Dietary manipulations to alter milk fat composition
Amrita Singh, Sunil Nayak, RPS Baghel, Ankur Khare, CD Malapure, Dinesh Thakur, Pramod Sharma and BP Singh
Milk is one of the healthiest foods and consumption of dairy products is linked with overall diet quality as it is rich in essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins and easily digestible proteins with balanced amino acid profile. Intake of dairy foods is also associated with favorable health effects ahead of pure nutritional value. It has been documented for many years that diet plays an important role as a risk factor for chronic diseases in humans. Consequently, a great attention is being given to manipulate the fatty acid (FA) profile of milk fat to respond to consumer concerns. Till date, major emphasis has been given to increase the amount of milk but in today’s scenario, more emphasis should be given to increase the quality of milk. The lower level of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in milk is desired in conjunction with an increased amount of cis-mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and cis- poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).There are many factors which affect concentration of FA but animal’s diets appear to be the most important. In non-ruminants, milk FA composition reflects FA composition of their diets. In ruminants, however, the majority of dietary unsaturated FA isbiohydrogenated in the rumen and many new FA of bacterial origin are introduced into the milk which makes it difficult to control FA composition of milk by dietary means. Feeding high good quality roughage diets combined with dietary fat can be used to modify the FA profile of milk. Supplementation of oilseeds/ vegetable oils/ bypass fat to ruminant diets can be done to modify lipid metabolism in the mammary gland which leads to modulating the profile of milk fatty acids. Dietary manipulations in dairy animals have several opportunities in altering milk fatty acid profile and enhancing its nutraceutical properties which will be a boon to the health conscious people.