Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 February 2018
Dietary manipulation of milk fat content and/or fatty acid composition is becoming a feasible, and for certain niche–markets, attractive means of boosting the nutritive value and acceptability of milk and its secondary products. However it is not yet possible to indicate equivalent ways of manipulating milk protein content and/or composition. This paper will consider current knowledge on milk protein biosynthesis and the opportunities for nutritional manipulation. Recent infusion studies which have linked changes in mammary amino acid metabolism with changes in milk protein content will be examined in an attempt to elucidate key features of the metabolic regulation of the dairy cow which need to be addressed if the British consumer is to have the choice of higher protein (possibly designer protein) milk products. This review will (in part) utilise data from a joint project at the Rowett Institute and Reading University funded by a consortium comprising government (MAFF, BBSRC and SOAEFD) and agribusiness (MDC, Purina Mills and Hendrix).