Ray Jackson and his family are dairy farmers in western Logan County looking to diversify their product with what may be a trend on the horizon for the industry — something called a2 milk.
“It’s daunting right now, but we’re excited for the possibilities down the road,” said Jackson, who is a sales rep for ABS Global, formerly American Breeders Service along with working on the small dairy farm.
Regular cow’s milk is about 85% water. The rest consists of lactose, fat, proteins, and more. About 30% of the total protein in that assembly is made up of beta-casein. Two variants of this protein are found in cow’s milk, a1 and a2. Cows are genetically predisposed to produce milk with either a1 or a2 proteins, though a new trend has recently raised the eyebrows of dairy farmers looking to cows that can produce a2 without any a1 beta-casein.
Like in nearly every sector of the food industry, consumer preference has permeated through the store shelves to influence production at the dairy farm level. Proponents of a2 milk stand by the claim that it not only helps with digestion of dairy products, but that it is actually suitable for lactose intolerant individuals to consume without issue. The claim is gaining steam and warrants taking a deeper look into the research behind it as well as the dairy farmers looking to capitalize on the possibly emerging market.
“The a1 and a2 proteins are naturally genetically occurring in cows,” Jackson said. “And of course like all traits there’s two genes for it so they can be homozygous a1, they can be heterozygous and have both genes, or they can be homozygous a2. The milk they produce is proportionate so they can actually make a blend of the two proteins or just one or the other.”
Read the full article here: https://ocj.com/2016/10/the-intrigue-of-a2-milk/?fbclid=IwAR23aIi9BEkuA7YzkZONlOlCUYf-bkVEqR5W8_FokEvsBC4QY8n04ezGb9A