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The contribution of milk and dairy products to daily iodine intake is high but variable in many industrialised countries. Factors that affect iodine concentrations in milk and dairy products are only poorly understood. Our aim was to: (1) assess the effect of feed iodine concentration on milk iodine by supplementing five groups of five cows each with one of five dosages from 0–2 mg iodine/kg DM; (2) quantify iodine losses during manufacturing of cheese and yogurt from milk with varying iodine concentrations and assess the effect of cellar-ripening; and (3) systematically measure iodine partitioning during heat treatment and skimming of milk. Milk iodine reached a near-steady state after 3 weeks of feeding. Median milk iodine (17–302 μg/l for 0–2 mg iodine/kg DM) increased linearly with feed iodine (R2 0·96; P < 0·001). At curd separation, 75–84 % of iodine was lost in whey. Dairy iodine increased linearly with milk iodine (semi-hard cheese: R2 0·95; P < 0·001; fresh cheese and yogurt: R2 1·00; P < 0·001), and cellar-ripening had no effect. Heat treatment had no significant effect, whereas skimming increased (P < 0·001) milk iodine concentration by only 1–2 μg/l. Mean daily intake of dairy products by Swiss adults is estimated at 213 g, which would contribute 13–52 % of the adults’ RDA for iodine if cow feed is supplemented with 0·5–2 mg iodine/kg DM. Thus, modulation of feed iodine levels can help achieve desirable iodine concentrations in milk and dairy products, and thereby optimise their contribution to human iodine nutrition to avoid both deficiency and excess.
This Research Communication describes the effects of a synthetic analogue of the Bovine Appeasing Pheromone (BAP) on milk parameters in Valdostana dairy cows during the first turning out from tie-stalls to confined lowland pastures around the farms. Thirty healthy lactating Valdostana cows were enroled in the study and randomly divided into 2 groups: experimental group (EG, n = 15) and control group (CG, n = 15). The two groups were separately housed in the same farm and managed outside in two different pens. Treatment (BAP and solution) and control (solution only) were poured on the nuchal skin area between the horns when the animals were inside the farm at the feeding rack every 7 d for 28 d (T0–T4). Milk samples were evaluated at the same time points (T0–T4). Daily milk production (kg/day) was higher in the EG than in the CG, particularly during the first day after the turning out to pasture (T1). Somatic Cell Count (103 cells/ml) was higher in the placebo group than in the EG, especially at T1. Proteins, fat, fat-free dry matter and casein (g/100 g) were not affected by the treatment. In T1 urea (mg/dl) content was higher in CG vs. EG, suggesting a more correct metabolic balance in the group treated with BAP. The use of BAP appears to modulate adaptation in ways that may improve dairy cow performance in the context of changes in management routines.
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