Swiss company launches rapid test to identify A2 milk-producing cows

Swiss foodtech company SwissDeCode is launching the DNAFoil A2 Cow Test, a rapid kit that allows dairy farms and companies to test their cows independently and on the spot, in order to detect the presence of the A1 beta-casein allele and identify A2 milk-producing cows.

The new test comes to answer the market’s demands for A2 milk testing and joins the DNAFoil A2 Cow Milk Test, launched last year.

The DNAFoil A2 Cow is a highly accurate test that uses tail hair samples from cows to detect the presence of the A1 beta-casein allele. Providing all necessary material, the all-in-one test can be performed on-site, even by non-experts. The reliable and easily-interpretable results are available in 45 minutes, including approximately 15 minutes hands-on time. This significantly shortens the time to result, compared to current analytical methods.

Following the successful launch of the DNAFoil A2 Cow Milk last year, a test that allows dairy processing companies to assess the purity of batches of A2 milk, SwissDeCode now adds a new product to the A2 family of tests, as customers expressed their interest in testing not only batches of milk, but also individual cows.

By offering products that are useful to breeders, farms, processing companies and others, the A2 family of tests has the potential to secure the authenticity and transparency of a large part of the A2 milk supply chain, says the company.

“We redesigned DNA testing to scan over 3 billion DNA letters present in the hair of a cow and return a simple test band when that important A1 or A2 letter is present. By putting this powerful tool in the hands of farmers, we are helping them bring better milk products to market and enabling pure A2 supply chains and efficient herd management,” said Gianpaolo Rando, CTO & co-founder of SwissDeCode.

Milk beta casein can be of mainly two types: A1 and A2, with A2 milk containing only the A2 type. Originally, all cows carried the A2 beta-casein gene exclusively, but over time they underwent a genetic mutation, which resulted in a different version of beta-casein gene that codes for the A1 beta-casein type. Migration and modern farming resulted in the spread of this genetic mutation, which led to a mixed cattle population that can produce A1, A2 or both types of beta-casein.

Dairy companies worldwide are motivated to produce A2 milk to respond to the consumer demand for a perceived healthier alternative to conventional dairy. As the interest in A2 milk grows, the milk industry faces an increasing need for proving the authenticity of the products they are offering.

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