MicroRNAs (miRs, miRNAs) play central roles in gene regulation. Previously, we reported that miRNAs from pasteurized, store-bought bovine milk have biological activity in humans. Here, we assessed the effects of milk processing, storage, somatic cell content, and handling by consumers on the degradation of miRNAs in milk; we also quantified miRNAs in dairy products. Pasteurization and homogenization caused a 63% loss of miR-200c, whereas a 67% loss observed for miR-29b was statistically significant only in skim milk. Effects of cold storage and somatic cell content were quantitatively minor (<2% loss). Heating in the microwave caused a 40% loss of miR-29b but no loss of miR-200c. The milk fat content had no effect on miRNA stability during storage and microwave heating. The concentrations of miRNAs in dairy products were considerably lower than in store-bought milk. We conclude that processing of milk by dairies and handling by consumers causes a significant loss of miRNAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)