Many studies show concentrations of nutritionally desirable fatty acids in bovine milk are lower when cows have no access to grazing, leading to seasonal fluctuations in milk quality if cows are housed for part of the year. This study investigated the potential to improve the fatty acid profiles of bovine milk by oilseed supplementation (rolled linseed and rapeseed) during a period of indoor feeding in both organic and conventional production systems. Both linseed and rapeseed increased the concentrations of total monounsaturated fatty acids, vaccenic acid, oleic acid and rumenic acid in milk, but decreased the concentration of the total and certain individual saturated fatty acids. Linseed resulted in greater changes than rapeseed, and also significantly increased the concentrations of a-linolenic acid, total polyunsaturated fatty acids and total omega-3 fatty acids. The response to oilseed supplementation, with respect to increasing concentrations of vaccenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, appeared more efficient for organic compared with conventional diets.
Stergiadis, S., Leifert, C., Seal, C., Eyre, M., Steinshamn, H., Butler, G., Improving the fatty acid profile of winter milk from housed cows with contrasting feeding regimes by oilseed supplementation. Food Chemistry. Volume: 164 Pages: 293-300 Published: DEC 2014.