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Effect of diet supplementation with sunflower oil on milk production, fatty acid profile and ruminal fermentation in lactating dairy ewes.

Authors
  • Hervás, Gonzalo
  • Luna, Pilar
  • Mantecón, Angel R
  • Castañares, Natalia
  • de la Fuente, Miguel Angel
  • Juárez, Manuela
  • Frutos, Pilar
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of dairy research
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2008
Volume
75
Issue
4
Pages
399–405
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0022029908003506
PMID: 18701002
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The aim of this research was to enhance the nutritional quality of ewe milk fat by increasing potentially healthy fatty acids (FA) through diet supplementation with unprotected oil rich in linoleic acid, and without detrimental effects on animal performance. Twenty-four ewes were assigned to two high concentrate diets, control or supplemented with 6% sunflower oil (SO), for 4 weeks. No differences between treatments were found in milk production and dry matter intake. Although the SO diet increased milk fat percentage and tended to reduce milk protein concentration, it did not affect milk fat, protein or total solid yield. Most of the modifications in milk FA composition were addressed toward a potentially healthier profile: a decrease in C12:0 to C16:0 and a remarkable increase in the contents of cis-9 trans-11 C18:2 (from 0.94 to 3.60 g/100 g total FA) and trans-11 C18:1 (from 2.23 to 8.61 g/100 g total FA). Furthermore, the levels reached were maintained throughout the period monitored. However, the SO diet increased other trans C18:1 isomer percentages, too. The lack of differences between treatments in the in vitro ruminal fermentation parameters, studied with batch cultures of rumen microorganisms, would indicate no negative effects on ruminal fermentation.

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