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The effect of dietary lipid content and composition on the milk fat iodine value of dairy cows

  • E. Magowan (a1) (a2), A. M. Fearon (a3) (a2), D. C. Patterson (a1), D. J. Kilpatrick (a3) and J. A. M. Beattie (a3)...

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Iodine value (IV) indicates the degree of unsaturation of milk fat, thus reflecting the presence of long chain unsaturated fatty acids (LCUFA), especially C18:1c. The higher the IV the greater the degree of unsaturation. Changes in dietary lipid content and composition can have a major effect on the IV of milk fat. The principal fatty acid in the forage component of the diet, namely grass or grass silage, is C18:3 (Murphy, 2000) while concentrate supplements contain varying proportions of C18:1 or C18:2 fatty acids. LCUFA undergo hydrolysis and biohydrogenation in the cow’s rumen producing mainly C18:0, the majority of which is converted to C18:1c by the desaturase enzyme systems, mainly in the mammary gland (Murphy, 2000). This experiment aimed to examine the relationship between milk fat IV and dietary lipid content, composition and diet type.

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Fearon, A. M., Charlton, C. T. and Kilpatrick, D. J. (1994). A further investigation of the influence of dietary protected lipid supplements on the characteristics of cows’ milk fat. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture 66: 247 – 256.
Murphy, J. J. (2000). Synthesis of milk fat and opportunities for nutritional manipulation. Milk Composition Occasional publication No. 25, BSAS 2000 (ed. Agnew, R. E., Agnew, K. W. and Fearon, A. M.).

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