CRV Ambreed and Analytica has the ability to analyse individual cows Herd Test milk samples for beta-casein types. This test provides a percentage indicator as to how much A1 and A2 type beta-casein. A bulk milk sample beta-casein test is also available. The alternative is to use DNA from tissue samples.
Analytica was an obvious partner of choice for CRV Ambreed, as its labs currently undertake all the finished goods testing for The A2 Milk Company and the company has developed the IP around the Bovine Beta Casein Protein Testing from milk and finished milk products.
Analytica has a strategic partnership with NZMT so samples for individual cows can flow from NZMT to Analytica for processing efficiently. NZMT is used by CRV Ambreed for its ongoing Herd Testing analysis.
Farmers wanting to know their Beta-Casein type status can begin the process with an inexpensive bulk milk test. The results of this test will give an indication of the portion of milk in their vat that is A1 and A2 type beta-casein. This bulk milk test doesn’t require the farmer to be an existing CRV Ambreed herd test client.
From here farmers may decide to gather the information at cow level, and test every cow. Again, this is available via milk samples collected at a CRV Ambreed herd test.
Depending on the overall goal of the farm, this information may then be used in relation to both sire selection and mating AI decisions. It’s recommended these decisions are made holistically, ensuring overall genetic progress is still the over-riding priority for the herd.
To order a bulk milk or individual cow herd test, please contact your local CRV Ambreed field consultant or call Customer Support on 0800 262 733.
About Bovine Beta-Casein Protein
Beta-casein typically compromises about 30% of total protein in cows’ milk. Owing to genetic variation it may be present in milk as one of many variants in modern cattle; with A1, A2, A3, B, C and I the most prevalent variants in Western dairy herds.
Beta-casein variants differ from one another by virtue of amino acid sequence, this has an impact on the structure that the protein adopts and subsequently the way it is digested. One amino acid difference at position 67 of the protein allows the preferential production of a protein fragment termed BCM-7 from the A1 and related variants, but not A2 nor variants that share a common structure at this part of the protein. On this basis beta-casein can be generally divided into either A1-type or A2-type.
The A1-type of beta-casein has been linked to intolerance type responses and its exclusion from milk may allow people who have previously limited dairy intake to benefit from the nutritional goodness it offers.
Further information relating to research on beta-casein variants and bioactive fragments generated from their digestion can be found at www.betacasein.net
1. INDIVIDUAL BETA-CASEIN TYPE COW TEST
CRV has the ability to analyse Herd Test milk samples for beta-casein types. This will result in a cow being classified into one of three categories;
1. A2/A2: This phenotype will result in only A2 type beta-casein in the milk.
2. A1/A2: This phenotype will result in an equal amount of A1 and A2 type beta-casein in the milk.
3. A1/A1: This will result in an onlyA1 type beta-casein in the milk.
Farmers who herd record using CRV Insight will have the beta-casein cow test category automatically updated once the herd test results have been analysed. The category will be available in standard CRV Insight reporting.Farmers who don’t herd record with CRV Insight will be provided with a report showing the beta-casein category for each cow.
2. BULK MILK TEST FOR BETA-CASEIN CONTENT
A bulk beta-casein test is available. This test provides a percentage indicator as to how much A1 and A2 type beta-casein was in the vat that the sample was taken from. You don’t need to be Herd Testing with CRV to have a bulk test.
Results will be presented for the detection of A1 beta-casein type content.
A1 content in milk
A1 Content in Milk Approver:
The A2% will be 45% (100 – 55 = 45)
ORGANISING A TEST
You can order an individual beta-casein cow test through your CRV Herd Tester. If you don’t currently Herd Test with us, we can arrange this.
The individual beta-casein cow test is an extension of the standard TAD or OAD CRV herd testing service. The individual milk sample will be analysed for the Fat, Protein, Lactose and SCC and then sent for further analysis of the beta-casein phenotype.
How much does it cost?
The individual beta-casein cow test is in addition to the standard herd test costs.
An individual beta-casein cow test costs an additional $27.00 per animal. A whole herd individual beta-casein cow test costs an additional $19.90 per animal. A list of cow numbers will need to be supplied for Individual cow tests.
BULK MILK TEST FOR A1 TYPE BETA-CASEIN CONTENT
Bulk Testing can be arranged by your CRV Field Consultant. A submission form needs completing. You will be charged at the time the request is received. Results will be received seven working days post testing via email.
How much does it cost?
A bulk test costs $250.
CAN I BREED FOR BETA CASEIN TYPE?
CAN COWS BE BREED FOR A2/A2? YES, THEY CAN.
By using A2/A2 sires the herd will over time have more
and more A2/A2 cows. However, A1 type genes are very
likely to persist in the herd, but at a reducing incidence,
for many generations.
See the table below
IS THERE ANY WAY TO FIND OUT IF A CALF IS A2/A2?
Yes, through DNA testing. DNA test your calf to determine
the beta-casein genotype. Keeping as many replacement
A2/A2 calves will speed up the conversion to a full A2
type beta-casein herd. Later this year we will be able to
provide DNA tissue analysis including sire verification and
individual gene testing options and the beta-casein gene.