits. Protein content, protein quality, milling yield, gluten strength, constituent food functionality and nutritional composition. Quality evaluation programs for cereal grains are diverse and require quality measurement platforms that yield accurate and useful real time information that can be used in decision-making. Rapid and multi constituent analysis capabilities such as Near Infrared reflectance technology provide this information. Non-destructive whole seed analysis also give plant breeders additional advantages as the seeds are still viable post analysis. It is for these reasons that grain and cereal quality programs seek longitudinal information on crops as quality traits found in any one year does not yield sufficient data in order to make meaningful predictions and projections on food quality. Food quality requires the availability of uniformity, consistency and predictability in the properties of food materials used as ingredients in food production. Tools, instruments and end-use processing capabilities for such raw materials enable data acquisition and allow breeders, processors and consumers the ability to making meaningful observations and projections on food quality. A practical response to this varied need by food producers and food processors is the development and refinement of a Crop Quality Evaluation platform based on scientific methods. This program will provide research information on current and new varieties of oat and wheat varieties, generated through experiments employing advanced grain quality instruments and techniques. Oat and wheat breeders will use this data to make informed-decisions about parental lines used in making genetic breeding. Food processors will use the quality information in using agricultural crops in their finished food products. PD Krishnan's project will generate new information, new tools, new services, new protocols and new products for increased food production and economic enhancement of food crops.

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this project are to enhance the health, food functional, nutritional and economic value of cereal grain crops grown in the state and region. The efforts will be geared toward improved and enhanced food production and increased monetary and health value cash crops such as wheat, oats and corn. To investigate the rheological traits and food functionality traits of South Dakota wheat varieties in new applications (Asian noodle, tortilla, pizza dough, flat breads) with a view to expanded food uses and determination of genetic and environmental causes of wheat constituent and functionality variability. To evaluate the nutritional and dietary fiber composition fiber of oat cultivars used in the US food supply using rapid and non-destructive techniques such as Near Infrared analytical. To investigate the development of high-value wheat fractions (vital gluten, high-selenium bran, high selenium and whole white wheat) that increases the economic and health benefits of South Dakota grown wheat. To provide collaborative assistance in the discipline of Cereal Chemistry and Wheat Quality to the winter and spring wheat breeding programs as well as the Oat Breeding Program at South Dakota State University. To engage with food companies in the investigation of rapid food quality evaluation tools and instruments. To increase the value (wholesomeness, safety and efficacy) of corn and corn fractions through the development of new food ingredients, nutraceuticals, and bioactive food agents. Success in these goals and achievement of the objectives will result in: increased profitability to farmers and producers increased acceptance and use of SD wheat and oat varieties used in food processing, a long-term quality assurance of agricultural materials increase monetary value of cash crops used in new food applications, new finished food ingredients and food products with heath benefits and nutritional value, access of information to plant breeders (wheat and oats) leading to development of new genetic lines and varieties, development of new tools and advanced instruments to investigate bread baking potential, new blends of cereal grain fractions with enhanced proteins, dietary fiber and bioactive constituents