The objective of this research was to assess the effects of including oil-rich feedstuffs in diets for lactating goats on the fatty acid (FA) profile of their milk. Thirty-six Murciano-Granadina goats were randomly assigned to three treatment groups, namely a control diet (CTRL), a diet based on whole rapeseed (RS), and a diet based on pumpkin seed cake (PSC). The diets were composed of 1 kg hay (70 % Italian ryegrass, 30% alfalfa) and 1.24 kg concentrate, and were formulated to be isoenergetic and isonitrogenous. Milk yield and its contents of protein, fat and lactose did not differ significantly among the groups. However, including oil-rich feeds in the diet altered the fatty acid profile of the milk significantly, decreasing its saturated fatty acid (SFA) content and increasing its content of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs). Effects on polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and the n-6 to n-3 ratio depended on the source of dietary lipids. The PSC augmented diet increased the relative amount of PUFAs and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) in milk (+25 %) significantly In comparison with CTRL, whereas the RS diet produced a limited and statistically insignificant increase (+7.5%). The concentration of CLA was higher in milk from does fed the PSC diet, whereas the n-6 to n-3 ratio was lower in milk from does fed RS. These preliminary results form the basis for developing premium dairy products that are enriched in fatty acids that are more favourable for human health.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher