Publications by authors named "Mariangela Caroprese"

36 Publications

Assessed versus Perceived Risks: Innovative Communications in Agri-Food Supply Chains.

Foods 2021 May 3;10(5). Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering (DAFNE), University of Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

Food preparations, especially those based on animal products, are often accused of being responsible for the increase in food-borne infections, contributing to increased pressure on healthcare systems. The risk assessment in agri-food supply chains is of utmost importance for the food industry and for policymakers. A wrong perception of risks may alter the functioning of supply chains; thus, efforts should be devoted to communicating risks in an efficient way. We adopt a multidisciplinary approach to investigate how consumers perceive different food risks. Our analysis shows that planning effective communication strategies is very much important for efficiently informing consumers on food risks. We also comment on potential innovative ways to better organise the supply chains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10051001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147598PMC
May 2021

NETosis of Peripheral Neutrophils Isolated From Dairy Cows Fed Olive Pomace.

Front Vet Sci 2021 29;8:626314. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources, and Engineering, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.

Neutrophils represent primary mobile phagocytes recruited to the site of infection, and their functions are essential to enhance animals' health performance. Neutrophils have an essential role in innate immunity and are able to kill the pathogens the synthesis of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The objective of the present work was the study of the NETosis of peripheral neutrophils isolated from dairy cows supplemented with olive pomace. Dairy cows ( = 16) balanced for parity (3.67 ± 1.5 for CON, 3.67 ± 1.9 for OP), milk yield (24.3 ± 4.5 kg dfor CON and 24.9 ± 1.7 kg d for OP), the number of days in milk (109 ± 83.5 for CON and 196 ± 51 for OP), and body weight (647 ± 44.3 kg for CON and 675 ± 70.7 kg for OP) were divided into two experimental groups fed with a control diet (CON) and supplemented with 6% of olive pomace (OP). Peripheral blood neutrophils were isolated and stimulated with phorbol-myristate-acetate (PMA) as a marker for activation and reactivity of the neutrophils. After isolation, both the viability and CD11b expression were analyzed by flow cytometry. Both NETosis by neutrophil elastase-DNA complex system and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were evaluated by ELISA. The specific antibodies against MPO and citrullination of Histone-H1 were used for investigating NETosis by immunofluorescence microscopy. The neutrophil elastase-DNA complexes produced during NETosis and MPO activity of neutrophil extracts were affected by OP supplementation. Furthermore, results from immunofluorescence analysis of NETosis depicted a similar result found by ELISA showing a higher expression of MPO and citrullination of Histone-H1 in OP than the CON neutrophils. In addition, all data showed that the OP diet resulted in a better response of neutrophils to PMA stimulation than the CON diet, which did not support the neutrophils' responses to PMA stimulation. Our results demonstrated that OP supplementation can enhance the neutrophil function in dairy cows leading to udder defense and inflammation response especially when an immunosuppression state can occur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.626314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118642PMC
April 2021

Extensive Countrywide Field Investigation of Somatic Cell Counts and Total Bacterial Counts in Bulk-Tank Raw Milk in Sheep Flocks in Greece.

Foods 2021 Jan 28;10(2). Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece.

Objectives were to investigate somatic cell counts (SCC) and total bacterial counts (TBC) in the raw bulk-tank milk of sheep flocks in Greece, to study factors potentially influencing increased SCC and TBC in the bulk-tank milk of sheep and to evaluate possible associations of SCC and TBC with milk content. Throughout Greece, 325 dairy sheep flocks were visited for collection of milk sampling for somatic cell counting, microbiological examination and composition measurement. Geometric mean SCC were 0.488 × 10 cells mL; geometric mean TBC were 398 × 10 cfu mL; 228 staphylococcal isolates were recovered form 206 flocks (63.4%). Multivariable analyses revealed annual incidence risk of clinical mastitis, age of the farmer and month into lactation period (among 53 variables) to be significant for SCC > 1.0 × 10 cells mL and month into lactation period at sampling and availability of mechanical ventilators (among 58 variables) to be significant for TBC > 1500 × 10 cfu mL. Negative correlation of SCC with fat, total protein and lactose and positive correlation of SCC with added water were found. With SCC > 1.0 × 10 cells mL, significant reduction of protein content (2%) was observed, whilst in flocks with SCC > 1.5 × 10 cells mL, significantly lower annual milk production per ewe (42.9%) was recorded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10020268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911129PMC
January 2021

A Detailed Questionnaire for the Evaluation of Health Management in Dairy Sheep and Goats.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Aug 24;10(9). Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece.

The objective of this work was to develop, use and present a detailed questionnaire for the evaluation of health management in dairy small ruminants; it includes 442 questions organised in seven sections: general, infrastructure, animals, production characteristics, health management, nutrition, human resources. Consistency of replies was evaluated in 27 farmers, interviewed twice. Inconsistent replies were given by all farmers to 30 different questions (Cronbach's coefficient alpha: 0.987). Then, interviews were performed in 444 farms around Greece. Mean duration of an interview was 63.6 min. Clarifications were requested by 273 farmers to 22 different questions (maximum per farmer: 8). The experience of the investigator, the primary language of farmers and asking clarifications by the farmers affected the duration of the interview. The questionnaire can be used for research work in the field, to record details in the farms under study. In accord with the needs of a particular study, it can be modified, by adding more specific questions or omitting others deemed of less importance. Moreover, it can also be used for routine monitoring purposes, as a useful means to record and maintain details of farms during clinical work. To the best of our knowledge, the questionnaire is the most extensive and detailed one available internationally for dairy small ruminants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10091489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7552296PMC
August 2020

Effect of information on geographical origin, duration of transport and welfare condition on consumer's acceptance of lamb meat.

Sci Rep 2020 06 16;10(1):9754. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121, Foggia, Italy.

Animal production system and welfare conditions can influence consumers' acceptance, as meat from animals grazing in natural pasture and labelled with information about high standards of welfare is preferred. In addition, geographical origin of food is recently considered one of the main information influencing the consumers' acceptance. Local products are collectively associated with high quality attributes by the consumers related to shorter transport and good welfare. Lamb meat is considered local and typical food; however, it is common to find in the same market both local and imported lamb meat. The present investigation aimed at understanding the importance of information about geographical origin, transport duration, and welfare condition of lambs for consumers and their actual liking. Moreover, the quality of lamb meat from local and imported animals as affected by short or long transport was assessed. Data demonstrated that both short and long transport did not affect organoleptic quality of meat; this result was corroborated by an absence of both metabolic and immune stressors in long term transport lambs except for haptoglobin, cortisol and glucose. However, the expected and actual acceptability were affected by the information with higher scores for local lamb when information on the geographical origin, transport duration, and welfare condition was provided to the consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66267-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7298018PMC
June 2020

Effects of Melatonin Administration to Pregnant Ewes under Heat-Stress Conditions, in Redox Status and Reproductive Outcome.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Mar 23;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece.

Heat stress is a known promoter of reactive oxygen species generation, which may compromise pregnancy and foetal development. Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule that regulates various processes including pregnancy. Thus, it could be used to ameliorate the redox status of pregnant heat-stressed ewes and the outcome of their pregnancy. Sixty-eight ewes participated in the study, which were allocated into two equal groups, i.e., Melatonin (M) and Control (C) group. All ewes were exposed to heat stress from D0 to D120. In both groups, after oestrus synchronization of ewes, rams were introduced to them for mating (D16). In M group, starting with sponges' insertion (D0), melatonin implants were administered four-fold every 40 days. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by means of ultrasonography. Daily evaluation of temperature humidity index (THI), rectal temperature, and breathing rate were performed throughout the study. Blood samples were collected repeatedly from D0 until weaning for assaying redox biomarkers. Milk yield was measured thrice during puerperium. The results showed that melatonin administration throughout pregnancy improved the redox status of heat-stressed ewes and increased the mean number and bodyweight of lambs born per ewe, as well as the milk production. Therefore, melatonin may be used as antioxidant regimen in heat-stressed ewes for improving their reproductive traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9030266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139596PMC
March 2020

Nexus Between Immune Responses and Oxidative Stress: The Role of Dietary Hydrolyzed Lignin in Bovine Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Response.

Front Vet Sci 2020 20;7. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Department of Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.

The control of immune responses is particularly critical when an increase of oxidative stress occurs, causing an impairment of immune cell response and a condition of systemic inflammation, named oxinflammation. Nutritional strategies based on the use in the diet of phytochemicals extracted from plants, rich in antioxidants, could help restore the antioxidant/oxidant balance and obtain a modulation of immune response. Lignin represents a valuable resource of phenolic compounds, which are characterized by a corroborated antioxidant effect. To date, there are no studies reporting the effects of lignin in the diet on immune responses and oxidative stress in ruminants. The objective of the present experiment was the evaluation of the dietary inclusion of hydrolyzed lignin on the immune responses and oxidative stress biomarkers by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from beef steers. In order to test the effect during oxidative stress exposition, cells were treated with hydrogen peroxide (HO). The proliferation test and the viability assay were carried out on cells, whereas, on supernatants, the cytokine profile and the oxidative stress biomarkers were evaluated. The dietary inclusion with hydrolyzed lignin resulted in cytoprotection after HO exposition, increasing the number of viable monocytes and decreasing the reactive oxygen/nitrogen species production in supernatants. The cytokine profile indicated the modulatory role of hydrolyzed lignin on immune response, with a concomitant decrease of TNF-α and increase of IL-8 production, which are strictly connected with monocyte activation and antioxidant response pathway. These results demonstrated that hydrolyzed lignin may provide a modulation of oxidative stress and inflammatory response in PBMCs; thus, the hydrolyzed lignin could be suggested as an innovative phytochemical in ruminant feed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7045060PMC
February 2020

Substituting corn silage with reconstituted forage or nonforage fiber sources in the starter diets of Holstein calves: effects on performance, ruminal fermentation, and blood metabolites.

J Anim Sci 2019 Jul;97(7):3046-3055

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, Foggia, Italy.

We examined the effects of replacing corn silage (CS) with reconstituted alfalfa hay (AH) or beet pulp (BP) in the starter diet on the nutrient intake and digestibility, growth performance, rumen fermentation characteristics, selected blood metabolites, and health status in Holstein dairy calves. Newborn female calves (n = 54; 3 d of age; 39.8 ± 1.36 kg BW) were assigned randomly to 3 groups receiving starter diets containing CS [10% dry matter (DM) basis; CS diet) and reconstituted AH (10% DM, RAH diet) or BP (10% DM; RBP diet). The starter diets had the same nutrient composition and DM content. The calves were weaned on day 50 and the study continued until day 70. Nutrient intake, body weight (at weaning and at the end of the study), daily weight gain, feed efficiency, and body measurements (including heart girth, withers height, body length, body barrel, hip height, and hip width) were not affected by the diet (P > 0.05). Health-related variables including rectal temperature, fecal score, and general appearance score were not influenced by the diets (P > 0.05). During the postweaning period, apparent total tract digestibility of DM, organic matter, and crude protein were higher for RBP (P = 0.001); however, digestibility of neutral detergent fiber was lower in RAH compared with CS or RBP (P = 0.001). Daily amount of nutrient digestibility did not change across the diets (P > 0.05). Rumen fluid pH and total volatile fatty acid concentration and profile were not different across the diets after weaning (P > 0.05). Calves fed RAH or RBP had higher blood concentration of β-hydroxy butyric acid compared with CS only before weaning (P = 0.03). Blood albumin concentration was higher for RBP compared with CS or RAH during the preweaning (P = 0.006) and overall (P = 0.005) periods; however, it was lower for CS compared with RBP after weaning (P = 0.03). Concentration of other blood variables including glucose, blood urea N, total protein, and globulin did not change across the diets (P > 0.05). Calves, in general, were healthy, and replacing CS with RAH or RBP in the starter diet had no beneficial effect on their feed intake or growth performance indicating that CS and reconstituted AH or BP can be used interchangeably in dairy calf starter diets until 70 d of age, allowing dairy producers more choices in selecting the feed ingredients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6606484PMC
July 2019

Effect of lipid fraction of digested milk from different sources in mature 3T3-L1 adipocyte.

J Dairy Res 2019 Feb 7;86(1):129-133. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture,Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia,Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia,Italy.

We evaluated the effect of in vitro digested milk on mature adipocytes 3T3-L1, paying particular attention to its fatty acid composition, and comparing human (HM), donkey (DM), bovine (BM), ovine (OM), caprine (CM) and formula (FM) milk. Cellular viability, apoptosis, oxidative response and gene expression levels of NF-κB p65, HMGB1, SREBP-1c and FAS were evaluated. Digested milk treatments significantly reduced 3T3-L1 mature adipocytes viability and caspase activity compared with control group, but no significant differences were observed among different sources of digested milk. In all digested milk samples, ROS level was higher than the control, however, the digested human and formula milk showed lower levels of ROS than DM, BM, OM and CM samples. Lower capacity of HM and FM to induce oxidative stress in mature adipocytes was ascribed to the peculiar free fatty acids profile of digested milk samples. All milk treatments elicited a significant over-expression of NF-κB p65 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared to the control; the lowest gene expression was found in HM, BM, OM and CM, the highest in FM and an intermediate behavior was shown in DM. All digested milk treatments influenced the gene expression of SRBP-1c with FM and HM showing the highest levels. For FAS expression, BM showed the highest level, OM and CM intermediate and FM, HM and DM the lowest levels, however HM and DM had comparable levels to the control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029919000104DOI Listing
February 2019

Extracts from Microalga Exert an Anti-Proliferative Effect and Modulate Cytokines in Sheep Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Jan 30;9(2). Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71121 Foggia, Italy.

The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of the unsaponified fraction (UP), the acetylated unsaponified fraction (AUP), and the total lipid fraction (TL) extracted and purified from (CS) on the proliferation and cytokine profile of sheep peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Cells were cultured with 0.4 mg/mL and 0.8 mg/mL concentrations of each extract (UP, AUP, and TL fractions) and activated with 5 μg/mL concanavalin A (ConA) and 1 μg/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 37 °C for 24 h. PBMCs cultured with ConA and LPS represented the stimulated cells (SC), and PBMCs without ConA and LPS represented the unstimulated cells (USC). Cell-free supernatants were collected to determine IL-10, IL-1β, and IL-6 secretions; on cells, measurement of proliferation was performed. All the extracts tested significantly decreased the cell proliferation; in particular, the UP fraction at 0.4 mg/mL showed the lowest proliferative response. Furthermore, at 0.8 mg/mL, the UP fraction enhanced IL-10 secretion. On the contrary, the TL fraction at 0.4 mg/mL induced an increase in IL-10, IL-6, and, to a lesser extent, IL-1β secretions by cells. The AUP fraction did not change cytokine secretion. The results demonstrated that CS extracts could be useful ingredients in animal feed in order to minimize the use of antibiotics by modulating cell proliferation and cytokine response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9020045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406596PMC
January 2019

Effect of Diet Supplementation with Quinoa Seed and/or Linseed on Immune Response, Productivity and Meat Quality in Merinos Derived Lambs.

Animals (Basel) 2018 Nov 10;8(11). Epub 2018 Nov 10.

Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy.

In the last years several studies have investigated the strong relation between nutrition and immune response in the livestock production, particularly in dairy cattle and sheep. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementation based on linseed, quinoa seeds and their combination on welfare, productivity and quality of meat from merinos derived lambs. 32 weaned lambs were divided into 4 experimental groups: quinoa (Q), linseed (LS) and combination of quinoa and linseed (LS + Q) that received the respective supplementation and control group (C) without supplementation. Lambs from all supplemented groups showed lower plasma urea, creatinine and cholesterol than control. Both linseed and quinoa supplementation enhanced the cell-mediated immune responses of lambs, furthermore, linseed supplementation resulted in the lowest level of cortisol secretion after handling, loading and transport. Meat from lambs supplemented with linseed and LS + Q showed the highest pH, at 1 and 3 h post-mortem, while, meat from all supplemented groups was more tender than meat from control. Results indicated that linseed and quinoa seeds supplementation can help the animal to cope with stressful events due to the close link between stress responses and the immune system and for improving meat quality in terms of better tenderness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani8110204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6262584PMC
November 2018

Ultrasound processing of fresh and frozen semi-skimmed sheep milk and its effects on microbiological and physical-chemical quality.

Ultrason Sonochem 2019 Mar 19;51:241-248. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

University of Foggia (UNIFG), Department of the Science of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of ultrasound treatment on the microbiological quality, protein and free amino acid profile of fresh and frozen stored semi-skimmed sheep milk. Milk was treated as fresh or frozen and stored up to one, three and six months. Output power time and pulse time were the parameters combined to design four different ultrasound (US) treatments: power 78 W and duration 6 min (US1); power 78 W and duration 8 min (US2); power 104 W and duration 4 min (US3) power 104 W and duration 6 min (US4). Pulse duration was of 4 s for each treatment. Sample US1 was discarded due to non effectiveness of US treatment, while other samples showed interesting results. Also, it was verified a frost effect on microorganisms in all samples which were frozen before treatment. No relevant change was reported on amino acid profile. The study showed promising results: the ultrasound treatment inactivated or eliminated the studied contaminant bacteria in semi-skimmed sheep milk, while maintained acceptable amount of lactic bacteria, which could be advantageous for dairy products processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2018.10.017DOI Listing
March 2019

Heat stress abatement during the postpartum period: effects on whole lactation milk yield, indicators of metabolic status, inflammatory cytokines, and biomarkers of the oxidative stress.

J Anim Sci 2019 Jan;97(1):122-132

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, Foggia, Italy.

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of cooling upon calving in alleviating the adverse effects of heat stress in Holstein lactating cows. Production performance, indicators of metabolic status, immune response, and biomarkers of oxidative stress were measured. Based on mature equivalent milk production, parity, and calving date, 46 multiparous lactating cows were allotted to groups of equal sizes (n = 23); heat stressed (HS; BW = 658 ± 28 kg [mean ± SD]; BCS = 2.7 ± 0.18; parity = 3 ± 0.12) and cooled (CL; BW = 668 ± 23 kg; BCS = 2.8 ± 0.14; parity = 3 ± 0.25). Cows were housed in sand-bedded individual stalls equipped with misters and fans which were on from 1000 to 1800 hours for CL group. DMI and milk yield were measured from calving for 7 wk. Body condition score and BW were recorded weekly. Blood samples were collected weekly to measure the metabolic and antioxidant status, inflammatory cytokines, and immunoglobulins. Rectal temperature was measured daily at 1400 hour. Mean daily maximum temperature, minimum relative humidity, and maximum temperature-humidity index was 37.0 °C, 31.9%, and 83.4 for HS and 27.3 °C, 44.9%, and 75.7 for CL, respectively. Heat-stressed cows exhibited greater rectal temperature (39.8 vs. 39.1 °C) and lower feed intake (19.8 vs. 21.3 kg/d) relative to CL cows. Milk yield, including raw (31.2 vs. 38.6 kg/d) and fat- and protein-corrected (32.1 vs. 35.7 kg/d) milk, was lower in HS vs. CL cows, respectively. The percentages of milk protein (3.25 vs. 3.06), lactose (4.73 vs. 4.58), and solids-not-fat (8.63 vs. 8.38) but not milk fat (4.31 vs. 3.59) were higher in HS cows than in CL cows, respectively. Somatic cell score was greater in HS cows as compared with CL cows. Cooled cows lost less body condition as compared with HS cows. Blood plasma concentrations of glucose, non-esterified fatty acids, and β-hydroxybutyric acid were lower in HS cows. Blood plasma concentrations of malondialdehyde (2.13 vs. 1.84 nmol/mL), reactive oxygen species (579 vs. 561 U/mL), and total antioxidant capacity (4.49 vs. 4.06 U/mL) were greater in HS cows than in CL cows. Blood plasma concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1α, and interleukin-2) and immunoglobulins (IgA, IgM, and IgG) were lower in HS cows than in CL cows. These findings demonstrated that cooling dairy cows during the early postpartum improved the production performance, indicators of metabolic status, immune response, and antioxidant capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313133PMC
January 2019

Effects of dietary supplementation with polyphenols on meat quality in Saanen goat kids.

BMC Vet Res 2018 Jun 11;14(1):181. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Federico II University, V. F. Delpino 1, 80137, Naples, Italy.

Background: Diet supplementation with polyphenols is a novel strategy to improve meat quality in livestock, by preventing oxidative deterioration of lipids and protein. Polyphenols have beneficial effects on both human and animal health and can be obtained from several sources, such as olive mill wastewaters (OMWW). These are severe environmental pollutants and therefore may be recycled and utilized in other sectors. The aim of this study was to evaluate growth performance, meat characteristics, fatty acid composition, antioxidant status, different forms of myoglobin and malondialdehyde formation in kids who received a diet supplemented with polyphenols obtained from OMWW. Weaned goat kids (n = 18) were divided into two homogenous groups: control (C) group (n = 9) received a fattening standard diet while the other group (n = 9) received the same diet, supplemented with 3.2 mg/day of polyphenols powder extract (PE group). Average daily gain (ADG) was calculated 10 days apart throughout the study. After 78 days, the kids were slaughtered and pH and carcass yield were evaluated. Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle was collected and utilized for chemical analysis, meat quality evaluation and oxidative stability.

Results: No differences were recorded in ADG, carcass weight, pH and dressing between the two groups. Furthermore a similar meat proximate composition, texture and color was observed. Dietary polyphenols supplementation significantly (P < 0.01) decreased short chains (
Conclusions: Polyphenols dietary supplementation has positive effects on kid meat, improving fatty acid profile and reducing malondialdehyde contents. Furthermore the utilization of OMWW as the source of polyphenols may represent an innovative strategy to re-utilize agri-food industry wastes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1513-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5996534PMC
June 2018

Focusing on fatty acid profile in milk from different species after in vitro digestion.

J Dairy Res 2018 May;85(2):257-262

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture,Food and Environment (SAFE),University of Foggia,Via Napoli,25, 71122 Foggia,Italy.

We report the fatty acid profile of raw milk and of the corresponding digested milk from different sources (human milk, formula milk and donkey, bovine, ovine and caprine milk) to gain information on the nutritional quality of different milk sources in infant nutrition.Short chain fatty acids (SC-FA) were higher in bovine and caprine milk, intermediate in ovine and donkey and lower in human and formula milk. Medium chain fatty acids (MC-FA) showed the highest values for bovine and caprine milk and the lowest for donkey and formula milk, whereas long chain fatty acids (LC-FA) were the highest in donkey and formula milk and intermediate in human milk.The percentage distribution of fatty acids liberated after in vitro digestion did not reflect the patterns found in the corresponding milk sources. In particular, MC free fatty acids (MC-FFA) showed the highest and the lowest values in donkey and in formula milk, LC-FFA showed the highest value in human milk. The total FFA was highest in human milk, lowest in formula milk and intermediate in donkey, bovine, ovine, and caprine milk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029918000274DOI Listing
May 2018

Phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta Reduce Cell Proliferation in Sheep Fed Flaxseed during Post Partum.

Mar Drugs 2017 Jul 6;15(7). Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy.

The post partum period is characterized by immunosuppression and increased disease susceptibility. Both phytosterols from microalga and dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) influence cell proliferation and cytokine release during inflammation. The objective of this paper was the evaluation of the effects of physterols, extracted and purified from , on the in vitro immune responses of ewes supplemented with flaxseed during post partum. Twenty Comisana parturient ewes were divided in two balanced groups, and supplemented with flaxseed (FS, 250 g/day) or fed with a conventional diet (CON). Blood samples (15 mL) were collected for five weeks, starting from lambing, in order to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Stimulated PBMC were treated with a total sterols fraction from (TS), a mix of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (purified extract, PE), and a mix of acetylated ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (acetylated purified extract, AcPE), extracted and purified from at two concentrations (0.4 and 0.8 mg/mL). Results of the experiment demonstrated that n-3 PUFA from flaxseed induced an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, with an increase of both IL-10, IL-6 and a decrease of IL-1β. TS, PE, and AcPE purified from showed an anti-proliferative effect on sheep PBMC regardless their chemical composition and concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md15070216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532658PMC
July 2017

Bioactive Peptides in Animal Food Products.

Foods 2017 May 9;6(5). Epub 2017 May 9.

Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

Proteins of animal origin represent physiologically active components in the human diet; they exert a direct action or constitute a substrate for enzymatic hydrolysis upon food processing and consumption. Bioactive peptides may descend from the hydrolysis by digestive enzymes, enzymes endogenous to raw food materials, and enzymes from microorganisms added during food processing. Milk proteins have different polymorphisms for each dairy species that influence the amount and the biochemical characteristics (e.g., amino acid chain, phosphorylation, and glycosylation) of the protein. Milk from other species alternative to cow has been exploited for their role in children with cow milk allergy and in some infant pathologies, such as epilepsy, by monitoring the immune status. Different mechanisms concur for bioactive peptides generation from meat and meat products, and their functionality and application as functional ingredients have proven effects on consumer health. Animal food proteins are currently the main source of a range of biologically-active peptides which have gained special interest because they may also influence numerous physiological responses in the organism. The addition of probiotics to animal food products represent a strategy for the increase of molecules with health and functional properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods6050035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5447911PMC
May 2017

Proteomic approach to investigate the impact of different dietary supplementation on lamb meat tenderness.

Meat Sci 2017 Sep 29;131:74-81. Epub 2017 Apr 29.

Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of linseed and/or quinoa on tenderness and on proteome of lamb meat. Thirty-two Italian Merino lambs were distributed into 4 groups with different diet: control (CO) with no supplemental fat, linseed (LS), quinoa (QS) and QS+LS diets. Meat obtained by lamb fed linseed showed the lowest values of WBSF (P<0.001), hardness (P<0.01), gumminess (P<0.01) and chewiness (P<0.01). Proteomic changes of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins were estimated with SDS-PAGE, Western Blot and Two-Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis. In linseed group proteomic analysis revealed a degradation of desmin and TnT proteins complex and a major number of spots and phosphorylation isoforms of fast MLC2 patterns. Meat obtained by lamb fed quinoa showed a minor effect on the instrumental evaluation of meat tenderness and a major number of spots ascribed to sarcoplasmic proteins and fMHC. Data suggest that dietary supplementation may act on meat tenderness and on proteolytic pattern of myofibrillar fraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2017.04.235DOI Listing
September 2017

Fatty acid profile and coagulating ability of milk from Jersey and Friesian cows fed whole flaxseed.

J Dairy Res 2017 Feb;84(1):14-22

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture,Food and Environment (SAFE),University of Foggia,Via Napoli,25,71122 Foggia,Italy.

The experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of a moderate level of flaxseed administration on milk coagulation properties and fatty acid profile of milk from two different breeds. The experiment was performed on 20 Italian Friesian cows and 20 Jersey cows divided into 2 groups of 10 animals each. The experimental diets were (1) a traditional diet (CON) administrated as unifeed and no supplemental fat and (2) a diet supplemented with 0·5 kg/d of whole flaxseed (FS). Cows were milked twice daily and milk yield was recorded. Milk samples were analysed at 1, 15, and 30 d of the experiment for composition, pH, and milk coagulation properties. To verify the effects of flaxseed administration on the coagulation properties of milk from Friesian and Jersey cows, an electrophoresis study on casein fractions was performed. Milk fatty acid profile can be improved by administrating a moderate level of flaxseed in the diet, however, milk fatty acid profile from Friesian and Jersey cows showed different contents of C18 : 1 trans-11, SFA and MUFA. The results demonstrated that milk coagulating ability can be increased by flaxseed administration in both breeds as a result of different aggregation of casein micelles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002202991600073XDOI Listing
February 2017

Consumers' expectations and acceptability for low saturated fat 'salami': healthiness or taste?

J Sci Food Agric 2017 Aug 13;97(11):3515-3521. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, Foggia, Italy.

Background: Nutritional properties of meat and meat products are becoming very important in purchasing behaviour, because consumers are even more concerned about healthiness. The present study aimed to examine the influence of health information on the expected and informed acceptability of salami. Traditional salami and two low saturated fat salami produced with partial or total substitution of pork backfat with extra virgin oil were evaluated.

Results: Perceived acceptability was the lowest in salami with total animal fat substitution. In both low saturated fat salami, expected acceptability was significantly higher than perceived acceptability, while in traditional salami it was lower. Consumers completely assimilated their liking in the direction of expectations for salami with partial animal fat substitution, whereas incomplete assimilation was observed for salami with total animal fat substitution. The results also revealed that some sociodemographic characteristics discriminate consumer clusters from each other.

Conclusion: The present study highlights that nutritional information is not enough to satisfy consumers' expectations if the product is not sensorily acceptable. Findings about the relevance of information and consumers' segmentation could have important implications for policy makers and the meat product industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.8205DOI Listing
August 2017

Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation: effects of seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum and flaxseed on milk production and fatty acid profile of lactating ewes during summer.

J Dairy Res 2016 Aug;83(3):289-97

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture,Food and Environment (SAFE),University of Foggia,Via Napoli,25,71122 Foggia,Italy.

The research reported in this Research Communication was undertaken to evaluate the effects of different sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) supplemented in the diet on milk production and milk fatty acid profile of lactating ewes exposed to long term heat stress. The experiment was conducted during summer, involved 32 ewes divided into 4 groups of 8 each, and lasted 6 weeks. The ewes in all groups were fed twice daily and received 1·8 kg/d of oat hay and 1 kg/d of concentrate. Flaxseed group (FS) was supplemented with 250 g/d of whole flaxseed, Ascophyllum nodosum group (AG) was supplemented with 25 g/d of seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, and the combination group (FS + AG) received both flaxseed and Ascophyllum nodosum supplementation. The control group (CON) was fed with 1 kg/d of pelleted concentrate without PUFA supplementation. Milk samples were collected twice daily per week, and analysed for fat, total protein, casein, and lactose content. At the beginning and then at 2, 4 and 6 week of the experiment each milk sample was analysed for milk fatty acids. Temperature-humidity index (THI) was calculated daily. Supplementation of flaxseed and of the combination of flaxseed and Ascophyllum nodosum increased milk yield. The total content of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in milk decreased for ewes fed FS, followed by FS + AG. On the contrary, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) increased for ewes fed FS and FS + AG. The total n-3 FA was found higher in FS and FS + AG than in AG and CON groups mainly because of the increase in C 18 : 3 n-3 in FS and FS + AG milk. Milk from FS + AG resulted in the highest n-3/n-6 ratio and decreases in atherogenic and thrombogenic indices. The combination of seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum and flaxseed can be suggested as an adequate supplementation to sustain milk production and milk fatty acid profile of sheep during summer season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029916000431DOI Listing
August 2016

Immune response, productivity and quality of milk from grazing goats as affected by dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation.

Res Vet Sci 2016 Apr 24;105:229-35. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

This study was undertaken to assess how diet supplemented with fish oil and linseed improve the immune profile, the production performance, and milk quality of grazing goats by a diet supplementation of fish oil or linseed. Twenty-four Garganica grazing goats were divided into three groups named control (CON), fish oil (FO) and linseed (LIN) according to the fat supplement received in their diet. In vivo immune responses were evaluated by monitoring cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in order to verify the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on goats' health status. Goat milk samples were analysed weekly to determine milk chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and somatic cell count. Diet based on linseed supplementation (LIN) significantly increased milk yield by 30%, milk fat yield by 67%, protein yield by 34%, and casein yield by 41% as compared with CON. Fat content increased by 30% in LIN milk as compared with CON milk, and by 12% as compared with FO milk. Linseed modified milk fatty acid profile; LIN milk showed lower SFA and higher PUFA than FO milk. The modified fatty acid composition of LIN milk resulted in lower AI and TI indexes than FO and CON milk. Linseed and fish oil administration can reduce humoral immunity of goats, but has no effect in their cellular immunity. Dietary linseed supplementation in grazing dairy goat supports feeding programs to improve milk composition and quality, and a modulation of their immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2016.02.018DOI Listing
April 2016

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids from flaxseed affect immune responses of dairy sheep around parturition.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2015 Nov 19;168(1-2):56-60. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

The objective of the study was to characterize the immune profile of dairy ewes fed flaxseed, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), around parturition. The hypothesis to be verified was that a physiological stressor, such as parturition, could be overcome with a nutritional manipulation in the diet of the animal in order to guarantee welfare of animals and to sustain their immune responses. Twenty Comisana ewes were divided in two groups (10 ewes/group), and fed a supplementation of whole flaxseed in the diet (FS group) or no supplementation (CON group). Blood samples were collected at parturition and then 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42 day post partum. Plasma samples were used to assess the humoral immune response after ovalbumin (OVA) immunization. At parturition, at 14 day, and 42 day post partum the level of plasma cytokines was assessed. The sheep showed a reduced responsiveness to OVA immunization. In FS ewes the IL-6 level remained unchanged until 14 day post partum and then significantly decreased from 14 day to 42 day post partum. IL-10 level was significantly higher in FS ewes than in CON ewes at 14 day. At parturition IL-1β level was significantly lower in FS ewes than in CON ewes and significantly decreased in both groups from parturition to 42 day. In conclusion, PUFA from flaxseed, as supplement in the diet of ewes around parturition can modulate sheep immune reactivity by influencing cytokine production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2015.08.006DOI Listing
November 2015

Alterations in sheep peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation and cytokine release by polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in the diet under high ambient temperature.

J Dairy Sci 2015 Feb 12;98(2):872-9. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation from different sources in the diet of dairy sheep under high ambient temperatures on ex vivo lymphocyte proliferation and inflammatory responses. The experiment was carried out during summer: 32 Comisana ewes were divided into 4 groups of 8. The FS group was supplemented with whole flaxseed, the AG group was supplemented with Ascophyllum nodosum, the FS+AG group was supplemented with a combination of flaxseed and A. nodosum. The fourth group (CON group) was a control and received a diet containing no supplement. The average maximum temperature was around 33°C during wk 2 and 3, whereas the mean temperature never decreased below 26°C. Following 15 d of treatment with respective diets, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from sheep who received a diet supplemented with A. nodosum had impaired cell proliferation responses and IL-6 production after mitogen stimulation compared with PBMC from FS+AG sheep. In addition, PBMC from AG sheep displayed impaired cell proliferation compared with cells from the CON group. The FS+AG cells produced lower levels of IL-10 than CON cells, and higher IL-6 than AG and CON cells. Results demonstrated that the supplementation with PUFA from different sources in a sheep's diet can influence their immunological responses under high ambient temperatures depending on the composition of fatty acid supplementation. In particular, synergistic effects of different PUFA from flaxseed and A. nodosum, simultaneously administrated in the sheep diet, were observed on activation of inflammation response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2014-8333DOI Listing
February 2015

Composition and textural properties of Mozzarella cheese naturally-enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

J Dairy Res 2013 Aug 23;80(3):276-82. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment SAFE, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

The effects of adding flaxseed or fish oil to the diet of dairy cows on the chemical and physical profile of Mozzarella cheese production were studied. The experiment involved 24 Friesian cows, divided into 3 groups accordingly fat supplementation: basal diet (CT), diet supplemented with flaxseed (FS) or fish oil (FO). Mozzarella cheeses were manufactured from bulk milk of each group. Bulk milk was analysed for chemical composition and renneting parameters. Mozzarella cheeses were analysed for chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and textural properties. Results suggest that Mozzarella cheese from cows receiving flaxseed supplementation showed a decrease in saturated fatty acids (SFA), an increase in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) compared with control Mozzarella cheese. The increased dietary intake of C18:3 in flaxseed supplemented cows resulted in increased levels of trans-11 C18:1, and of CLA cis-9 trans-11 C18:2, and in low Atherogenic and Trombogenic Indexes. FO Mozzarella cheese showed compositional and textural properties quite similar to CT Mozzarella cheese; however, increased levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in FO Mozzarella were found.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002202991300023XDOI Listing
August 2013

A mixture of phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta affects proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and cytokine production in sheep.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2012 Nov 13;150(1-2):27-35. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Department of Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy.

The aim of this study was to investigate the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory role of a mixture of phytosterols extracted from the microalga Dunaliella tertiolecta on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) isolated from sheep. PBMC were treated to determine cell proliferation and cytokine production with different sterols: ergosterol (E), a mixture of eleven Algae sterols extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta (Algae Extract, AE), a mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta (Purified Extract, PE). Cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-10) was evaluated after cell treatment with Concanavalin A (Con A) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta showed a suppressive effect on cell proliferation, and a reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines production. Furthermore, a stimulatory effect on the production of the regulatory cytokine IL-10 was found. The immunosuppressive effect exerted by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol from D. tertiolecta was dose-dependent both in suppressing cell proliferation and in stimulating IL-10 production. Present results showed that the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities were more apparent in the purified extract characterized by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol, and might depend on the existence of a synergic effect of the structures of the two phytosterols. Furthermore, findings from our study suggest that the purified extract characterized by the mixture of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol from D. tertiolecta could be used to reduce immune reactions resulting from inflammatory diseases in sheep production systems, and could have innovative implications on the modulation of sheep immune system when used as feed supplements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2012.08.002DOI Listing
November 2012

Composition, indigenous proteolytic enzymes and coagulating behaviour of ewe milk as affected by somatic cell count.

J Dairy Res 2011 Nov 26;78(4):442-7. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Department of Production Sciences and Innovation in Mediterranean Agriculture and Food Systems (PrIME), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71100 Foggia, Italy.

This study was undertaken to assess the effect of somatic cell count in ewe milk on i) composition and hygienic traits; ii) plasmin, cathepsin and elastase activities; iii) leukocyte differential count; iv) renneting parameters. Individual ewe milk samples were grouped according to somatic cell count (SCC) into five classes: SC300 (<300 000 cells/ml), SC500 (from 301 000 to 500 000 cells/ml), SC1000 (from 501 000 to 1 000 000 cells/ml), SC2000 (from 1 001 000 to 2 000 000 cells/ml) and SC>2000 (>2 001 000 cells/ml). Individual milk samples were analysed for pH, chemical composition, microbial features, indigenous proteolytic enzymes, differential leukocyte population, and renneting parameters. Milk yield, lactose, protein, non casein nitrogen, microbial features were affected by SCC level. Plasmin and elastase activities were the highest in samples with more than 1 000 000 cells/ml; plasmin had intermediate values in samples with 300 000 to 1 000 000 cells/ml and the lowest in samples with less than 300 000 cells/ml of milk. Cathepsin D showed significantly lower values in SC300 and SC1000 classes than in SC500, SC2000 and SC>2000 classes. The highest percentages of lymphocyte were found in samples with less than 1 000 000 cells/ml, while the highest levels of polymorphonuclear leukocyte were found in samples with more than 1 000 000 cells/ml of milk. Longer clotting time was found in SC>2000 samples, while reduced clot firmness was observed in SC500 and SC>2000 samples. Results on milk yield and on compositional parameters evidenced an impairment of udder efficiency in ewe milk samples starting from 300 000 cells/ml. Plasmin activity in milk can be considered as a marker of the synthetic and secreting ability of the mammary gland; furthermore plasmin and elastase were consistent with the health status of the udder. Finally cathepsin D played a role in the worsening of renneting properties of ewe milk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029911000525DOI Listing
November 2011

Differential leucocyte count for ewe milk with low and high somatic cell count.

J Dairy Res 2011 Feb 7;78(1):43-8. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Department of Production and Innovation in Mediteranean Agriculture and Food Systems (PrIME), University of Foggia, Italy.

This study was undertaken to compare flow cytometry (FC) and direct microscopic leucocyte count (MDLC) for the differentiation of macrophages, lymphocytes and polymorphonuclear leucocyte (PMN) and to evaluate leucocyte distribution in ewe milk with low and high somatic cell count (SCC). Milk samples were grouped for somatic cell count in low SCC (LSCC) when the content was lower than 5·00 × 10(5)/ml and high SCC (HSCC) when the content was higher than 1·00 × 10(6)/ml. No differences were found between the two methods tested suggesting that FC could be used as a routine test for rapid discrimination of leucocytes. Percentages of lymphocytes in ewe milk were higher in LSCC (50%) than in HSCC (39%) and count ranged from 273·91 ± 56·62 × 10(3) cells/ml (LSCC) to 308·90 ± 46·15 × 10(3) cells/ml (HSCC). PMN number was lower in LSCC than in HSCC (248·83 ± 46·87 × 10(3) cells/ml v. 444·38 ± 58·62 × 10(3) cells/ml); accordingly the percentage was lower in LSCC (40%) than in HSCC (57%). No differences were found for macrophages which were 36·36 ± 5·51 × 10(3) cells/ml and 39·32 ± 6·83 × 10(3) cells/ml in LSCC and HSCC, respectively. Lymphocytes in ewe milk did not vary with increased number of somatic cells and were the predominant cell type in LSCC. PMN represented the main population detected in HSCC and the correlation with SCC evidenced that this leucocyte class could be useful in differentiating ewe milk cell count, being strictly responsible for the SCC increase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029910000798DOI Listing
February 2011

Influence of milk quality and production protocol on proteolysis and lipolysis in Monti Dauni Meridionali Caciocavallo cheese.

J Dairy Res 2010 Nov 19;77(4):385-91. Epub 2010 May 19.

Dipartimento PRIME, Università di Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71100 Foggia, Italy.

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of milk source and of cheese production protocol on proteolytic and lipolytic pattern of cheese during ripening. The study involved six dairy factories located in Monti Dauni Meridionali area of Southern Italy; three dairy factories processed the milk produced by their own cow herds, while the other three dairy factories processed the milk collected in other dairy farms located in the neighbouring area. Cow milk processed to cheese had different nutritional parameters and hygienic quality. Caciocavallo cheese showed differences in the evolution of proteolysis during ripening and in the intensity of the lipolytic process detected at the end of ripening. The main factors influencing Caciocavallo cheese features were the quality of the starting milk, differences in technological steps such as milk heating, type of starter cultures and coagulant used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029910000269DOI Listing
November 2010

Influence of space allowance and housing conditions on the welfare, immune response and production performance of dairy ewes.

J Dairy Res 2009 Feb 16;76(1):66-73. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Dipartimento PRIME and Istituto per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodotti Tipici e di Qualità (BIOAGROMED), Università di Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71100 Foggia (Italy).

The experiment used 45 Comisana ewes, divided into 3 groups of 15. The aim was to determine the effects of two different stocking densities and two different housing conditions on welfare, and on production performance of dairy ewes. The stocking densities tested were: high stocking density (1 x 5 m2/ewe, HD group) and low stocking density (3 m2/ewe, LD group); the two housing conditions tested were: ewes housed indoors (LD group, 3 m2/ewe) and ewes allowed to use an outdoor area (LDP group, 3 m2/ewe divided into 1 x 5 m2/ewe indoors and 1 x 5 m2/ewe outdoors). At the beginning of the experiment, and then every 2 months, the cell-mediated immune status of sheep was evaluated. One month after the beginning of the experiment, and 20 d later, the ewes were injected with chicken egg albumin (OVA) to assess their humoural immune responses. Starting from the beginning of the experiment and then monthly, behavioural activities of ewes were monitored using 15-min scans. After lamb weaning, milk yield from individual ewes was measured and milk composition analysed weekly. Housing conditions (low density reared ewes indoors v. low density reared ewes with free access to an outdoor area) affected cell-mediated response, which was higher in LDP than in LD ewes. Concentrations of anti-OVA IgG were mainly influenced by space allowance, with higher antibody titres in LD than in HD ewes throughout the experiment. Both housing conditions and space allowance affected sheep behavioural activities: a greater proportion of LDP ewes displayed standing and drinking behaviours than LD ewes, and a greater proportion of LD ewes was observed walking than HD ewes. Ewes allowed access to the outdoor area had a higher protein content and lower somatic cell count in their milk, whereas reduced space allowance led to a reduction in milk yield and an increase in somatic cell count of milk. Results indicate that both increased space allowance and availability of outdoor area can improve the welfare and production performance of the lactating ewe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029908003683DOI Listing
February 2009
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