Characterisation of buffalo milk, cheese and yoghurt properties

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-005364

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

  • Project completion date: Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • National Priority: BUF-Enhance industry success through targeted industry-specific RD&E


This project will characterise buffalo milk and buffalo milk products from Australian buffalos. It will assist farmers and manufacturers in herd management and milk processing by uncovering genes expressed in Australian buffalo milk and providing valuable information to the buffalo industry about the effect of lactation stage and feed quality on milk properties. It will probe new possible markets for bioactive compounds in buffalo milk and facilitate greater product differentiation from bovine milk.

The project will also provide buffalo yoghurt and cheese makers with a better understanding of how buffalo milk is transformed into yoghurt and cheese products and the factors effecting product properties. The proteins and the size of fat globules present in buffalo milk will be characterised, as these characteristics are critical to the texture and taste of yoghurt and cheese products. Finally, the project will characterise the structure of yoghurt or cheese products made from buffalo milk using advanced microscopy techniques to better understand how protein and fat are arranged in these products.



Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

This project will establish which genes are expressed in Australian buffalo milk as a function of:
• lactation (early and late time points); and
• feed type (using milk from buffalo farmed in Queensland and Victoria).
It will look for potential bioactive compounds in buffalo milk and compare gene expression profiles in buffalo to those expressed in bovine species.

It will also characterise buffalo milk for characteristics important to cheese and yoghurt making:
• protein expression;
• fat globule size.
It will then look at the arrangement of protein and fat within yoghurt or cheese made from buffalo milk using a range of advanced microscopy techniques and characterise the texture of products made from buffalo milk to better understand how the properties of the raw ingredient influence the structure and properties of yoghurt or cheese using techniques established for bovine milk.