Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Identification of optimum feeding and management strategies to deliver CLA-enriched bovine milk

The result consists of a set of blueprints to allow dairy farmers to produce milk with an improved fatty acid composition. The improved milk fat is characterised by having a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids and cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid and a lower content of saturated fatty acids.

This pattern of change, on the basis of existing literature, would be expected to improve the health properties of milk (and dairy foods made from it) in terms of reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and potentially cancer. Human nutrition studies (see Result 36846 in this project) show that the changes in milk fatty acids achieved are sufficient to significantly alter human blood fatty acid levels in volunteers consuming 50 g/d of "healthy" compared to 50 g/d of standard cheese.

The result would allow extention services in the different dairying areas of the EU to advise farmers as to how they can produce "healthy" milk. This may involve modification of the pasture management and forage conservation systems and the use of particular feed supplements. The precise advice depends on the local dairy system. Each system has been extensively tested in one case for a continuous period of two years.

Reported by

Scottish Agricultural College (SAC)
Life Sciences Teaching Group, Auchincruive,
KA6 5HW Ayr,
United Kingdom