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The study reported in this Research Communication compared retail milks’ FA profiles from two neighbouring countries, estimated the potential contributions of these milks and a designer milk (achieved by changing the diet of the dairy cow) to the recommended human dietary intake of FA, and predicted (based on the milk FA profile) methane emission from dairy cows. Retail milks in Estonia and Latvia were purchased from supermarkets monthly for one year. To compare the FA composition of retail milk with designer milk with an increased PUFA content, the bulk milk FA profile from a separate field trial was used. Milk FA concentrations of the two neighbouring countries were affected by state, season and their interaction, while the main influence on all these factors were different feeding practices (grazing availability, forage to concentrate ratio and legume-rich silages vs. maize silages). Three cups (600 mL; fat content 2·5 g/100 g) of Estonian, or Latvian retail milk or designer milk per day contributed more to the recommended intakes of saturated FA (SFA) (42·5, 42·7, 38·7%, respectively) than other FA. Compared to the retail milks, α-linolenic acid estimated intake was almost doubled by designer milk consumption (19·7% of adequate intake) without influencing summed intakes of SFA and trans FA. There were state and seasonal differences in the predicted methane outputs of dairy cattle based on retail milk FA. Although the FA profiles of retail milks in the two neighbouring countries were affected by state and season, an appreciable increase in human dietary intakes of beneficial fatty acids from milk, and concomitant reduction in methane emissions from dairy cows, can be achieved only by targeted feeding.
In the current study the microbiological, sensory and chemical properties of 24 kefirs (12 producers) from Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian retail market were determined using gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-MS/MS-Q-TOF and LC-ion trap MS/MS), spectrophotometry and other methods. Antihypertensive, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibiting, antioxidant and antibacterial peptides were found in the kefir samples. According to the results of principal component analysis of 200 most abundant compounds obtained with HPLC-MS/MS-Q-TOF analysis, Estonian kefirs differed from the rest. Kefirs of Latvian and Lithuanian origin showed similarities in several characteristics, probably related to the starter cultures and technological processes. The fatty acids composition of all Baltic kefirs was uniform. The antioxidant capacity of the kefirs varied slightly, whereas intermediate positive correlation (r = 0·32, P < 0·05) was found between antioxidativity and total bacterial count. The lipid oxidation level, estimated as the content of linoleic and oleic acid primary oxidation products, oxylipins, was very low in all studied kefirs. Only one third of analysed kefirs met the requirements of the minimum sum of viable microorganisms, indicated in the Codex Standard for Fermented Milks.
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