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Dietary effect on bovine milk fat conjugated linoleic acid content

  • F. Lawless (a1), J.J. Murphy (a2), S. Fitzgerald (a2), B. O’Brien (a2), R. Devery (a3) and C. Stanton (a1)...


Conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9, trans-11-C18:2; CLA) in milk arises as a result of microbial biohydrogenation of dietary linoleic and linolenic acids in the rumen (Kepler and Tove, 1967). Milk fat CLA concentrations were significantly (P<0.05) higher when cows were fed silage supplemented with pulp’n brew (a mixture of brewers grains, a by-product of the brewing industry, and sugar beet pulp in dry matter proportions of 0.65:0.35), compared with silage alone (Trial 1). Intake of spring grass resulted in a 2.1–fold increase in milk fat CLA concentrations over cows receiving autumn grass. Throughout lactation in Trial 2, spring calving cows produced higher milk fat CLA concentrations (from 0.5-2.7 g/100 g fatty acid methyl esters (FAME)) than autumn calving cows (0.3-1.7 g/100 g FAME); the former having spent 80% and the latter 50% of lactation on pasture. The CLA content was higher in late lactation milk compared with early lactation milk in both herds. There were no significant differences in milk yields or milk constituent yields between the herds. Manufacturing milk obtained between March and September was analyzed for milk fatty acid composition and the data correlated with grass growth throughout the season. Significant positive correlations were obtained between grass growth rates and concentrations of CLA and linolenic acid in milk fat. The data indicate that seasonal variation in milk fat CLA concentrations may be attributed to variation in pasture growth rates.



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Dietary effect on bovine milk fat conjugated linoleic acid content

  • F. Lawless (a1), J.J. Murphy (a2), S. Fitzgerald (a2), B. O’Brien (a2), R. Devery (a3) and C. Stanton (a1)...


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