Effect of Feed on Organic Milk

Abstract: Phytanic acid (PA) is a bioactive compound found in milk that is derived from the phytol chain of chlorophyll, and the content of PA in milk fat depends on the availability of phytol from feed. In this study, the content of PA diastereomers was analyzed in milk sampled from five organic herds twice during the grazing season (May and September). The total content of PA was higher in September compared to May, but was not affected by breed (Danish Holstein or Danish Jersey). Total PA could not be directly related to intake of green feed items. The distribution between diastereomers was closely related to the amount of grazed clovers, where a higher intake resulted in a higher share of the RRR isomer.

Reference: Che, BN, et al. (2013). Content and distribution of phytanic acid diastereonners in organic milk as affected by feed composition. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61(1): 225-230. Available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf304079r