Research To Benefit Farmers And Processors

Research Priorities

Dairy cattle feeding and nutrition

Feed is the biggest expense associated with dairy farming. The quality of feed has a major impact on the performance of dairy cows. The nutritional requirements and the feed efficiency in cows varies according to different factors, including health status, physiology, environmental and nutritional factors, and individual genetic profile. In this complex context, dairy farms must develop strategies to provide very high-quality feed at the best cost possible.

Dairy cattle health and welfare

Significant resources are devoted to disease prevention and health management of dairy herds. The sector aims to reduce the use of medication to achieve sustainable production. Dairy farmers and industry are also concerned about the welfare and comfort of dairy cows, a major component of the profitability of farms.

Dairy cattle fertility and reproduction

Reproductive problems are the first reason for the involuntary culling of cows. Breeders have been noticing a decrease in the fertility of cows for years now which is translated mainly into a drop in conception rates despite an increase in mating rates. The financial losses associating with declining fertility are significant. The dairy sector aims to understand the multiple factors behind the decreased performance of dairy cows and to find ways to address them.

Milk quality

Milk quality is an issue shared by dairy farmers and processors. The cow, its environment and the management of the herd all influence milk composition and milk flora. Dairy farmers and processors work together on the milk skills for industrial and artisanal processing and the levers to give it unique organoleptic properties. The dairy industry develops and innovates to maintain the highest standards to meet the requirements for milk quality and safety.

Technological properties of dairy matrices

Understanding the multiple physical, chemical and technological properties of dairy matrices and continuous control of interactions and evolution, including microbial communities and flora during packaging, processing and ripening processes, even after packaging, remains an ongoing challenge. Developing knowledge on those topics is at the basis of process innovations and the development of new products.

Indicators and control tools

In an industry dominated by precision management and automation, businesses must be able to count on reliable indicators as well as efficient decision-making tools and analysis and control methods. The challenge is to perform ongoing monitoring of the evolution of dairy products at the processing, aging and post-packaging stages.

Eco-efficiency of processing methods

Eco-efficiency is part of a sustainable development approach and a desire to increase the efficiency of dairy processing methods by considering the economic, environmental and social benefits. The optimization of input consumption, especially water, energy and cleaning products and the valorization of co-products are priority issues. In short, it is concerned with creating more value with less impact.

The detail of all research’s priorities is available in the complete downloadable document.