Kappa-casein (κ-casein) is one of the most abundant milk proteins. Its main function is to avoid the aggregation of casein micelles, keeping them, and therefore calcium phosphate, in pockets in solution. In bovines, a κ-casein functional polymorphism has been associated with fat, calcium, and protein milk contents and faster curd contraction in cheese production. Quicker curd contraction reduces the loss of milk solids, enhancing cheese yield. This polymorphism induces a double amino acid substitution (Thr136Ile and Ala148Asp).
Frequencies of κ-casein gene alleles were determined in 1316 animals from the Brazilian Bos indicus genetic groups (Sindhi cows, Gyr sires, Gyr cows, Guzerat sires, Guzerat cows, Nellore sires, and Gyr x Holstein crossbreds) by means of polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis using two independent restriction nucleases (Hinf I and HaeIII). The genotyping of κ-casein alleles (A and B) is of practical importance, since the B allele is found to correlate with commercially valuable parameters of cheese yielding efficiency.