Milk Quality of Organic Dairy Cows

Abstract: The occurrence of metabolic overload in cows maintained in organic herds is very likely, because organic production promotes feeding with high roughage diets and discourages supplementation with concentrates supplementation. It has the potential to negatively affect milk quality. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of physiological indicators in blood, reflecting the energy metabolism and liver status of dairy cows kept in organic herds, on the content of bioactive components in milk and the influence of lactation stage and feeding season on changes in milk components. A significant positive correlation was found between beta-hydroxybutyric acid and the daily milk yield of lactating cows. beta-Hydroxybutyric acid was negatively correlated with lactation phase and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as saturated fatty acids content in milk. A significant negative correlation was observed between average daily milk yield and alanine aminotransferase concentration in blood. A low level of production in organic farms had a positive impact on the content of conjugated linoleic acid (20% increase), vitamin A (21% increase) and vitamin E (11% increase). The study has shown significant correlations between metabolic profiles and milk yields, as well as milk composition. In addition, there is evidence that the intensity of the production system significantly influences the metabolic profile and chemical composition of cow's milk. It could even be concluded that the ecological system affects not only the quality of milk, but also the health of cows. ©2012 Society of Chemical Industry

Reference: Sakowski, Tomasz; Kuczynska, Beata; Puppel, Kamila; et al. (2012). Relationships between physiological indicators in blood, and their yield, as well as chemical composition of milk obtained from organic dairy cows. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 92(14) Special Issue: 2905-2912. Available online at: