Beta-casein makes up 30 percent of the protein in milk and comes in two forms – A1 and A2. The difference in the A1 and A2 beta-casein is an amino acid at the 67th position. A1 and A2 are present in different proportions, depending on the breed of the cow.
Originally, all cows produced milk containing the A2 beta-casein exclusively. However, migration and modern farming created a genetic mutation that lead some cows to carry both A1 and A2 beta-casein. Nowadays, a percentage of certain breeds of cows still carries the A2 protein variant only, but a test is needed to identify them accurately.
The structure of A2 protein is more similar to human breast milk, as well as milk from goats, sheep, and buffalo. Studies found that A2 milk is easier to digest and absorb than regular milk. Some studies also suggest that A2 milk could improve brain function, reduce blood inflammation and reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes.
The demand for A2 milk has been growing exponentially, mostly in Asia-Pacific and North America. A market which was worth USD1,500 million in 2018, is now expected to reach USD14,000 million in 2025. The main drivers for this growth are the USA, China, India, Australia and New Zealand.
SwissDeCode’s DNAFoil® A1 milk kit helps validate the purity of A2 milk, by detecting specifically the A1 allele of the beta-casein gene. It includes all material necessary to prepare DNA from a milk sample, to amplify the specific DNA sequence and to detect the amplification product. It provides clear, reliable and easily interpretable results in under 50 minutes.