Dietary protected fat and conjugated linoleic acid improves ewe milk fatty acid composition

Author: A. Grigorescu, I. Balta, C. Julean, E. Simiz, S. Voia, D. Stef, E. Alexa, I. Popescu, A. Marcu, I. Pet, T. Callaway, N. Corcionivoschi, L. Stef
Year: 2023
Issue: 2
Volume: 53
Page: 197 - 210

The effects of protected fats (Optima 100) and conjugated linoleic acid (Endulac®-CLA) supplementation on sheep milk saturated and unsaturated fatty acid composition were investigated. Sheep were divided into four experimental groups (15 ewes/group) including: i) a control group – basal diet without any nutritional supplements; ii) experimental group 1 – basal diet + 12g/sheep/day of the protected source of fats in the feed; iii) group 2 – 12 g of CLA in the feed; iv) group 3 – 12 g of protected fats and CLA in feed. Sixty milk fatty acids were different in milk from treated fat and CLA-treated sheep compared to the control group. The most biologically important fatty acid constituents of milk were identified as butyric, caproic, caprylic, lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, arachidonic, behenic, oleic, and linoleic acid (C4 to C18). Ewes that received protected fat or CLA, or both, displayed an increased concentration of oleic acid compared to the control. Both treatments modified milk lipid quality parameters and increased the polyunsaturated/saturated fatty acids ratio (PUFA/SFA), the polyunsaturation index (PI), and the thrombogenic index (TI). Group 3 had similar milk lipid quality parameters as untreated animals. Compared to the CLA and control groups, milk production in the protected fat treatment was higher in Turcana dairy ewes. The inclusion of protected fats and CLA as dietary supplements in lactating ewes modified the milk fatty acid profile, with a concomitant impact on suckling lamb performance and consumer health.

Keywords: conjugated linoleic acid, milk fatty acid profile, nutrition, protected fats, Turcana sheep
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