Enhancement of oleic acid and vitamin E concentrations of bovine milk using dietary supplements of whole rapeseed and vitamin E
Givens, D. I., Allison, R. and Blake, J. S. (2003) Enhancement of oleic acid and vitamin E concentrations of bovine milk using dietary supplements of whole rapeseed and vitamin E. Animal Research, 52 (6). pp. 531-542. ISSN 1297-9651
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1051/animres:2003039
With the aim of reducing the degree of saturation and increasing the C18:1 cis fatty acid content of milk fat, the effects of feeding high levels of whole cracked rapeseed to dairy cows was investigated together with the effect of increasing dietary intake of vitamin E on the vitamin E content of milk. Using a 3 x 3 factorial design, 90 Holstein dairy cows were fed one of three levels of whole cracked rapeseed (0 (ZR), 134 (MR) and 270 g . kg(-1) diet dry matter (DM) (HR)) in combination with one of three intakes of supplementary vitamin E (0 (ZE), 2 (ME) and 4 g . cow(-1) . d(-1) (HE)). Supplementing with up to almost 2 kg . d(-1) of rapeseed oil (diet HR) significantly (P < 0.001) increased C18: 1cis in milk fat, from 181 (ZR) to over 400 g &BULL; kg(-1) (HR) of total milk fatty acids. Concentrations of C18: 0, C18: 2 and C18: 3 fatty acids were also increased ( P < 0.001) but by a much lesser degree, and the saturated fatty acids C4: 0 to C16: 0 decreased substantially. Vitamin E supplementation increased ( P < 0.01) milk vitamin E concentrations from 1.29 (ZE) to 1.68 mg &BULL; kg(-1) whole milk (HE). Thus substantial changes in milk fat composition with potentially beneficial effects on human health were achieved and without any adverse effects on milk taste. However, these improvements must be offset against the substantial reductions ( P < 0.001) observed in voluntary feed DM consumption (ZR, 20.6; HR, 15.2 kg DM . d(-1)), milk yield (ZR, 22.9; HR, 13.2 kg . d(-1)) and milk fat concentration (ZR, 42.1; HR, 33.4 g . kg(-1)) which would not be commercially sustainable unless a considerable premium was paid for this modified milk. It seems likely that the optimum dose of dietary rapeseed is lower than used in this study.