What is Pro Caseus

Intermizoo boasts an in-depth knowledge of its industry, thanks to a unique know-how developed in almost 50 years of activity. And it is thanks to the long research activity applied to genomics that, in collaboration with the University of Padova, Intermizoo has created Pro Caseus.
Pro Caseus is the new tool that allows dairy farmers to improve the production of milk for processing into cheese. This means higher cheese yield, and also more quality, and therefore sustainable production, with positive effects in terms of sustainability for the entire supply chain.
The dairy farmer who chooses Pro Caseus index animals knows that he is breeding for superior cattle with a strong aptitude for cheese making and producing better milk.
Milk that comes from Pro Caseus cows has a better cheese yield, a curd with the right consistency and optimal processing times.

What is the Pro Caseus index

The Pro Caseus index is the genomic index for cheese-making aptitude, patented by the University of Padova and Intermizoo, for the moment applied to the Holstein breed.
With Pro Caseus it is possible to genomically test any Holstein animal, in order to estimate its genetic value in terms of cheese-making aptitude.
The Pro Caseus genomic test is based on a group of specific genes correlated with cheese-making aptitude.

The Pro Caseus genomic index is very reliable: to establish the training set for the calculation, about 3 million phenotypes of cows tested for cheese-making aptitude and more than 10 thousand individuals genomically tested with the Pro Caseus test (cows and bulls) are considered.
The Pro Caseus index is expressed on a 100 basis with a standard deviation of 5. An index higher than 100 100 highlights bulls that improve cheese-making aptitude.
Bulls with a Pro Caseus index of 115 give daughters producing milk with a yield 10% higher than average.

What is Genomics – The advantages of genomic selection

Genomics is a branch of molecular genetics that allows the study of the genetic heritage of living beings.
Through genomics, Intermizoo estimates the traits of interest, such as milk, fat and protein production. On the basis of these measurements, Intermizoo selects, i.e. identifies, the best individuals and then multiplies them.

The advantages of genomic selection in the improvement of cattle are many. Thanks to DNA analysis, it is possible to evaluate the genetic value of males and females to be included in the breeding program.
Combining this information with that of the parents, it is possible to choose the animals in a more accurate way, significantly improving the efficiency of the analysis.

Cheese-making aptitude of milk

The estimation of economic values for cheese-making aptitude is crucial to propose breeding strategies aimed to improve milk characteristics both in yield and quality, especially when it comes to PDO cheese production.
Cheese-making aptitude will become a very important tool for milk destined for processing into cheese.

Intermizoo has carried out an intense research activity in this sector starting from 2007, initiating the first work project named “BullAbility”, with the collaboration of Prof. Martino Cassandro of the University of Padova. Since the first studies, the possible practical applications of cheese-making aptitude have been glimpsed, both under the genetic aspect and the industrial transformation, in order to improve the efficiency of the whole dairy supply chain.

What is the cheese-making aptitude

The cheese-making aptitude: it can be defined, in general, as the capacity of milk to react with a coagulant and to form a curd of suitable consistency and within the optimal time for processing. The cheese-making aptitude measures a fundamental step in the transformation of milk into cheese which is coagulation. The measurement is carried out using an ad hoc instrumentation called lactodynamograph.
It is important to underline the fact that, as reported by some authors and sector operators, in these years there is a gradual reduction of milk classified as having an optimal cheese-making aptitude and a consequent increase of non-optimal milk, or milk that does not coagulate, after 30 minutes from the analysis.

Cheese-making aptitude can be defined, therefore, as the ability of milk to react with a coagulant and to form a curd of suitable consistency within the optimal time for processing.
A milk with a non-optimal cheese-making aptitude, besides having a lower cheese yield, affects the cheese final quality, composition, incidence of defects and rejects, processing time and costs.
The Pro Caseus program allows to use all the tools offered by the Cheese-making Aptitude Genomic Index, in order to improve the genetics of the cows also for this specific parameter of technological quality of milk.

What is cheese

For better explaining what cheese-making aptitude is, it is necessary to clarify and remind what cheese is.
Cheese, according to the legislative definition, is the “product obtained from whole milk, partially or totally skimmed, or from the cream of milk of any animal as a consequence of acid or presamic or enzymatic coagulation of caseinogen”.

Cheese is made of casein, a protein present in milk, which precipitates in the presence of rennet, dragging with it most of the lipids and mineral salts.
All the 2000 cheeses (400 of which are Italian) currently produced in the world are obtained with the same cheese making process, which is based on the coagulation of milk.
The difference between one cheese and another depends on the tradition which characterizes every single cheese making process: times, temperatures and addition of salt are well defined for each of the 2000 cheese types we know. Even though there are many differences, the core of the process remains the same: the milk coagulation, which starts the cheese making process.

On the intermizoo.com website, further documentation is available for more research about genomics.