The aims of the investigation were to develop a better way of describing the composition and quality of sheep milk (milk as received from suppliers), and to identify possible differences between the milks obtained from the two sheep breeds most commonly used in Switzerland (Lacaunes and Ostfriesian milk sheep) and from cross-breeds of these two. The bacteria concentrations in the samples of milk from the suppliers were generally very low. However, very high values were found in a few cases. Butyric acid spores were found to be present in all the milk samples, and in many cases the concentrations were high enough to cause potential problems in cheese ripening. Bacteria pathogenic to humans were not found in any of the samples. The milk from Lacaunes differs significantly from the milk yielded by the Ostfriesian and cross-breed sheep with regard to fat content, but not with regard to protein and lactose contents. The milk from Ostfriesian milk sheep gives a significantly lower cell count than that from Lacaunes and cross-breeds. A possible reason for this is that the Ostfriesian milk sheep have had a greater degree of selective breeding for low cell count. The freezing point of sheep milk was found to be, on average, significantly lower than that of cows’ milk.
Plants and microorganisms can perceive and respond to sound waves. In a review of the literature, Agroscope analysed various publications on this topic. The studies show that sound can lead to positive effects on physiology in the form of improved growth, development and disease resistance.
The war in Ukraine, dry spells and droughts followed by heavy rainfall and flooding are major challenges for our food systems. But the problems that they bring to light are nothing new – and solutions are already to hand.
Biogenic amines in foods represent a health risk. Researchers from Agroscope and INRAE investigated the formation of these undesirable substances in raclette cheeses by the bacterium Morganella morganii.