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A different kind of milk, which comes exclusively from the milking of cows at night, was presented by the American Agricultural School (AGS) and the Animal Science Laboratory of the Veterinary Medicine Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in a special event in the auditorium of the “Aliki Perrotis” Educational Center ».

“Vradino” milk, which is the new product of AGS, has a high content of melatonin and is currently only available from its store. “The idea of ​​exploiting evening milk of cows arose on the basis of the well-being of the cows and the research data on its difference in melatonin content,” said the director of the Animal Science Laboratory of the Department of Veterinary Medicine of AUTH, professor Giorgos Arsenos.

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Melatonin, as the professor explained, is a natural substance found in all living organisms and plays a decisive role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm of several biological functions that exhibit an endogenous periodic change during the 24-hour period, while this substance has attracted the interest of several researchers over time, due to its role as a powerful antioxidant agent, with low molecular weight, whose exogenous administration does not inhibit endogenous production and can easily cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier.

This substance is mainly produced in the pineal gland cells of the brain under the control of the hypothalamus which receives signals from the retina about light and darkness in the environment. Its production, which also involves vitamin B6, which is important for the normal development of the brain and for the good health of the nervous and immune systems, is inhibited by light and activated by darkness. “Therefore, milking cows at night gives us milk that we label as ‘Evening’ and it turns out to contain more melatonin,” he added.

“Vradino” milk started as an idea 3.5 years ago, in collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Medicine of AUTH. We did a series of laboratory analyzes comparing the values ​​of melatonin produced in milk at different times of the year, both during the day and in milk milked during the night,” said the head of Voustasiou and the Milk Processing Unit. of the Educational Farm of the AGS, Stratos Souglis, adding that “we then proceeded to process the milk and the daily produced milk and the evening milk to be able to compare the concentration of melatonin in the final product for human consumption”.

When the project began, the head of the Educational Farm of the AGS was Dr. Evangelos Vergos, while the chemical analysis of melatonin in milk and milk products has been assigned to the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, with the scientific responsibility of the associate professor of Agriculture, Dr. Ioannis Mourtzinos and in the Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry and is carried out in infrastructures of the Interdisciplinary Center for Agri-Food (KEAGRO) of AUTH.