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Dietary fatty acid intervention of lactating cows simultaneously affects lipid profiles of meat and milk


  • The work was performed at Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.


BACKGROUND: The present study investigated tissue-specific responses of muscle and mammary gland to a 10 week intervention of German Holstein cows (n = 18) with three different dietary fat supplements (saturated fat; linseed oil or sunflower oil plus docosahexaenoic acid-rich algae) by analysing fatty acid profiles and quality parameters of meat and milk.

RESULTS: Plant oil/algae intervention affected neither fat content nor quality parameters of meat but decreased fat content and saturated fatty acid amounts of milk. Linseed oil/algae intervention caused significantly higher concentrations of C18:3n-3 (meat, 1.0 g per 100 g; milk, 1.2 g per 100 g) and C22:6n-3 (meat, 0.3 g per 100 g; milk, 0.14 g per 100 g). Sunflower oil/algae intervention increased n-6 fatty acid contents in milk (4.0 g per 100 g) but not in meat. Elevated amounts of C18:1trans isomers and C18:1trans-11 were found in meat and especially in milk of plant oil/algae-fed cows. C18:1cis-9 amounts were found to be increased in milk but decreased in meat after plant oil/algae intervention.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrated that dietary fatty acid manipulation substantially shifted the fatty acid profiles of milk and to a lesser extent of meat, whereas meat quality traits were not affected. Indications of tissue-specific responses of mammary gland and muscle were identified. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry