Type: Book

Achieving sustainable production of milk Volume 1 Milk composition, genetics and breeding


Dr Nico van Belzen is Director-General of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), Belgium. He has occupied senior roles in both industry and research organisations, both as Head of the Research and Analysis department at the ingredients division of Campina and as Executive Director of the European Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI).



Publication date:

31 March 2017

Length of book:

360 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786760449

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Milk is one of the world’s most important agricultural food products. In meeting rising demand, more intensive dairying systems face a range of challenges such as maintaining high standards of safety whilst optimising nutritional and sensory quality. At the same time farms need to become more sustainable as well as meet higher standards of animal health and welfare. Smallholder systems in developing countries face problems such as low productivity and vulnerability to disease which also impact on safety, quality, sustainability and animal welfare.

Drawing on an international range of expertise, this book reviews research addressing these challenges. It begins by discussing the composition of milk including proteins and bioactive components, the wide range of ingredients produced from milk, as well as aspects sensory quality. It also reviews current understanding of genetic factors affecting protein and other aspects of milk composition, other desirable traits such as fertility and advances in breeding to achieve improvements in quality and productivity in dairy farming.

Achieving sustainable production of milk Volume 1: Milk composition, genetics and breeding will be a standard reference for animal and dairy scientists in universities, government and other research centres and companies involved in milk production. It is accompanied by two further volumes which review safety, quality and sustainability issues as well as dairy herd management and welfare.

Key features

  • Summarises latest research on the composition of proteins and components in milk
  • Reviews advances in understanding factors affecting milk quality eg. breeding and nutrition
  • Discusses current research on genetic factors affecting dairy cattle growth and health as well as ways to optimise breeding to improve the productivity of dairy cows

Sample content

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What others are saying...

"As demand for dairy products continues to grow, and with sustainable nutrition and food security at the top of the global agenda, it is imperative that we develop and share the latest knowledge, practices and issues relating to sustainability of dairy chains. With a veritable Who’s Who of dairy expertise and an expert editor in IDF Director General Nico van Belzen, Achieving sustainable production of milk will go a long way to achieving this."
Dr Jeremy Hill, President - IDF/Chief Technology Officer - Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd.

"…provides a deep insight into safety, quality and sustainability of milk production."
International Dairy Magazine.

"Edited by the Director General of the International Dairy Federation, Dr Nico van Belzen, there can be little doubt regarding the scientific quality and likely impact of these volumes… I hope that the books/chapters will find a large audience and, by doing so, help to achieve the sustainability of milk production that the title promises"
Journal of Dairy Research

Table of contents

Part 1 The composition and quality of milk

1.The proteins of milk: Shane V. Crowley, James A. O ’ Mahony and Patrick F. Fox, University College Cork, Ireland;
2.Bioactive components in cow’s milk: Young W. Park. Fort Valley State University, USA;
3.Ingredients from milk for use in food and non-food products: from commodity to value-added ingredients: Thom Huppertz and Inge Gazi, NIZO food research, The Netherlands;
4.Understanding and preventing spoilage of cow’s milk: G. LaPointe, University of Guelph, Canada;
5.Sensory evaluation of cow’s milk: Stephanie Clark, Iowa State University, USA;

Part 2 Genetics, breeding and other factors affecting quality and sustainability
6.Using genetic selection in the breeding of dairy cattle: Julius van der Werf, University of New England, Australia and Jennie Pryce, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Government of Victoria) and La Trobe University, Australia;
7.Genetic factors affecting fertility, health, growth and longevity in dairy cattle: Joel Ira Weller, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Israel;
8.Breeding and management strategies to improve reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle: D. J. Ambrose, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, University of Alberta, Canada and J. P. Kastelic, University of Calgary, Canada;
9.Nutritional strategies to improve nitrogen efficiency and milk protein synthesis in dairy cows: James D. Ferguson, University of Pennsylvania, USA;