Tacopherol, Carotenoids and Fatty Acid Composition in Organic v. Conventional Milk

Abstract: Organic and conventional milk from silo tanks on Danish dairy plants was compared monthly during one year. The contents of a-tocopherol, carotenoids and alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3 omega-3) were higher in organic milk, where the content of synthetic 2R-stereo-isomers of alpha-tocopherol, the ratio between omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids (omega-6/omega-3) and of the content of oleic acid (C18:1 (c9)) were higher in the conventional milk. The contents of alpha-tocopherol, the natural stereoisomer RRR-alpha-tocopherol. the carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthine), almost all of the saturated fatty acids and of alpha-linolenic acid were higher for the organic milk during the summer period, where the organic dairy cows are on pasture. The feeding regimes have a great impact on the composition of the milk and the differences in the constituents between the two production systems were caused by differences in feeding regimes. Hereby, the organic farmers could produce a high quality product with a specific composition.

Reference:  Slots, T., Sorensen, J., Nielsen, J.H. (2008). Tocopherol, carotenoids and fatty acid composition in organic and conventional milk. Milchwissenschaft-Milk Science International 63(4): 352-355.