Summer and winter milk-fat samples from 14 dairies in Sweden were fractionated by crystallization from acetone solution (1:8) at 15 °C. The composition of the major fatty acids of the parent milk fat and of the acetone insoluble fraction were examined by GLC, and the gross triglyceride pattern by TLC on plates of silicic acid treated with silver nitrate.
The fatty acid composition of the milk fat was similar to that of milk fat from other countries and varied according to season and also, to a smaller extent, from region to region. Four fractions, representing 33–45, 41–34, 18–14 and 7–6 % of the fat and which contained progressively smaller proportions of saturated acids, were obtained by TLC.
The acetone insoluble glyceride (AIG) fraction was characterized by a smaller content of short-chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, and a larger content of saturated long-chain fatty acids, than the parent milk fat. AIGs from summer milk fat contained a larger proportion of C18 acids and a smaller proportion of C6–C16 acids than AIGs from winter milk fat.
Four fractions representing 62–70, 15–8, 16–15 and 7 % of the AIG fraction were obtained by TLC. The distribution of the triglycerides in the AIG fraction differed from that in the parent milk fat, mostly in the relative amounts of glycerides in the 2 most saturated TLC fractions. The seasonal variation was largely confined to these 2 fractions.