Comparison of Organic and Conventional Milk, Curd and Cheese

Abstract: CLA levels and fatty acid composition were measured to compare the fat composition in organic bulk milk, destined to the production of Grana Padano cheese, with those produced by conventional system. The curds and Grana Padano cheeses were also analysed to evaluate the effects of the production technology on the CLA content. All analysed organic samples were characterized by higher annual means of CLA, vaccenic acid (TVA) and linolenic acid (LNA) in comparison with conventional samples (with P<0.05). Nevertheless, no particular effect of the production technology was seen on the CLA content. The animal diet appears to be the factor which has the highest effect on the CLA concentration in milk and milk products and an organic diet based on fresh or dried forage, that is rich in CLA precursory fatty acids, may improve the yield of fatty acids with beneficial effects on health.

Reference: Prandini, A., Sigolo, S., and Piva, G. (2009). Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and fatty acid composition of milk, curd and Grana Padano cheese in conventional and organic farming systems. Journal of Dairy Research 76(3): 278-282. Available online at: