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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

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.

Dr. Isaac J. Salfer

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The US dairy industry is a major contributor to the diets of Americans and the economic viability of rural communities as well as many states, including South Dakota. Moreover, dairy products are an essential food for consumers, providing approximately 50% of the calcium, 20% of the protein, and 10% of the energy in US diets.While tremendous advances have been made to improve the productivity of dairy cattle, margins for dairy producers have continued to decline, with feed making up by far the largest expense on dairy farms. Moreover, as global climate change escalates, there is increased pressure to improve the environmental impact of ruminant animals including dairy cows. The overarching goal of this multistate proposal is to improve the efficiency of milk production, cow health and longevity, and thus promote environmental and economic sustainability in the US dairy industry. Our approach to achieve this goal is to systematically identify and focus our efforts on those biological and nutritional management processes that will provide the greatest improvement.Animal and resource efficiency can be improved by: 1) increasing the amount of quantitative data regarding absorbed nutrients and the metabolic responses of cows to those nutrients, 2) increasing the integration of existing data into bio-mathematical models that will point out areas of greatest need, and 3) encouraging cooperative large-scale integrated research. Experiments will focus on making discoveries in several key area including: 1) understanding and quantifying factors that impact supply of nutrients available for milk production, 2) identifying cellular and molecular pathways that regulate intake and nutrient partitioning, and 3) developing nutrient requirement models that improve diet formulations for dairy cows. Furthermore, research will focus on integrating recent discoveries concerning genetic regulation and animal genotypes and phenotypes (genomics, gene arrays, proteomics, metabolomics) into traditional nutritional science, with the hope that these approaches will allow for quantum improvements in efficiency (10-15% on a herd basis) as opposed to the traditional incremental increases. The NC-2040 committee is comprised of some of the preeminent dairy scientists in the US equipped to accomplish these research goals. Scientists possess a broad base of specialties that encompass feed analysis; feeding management; ruminal microbial metabolism; intestinal digestion; physiology and metabolism of major organ systems; molecular and cellular biology; mathematical modeling; and the role of nutrition in health and longevity of animals. Our work contributes to 1) improved accuracy of feeding standards for dairy cattle and future National Research Council publications on the nutrient requirements of dairy cattle, 2) standardization of analytical methods for feed evaluation, 3) reduced losses of nutrients to the environment from dairy cattle, 4) profitable and environmentally sustainable use of available feedstuffs, 5) continued expansion into new areas of genetics and nutrition and integrative biology and 6) continued supply of affordable, nutritious products for human consumption.

OBJECTIVES: Objective 1: To quantify factors that impact supply and availability of nutrients utilized for efficient milk production while reducing environmental impact Objective 2: To identify and quantify molecular, cellular, and organismal signals that regulate intake, partitioning and efficient utilization of nutrients Objective 3: To use this knowledge of feed properties and metabolic and molecular quantitative relationships to challenge and refine nutrient requirement models leading to more accurate feeding systems for dairy cattle.

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.

Dr. Isaac J. Salfer

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:  Milk production from dairy cows is an important source of nutrients for human diets. As ruminants, dairy cows convert low-quality, fibrous plant material into high-quality protein, making them integral components of a sustainable food system. Moreover, the dairy industry is an economically important agricultural sector, as it accounts for approximately 10% of total farm receipts in the United States. Globally, the consumption of dairy products is expected to increase by 20% by 2030 (FAO, 2012). As global demand for dairy products increases, it is imperative that producers develop strategies to improve animal efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of dairy production. One approach to potentially improve efficiency of milk production by dairy cattle is to develop a better understanding of the relationships between metabolism and circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are repeating cycles of approximately 24 hours that regulate physiology and behavior. They are entrained primarily by light, but circadian rhythms in individual tissues can be entrained independently by nutrient intake. Previous research has suggested that feeding time may entrain the circadian rhythms of milk production in dairy cows (Rottman et al., 2014; Salfer et al., 2016). However, there is limited research examining the factors controlling these rhythms. In humans, desynchronization of light-entrained and food entrained rhythms can lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Wyse et al., 2011). Developing a better understanding of the control of circadian clocks in dairy cows may allow for improved efficiency, productivity, and health of dairy cows. Specifically, there may be optimal schedules for feeding, milking, and lighting to improve productivity of dairy herds. Additionally, feeding multiple diets across the day may improve rumen fermentation and/or deliver nutrients to peripheral tissues at the optimal time based on the animal's circadian clock. Finally, we want to develop a basic understanding of the relationship between circadian rhythms and metabolism and immune function in dairy cows. As observed in other species, we expect that circadian disruption can cause detrimental health outcomes for dairy cows. Thus, an improved understanding of these rhythms will allow dairy producers to reduce the incidences of metabolic and infectious diseases. Our long-term goal is to develop time-based feeding and management strategies that dairy producers can use to optimize production and improve the health and welfare of their dairy cows. This is especially relevant in modern dairy systems which operate 24 hours per day. To accomplish these objectives, we have proposed several experiments. A series of experiments will be conducted to determine the relationship between lighting schedule and daily rhythms of feeding time and milking time. Cows will be maintained in box stalls with the ability to control lighting conditions for two separate treatment groups. Experiments will modify the time of feeding or milking relative to the light-dark cycle to determine if there is an optimal time to feed and milk cows based on their circadian rhythm. Milk production and plasma metabolite concentrations will be measured. A second series of experiments will be performed to develop time-based feeding strategies to improve the efficiency of milk production. Multiple diets varying in the protein, starch, and fiber concentration of the diet will be fed, and milk production response will be measured. Lastly, a series of experiments will be done to determine the basic mechanisms regulating circadian rhythms of the liver and mammary gland of dairy cows. The lighting schedule and feeding schedule will be varied. Liver tissues will be collected at 4 times across the day, and the expression of genes related to the circadian clock and liver metabolism will be measured. Additionally, an arterio-venous difference approach will be used to measure the uptake of nutrients and blood flow across the mammary gland at different times of day. These experiments will give us basic insights into circadian regulation of dairy cows, which will allow us to develop strategies to manage cows according to their circadian rhythms.

OBJECTIVES: The overall objective of this project is to improve the health, productivity, and efficiency of dairy cattle through increased understanding of the biological rhythms of dairy cows that will lead to improved management practices. Objective 1: Determine the relationships between feeding time, daily rhythms of milk production, and the light/dark cycle in dairy cows. Objective 2: Determine the impact of time-based feeding strategies on rumen health, function, and productivity. Objective 3: Evaluate the mechanisms governing circadian rhythms of nutrient metabolism and immune function.

SD00H644-18. MANUFACTURE OF DAIRY BASED INGREDIENTS. (October 2017 - September 2022) Dr. Lloyd Metzger

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: In the U. S., milk production has steadily climbed from 115 billion lbs in 1975 to over 208 billion lbs today. This increase in milk production has been largely driven by a steady increase in milk production per cow. On average, since 1960 milk production has increased by 273 lbs per cow per year. It is interesting to note that in the last twenty years cow numbers have remained fairly constant at approximately 9.1 million. If cow numbers continue to remain constant we can expect to have an additional 2.5 billion lbs of milk (9.1 million cows x 273 lbs milk per cow) produced each year. The U.S. population grows at a rate of approximately 3 million per year. This increase in the U.S. population as well as increases in per capita consumption will partially compensate for the expected increases in milk production. However, excess milk will be available if the US dairy industry continues to maintain cow numbers. An additional potential market for the excess U.S milk supply is dairy based ingredients targeted for export markets. In fact in the last 15 years the amount of dairy products exported has more than quadrupled. This represents a drastic change from the past when the US dairy industry only exported products as a result of government export subsidies. In order to continue the trend of a rapidly expanding export market, the U.S. dairy industry needs to identify components of milk that are the most valuable and determine how these components can be economically isolated and converted into shelf stable products that can be widely distributed and utilized as ingredients in a variety of products. The major components of milk include water (88%), lactose (4.8%), fat (3.5%), protein (3.2%) and minerals (0.70%). Of these components, protein is considered to be one of the most valuable. Currently, world demand for dairy protein exceeds the world supply and the U.S. will have an opportunity to expand its milk production if economical systems to manufacture milk protein are available. In addition to protein there are also opportunities to produce dairy based ingredients that are rich in lactose, fat and minerals. The objective of this project it to develop and improve manufacturing processes to produce dairy based ingredients that have an extended shelf-life and can be utilized in domestic and international markets. The successful development or new dairy based ingredient manufacturing processes, as well as improvements in the efficiency of current dairy ingredient manufacturing processes, will allow for the continued growth of the US dairy export market. The economic impact of the US dairy export market is significant and is currently valued at 4.9 billion.

OBJECTIVES: Project goals and objectives: The overall goal of the project is to develop and improve manufacturing processes to produce dairy based ingredients that have an extended shelf-life and can be utilized in domestic and international markets. Objective 1: Model the drying characteristics of dairy based ingredients to maximize the efficiency of the drying process and accelerate the development of new dairy based ingredients. Objective 2: Develop a lab scale crystallization system and analysis protocols that will be utilized to evaluate modified manufacturing processes that improve the efficiency of lactose and permeate manufacture. Objective 3: Develop and evaluate membrane based manufacturing processes that can be used to isolate or concentrate components in various dairy products including milk, whey, permeate and delactosed permeate.

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

Aug 2016 - Aug 2021. Dr. Johan Osorio

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: To give birth to a new life is a common event to all mammals, however, there are striking differences across mammalian species on how birthing and the onset of lactation can affect the dams' health. Extreme examples of this are the physiological and metabolic adaptations that dairy cows undergo due to stresses caused by the onset of lactation. For instance, it has been estimated that in dairy cows that energy and protein requirements can increase up to 5 times from late gestation to lactation (i.e., transition period). Therefore, during the past 3 decades a substantial amount of research has been conducted to understand how these biological adaptations can predispose dairy cows to negative effects in health, and consequently in the lactation performance of transition dairy cows.  Additionally, nutritional and management interventions have been investigated with the aim to ameliorate these negative effects. Nutrigenomics is a fruit of the post-genome era, and is a scientific branch of nutrition that studies how molecules contained in the diet can modify the biology of single cells, to the organism as a whole, by turning on or off specific genes (i.e., gene expression). Previous research in transition dairy cows has demonstrated the potential for nutrigenomics effects based on specific dietary components such as amino acids (Osorio et al., 2014a) and trace minerals (Batistel et al., 2016) with positive effects on health and performance. Regardless of these findings, there are still fundamental unanswered questions: 1) what are the molecular mechanisms through which by specific nutrients exert changes in gene expression2) can accurate prediction of gene expression outcome be made based on nutrient levels in the diet? Although nutrigenomics can have a profound impact on overall health status and performance of dairy cows, there is a need for early detection systems for diseases in the subclinical stage, which will allow for more timely interventions by dairy producers. The latter can considerably decrease the recovery time from a disease, and result in lowering the treatment cost while improving milk production. Although devices that measure health indicators have been used since the 1980's in dairy cows with their incremental adoption, there is still a lot of work to be done in sensor system development. For instance, recently a literature review reported that automated lameness detection systems were only able to detect severe lameness, which farmers can easily detect by direct observation. Therefore, the calibration of sensor system data needs to be done during the early stages of subclinical diseases. This task can only be accomplished by an adequate understanding of the physiological adaptations that occur during early stages of subclinical diseases. Biomarkers in blood and specific tissues such as liver had generated fundamental knowledge in the biology of diseases in terms of inflammation, oxidative stress, and overall animals' welfare. During the subclinical stage of a disease, biomarkers can be sensitive enough to respond to alterations in the normal physiology of dairy cows. However, the use of biomarkers in blood and tissues can be limited or unrealistic for real-life applications in dairy farms. In contrast, sensor systems devices have been developed to be ready for a dairy farm setting. Therefore, combining automated detection systems data with biomarkers have a great potential to improve the early detection of subclinical diseases in dairy cows. Improving health and performance of transition dairy cows is a complex task that requires multiple approaches. The proposed research program will help producers fine-tune the metabolism of transition dairy cows based on nutrigenomic data. The fine-tuning of automated detection systems will help producers identify cows at risk to develop diseases during subclinical stages. These capabilities will serve as important tools in modern dairy farms with profound financial impact to the dairy industry.

OBJECTIVES: Overall goal: Improve the health and consequently the postpartal performance of transition dairy cows through either nutrigenomic approaches or sensor systems. Validate the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) via specific fatty acids and determine new transcription factors (TF) that have greater direct activation by fatty acids through advanced molecular techniques such as gene reporter technology (GRT). Determine novel transcription factors (TF) that respond directly to other dietary nutrients or compounds such as amino acids, trace minerals, vitamins, etc. Validate and confirm the in vitro novel transcription factors (TF) uncovered in Objectives 1 and 2 at a whole animal level through in vivo experiments in lactating dairy cows. Improve automated sensor systems for early detection of postpartal diseases or disorders at the subclinical stage by combining sensor data with biomarkers of health status.

May 2016 - Apr 2021. Drs. Sergio Martinez-Monteagudo and Sanjeev Anand.

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Dairy products have been a key component of a healthy diet and a source of many nutrients. Dairy manufacturing industry employs advanced processing technologies to deliver a variety of products and ingredients. New trends in consumers' life style have redefined the desired attributes of processed foods they would like to have. Assurance of microbial safety is no longer sufficient; instead modern American consumers are looking for product formulated with healthy ingredients, free of additives, fresh-like characteristics, and natural flavor. However, the design and development of ingredients and products formulated with such characteristics and without compromising the safety of the product is a major challenge from a technological point of view. Most of the desired compounds differ from the product matrix in terms of solubility, melting point, and chemical compatibility. Thus, such compounds must first be converted into a stable phase using additives and high input of mechanical energy. Searching for solutions to address the continuous market changes, engineers and scientists have been evaluating various technological approaches that involve the use of advanced thermal technologies (microwave, radiofrequency and Ohmic heating) and non-thermal technologies (high pressure processing, pulsed electric fields, ultrasound, supercritical fluid technology) to potentially meet rising consumer expectations. Intelligent combinations of different emerging technologies have showed some promises for improving the manufacturing protocols, and enhancing overall quality and nutritional content. Successful applications and niche of opportunities for emerging technologies have been highlighted in the literature. A step forward towards the implementation of emerging technologies in dairy manufacturing is to establish relationships between operating variables and product properties. Thus, desired product properties can be controlled and optimized through operating parameters. The challenge is that the effects of different emerging technologies on milk and its constituents are largely unknown and specific key components is still incomplete. Such knowledge is essential for development, validation and commercial introduction of novel applications for dairy manufacturing. This research program will focus on systematic studies aimed to understand how emerging technologies and their associated operating parameters impact the properties of milk and its constituents, all with an eye towards industrial applications.

OBJECTIVES: The overall objective of this research program is to generate scientific understanding of the behavior of dairy systems and their individual components during manufacturing. Specific objectives: To characterize engineering parameters of high pressure homogenization. To investigate the efficacy of combined pressure-temperature on safety and selected quality parameters of dairy beverages. To evaluate the role of pressure on emulsion stability within a wide range of processing conditions.