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We hypothesised that probiotic feeding would alter the fatty acid (FA) profile of sheep's milk. Sixteen lactating ewes, kept under the same feeding and management practices, were randomly allocated to receive either a control diet or the same diet supplemented with a commercial multi-strain bacterial probiotic. Milk fat FA contents were monitored fortnightly for eight consecutive weeks from 14 d after lambing. Probiotic supplementation increased the contents of butyric and caproic acids in milk fat and had no negative effects on other relevant FA from the human's health point of view (i.e., no differences in branched chain, vaccenic, rumenic and n-3 FA were observed). Under the conditions assayed in the present work, the contents of milk FA originated from rumen microbial metabolism were scantly altered, which suggests that the rumen conversion pathways of FA were not substantially modified by the probiotics.
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