Composition, nitrate and nitrite levels, and antioxidant activity of milk from agroecological and conventional systems

Author: M. Figueiredo-Paludo, M.S. dos Santos-Pozza, R.C. da Silva Junior, J.A. Horst, J.A.C. Osorio, L.C.V. Ítavo, F.S. dos Santos & G.T. dos Santos
Year: 2022
Issue: 3
Volume: 52
Page: 259 - 265

Agroecological dairy production systems are gaining attention worldwide. However, few studies have compared the quality of bovine milk produced in these systems with that produced in conventional dairy production systems. In view of the different farming practices, it was expected that milk quality would differ between systems. This study aimed to compare the quality of milk produced by cows raised in the two systems. Twelve conventional farms and 10 agroecological farms were evaluated. Milk samples were analysed for chemical composition, somatic cell count, nitrate and nitrite levels, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), which was assessed by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assays. Mean somatic cell counts (SSC) were high for both agroecological systems (2.31 SCC/mL (log10)) and conventional systems (2.42 SCC/mL (log10)). Nitrate levels of milk in agroecological and conventional systems were 0.15 ± 0.03 and 0.17 ± 0.02 mg/L, and nitrite levels were 0.05 ± 0.03 and 0.07 ± 0.02 mg/L. The DPPH radical scavenging activity levels were 6.31 ± 0.55% and 6.64 ± 0.44% for agroecological and conventional systems. According to the ABTS method, TAC values were 6.63 ± 0.28% and 6.48 ± 0.20% for agroecological systems and conventional systems. Thus, although these systems adopted different farming practices, no significant differences were observed in milk composition, SCC, nitrate, nitrite, and TAC.

Keywords: chemical composition, Dairy cow, milk urea nitrogen, nitrogen metabolism, somatic cell count
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