Biomarkers of milk consumption identified

During cheese production, the curd is cut with a knife.

Swiss researchers participating in the ”FoodBAll“ project have identified biomarkers that can be used to detect the consumption of dairy products.

As part of the ”FoodBAll“ project, researchers from Agroscope and the University of Lausanne have identified new biomarkers that make it possible to detect the consumption of milk, cheese and a soy-based drink in human metabolism. Galactose and lactose are among the identified molecules that are produced in the human body when dairy products are processed.

To date, many scientific studies on food consumption have been based on questionnaires. The FoodBAll study lays the groundwork for the application of a new method – metabolomics – that promises more precise results regarding the influence of diet on human health. Metabolites, called biomarkers, are quantified in blood and urine samples. The project thus lays an important foundation for future nutrition research.

22 research groups from 11 countries

The FoodBAll study aimed at identifying and validating biomarkers that are indicative of the intake of a dozen types of food representing the different sections of the food pyramid. In total, 22 research groups from nine European countries as well as from Canada and New Zealand took part in the project. It was conducted within the scope of the European Joint Programming Initiative ”A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life“ (JPI-HDHL). The research work undertaken in Switzerland was funded by NRP 69.