The production systems linked to mountain animal husbandry have had an environmental, social and cultural role in recent years. Zootechnical systems based on feeding strategies, such as pasture grazing and grass-fed strategies, contribute to a significant increase in the relative amounts of favorable fatty acids (FAs) in animal products, indicating their ability to improve the long-term health of consumers. In this study, we compared different feeding strategies in two small mountain farms in the Piedmont Alpine region, Italy. Particularly, during the summer season, the two farms were distinguished by the exclusive employment of Alpine pasture (farm A), assumed as the best way to improve the quality of the FA profile in milk vs. the supply of daily fresh cut mountain grass plus a reduced implementation with hay and concentrates directly in the barn (farm B). The milk fatty acid profile was analyzed using gas chromatography. The results showed the high quality of alpine milk collected in the two farms. Even with some differences, particularly evidenced when comparing the summer diets, the milk FA profiles in farm A and farm B were favorable from a nutritional point of view in both seasons. Milk samples obtained using the exclusive employment of alpine grazing during summer were represented by an FA profile of higher quality (lower saturated FAs, higher branched FAs and monounsaturated FA, favorable n6/n3 ratio). However, milk obtained using the integrated strategy (fresh grass plus concentrates in the barn farm B) resulted in a more homogenous composition during the summer season, with a higher concentration of polyunsaturated FAs. These outcomes suggested that the integrated strategy, even if related to a lower ability in improving milk FA profile, could represent a valid and cost-effective alternative for mountain farmers to obtain an overall superior quality of milk, which was not strictly linked to the grazing practice. The multivariate analysis showed that information contained in the milk FA profile may provide a valuable tool that can distinguish mountain-grass-based diet.

Characterization of Fat Quality in Cow Milk from Alpine Farms as Influenced by Seasonal Variations of Diets / A. Lopez, F. Bellagamba, G. Savoini, V.M. Moretti, D. Cattaneo. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 12:4(2022 Feb 19), pp. 515.1-515.16. [10.3390/ani12040515]

Characterization of Fat Quality in Cow Milk from Alpine Farms as Influenced by Seasonal Variations of Diets

A. Lopez
Primo
;
F. Bellagamba
Secondo
;
G. Savoini;V.M. Moretti
Penultimo
;
D. Cattaneo
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The production systems linked to mountain animal husbandry have had an environmental, social and cultural role in recent years. Zootechnical systems based on feeding strategies, such as pasture grazing and grass-fed strategies, contribute to a significant increase in the relative amounts of favorable fatty acids (FAs) in animal products, indicating their ability to improve the long-term health of consumers. In this study, we compared different feeding strategies in two small mountain farms in the Piedmont Alpine region, Italy. Particularly, during the summer season, the two farms were distinguished by the exclusive employment of Alpine pasture (farm A), assumed as the best way to improve the quality of the FA profile in milk vs. the supply of daily fresh cut mountain grass plus a reduced implementation with hay and concentrates directly in the barn (farm B). The milk fatty acid profile was analyzed using gas chromatography. The results showed the high quality of alpine milk collected in the two farms. Even with some differences, particularly evidenced when comparing the summer diets, the milk FA profiles in farm A and farm B were favorable from a nutritional point of view in both seasons. Milk samples obtained using the exclusive employment of alpine grazing during summer were represented by an FA profile of higher quality (lower saturated FAs, higher branched FAs and monounsaturated FA, favorable n6/n3 ratio). However, milk obtained using the integrated strategy (fresh grass plus concentrates in the barn farm B) resulted in a more homogenous composition during the summer season, with a higher concentration of polyunsaturated FAs. These outcomes suggested that the integrated strategy, even if related to a lower ability in improving milk FA profile, could represent a valid and cost-effective alternative for mountain farmers to obtain an overall superior quality of milk, which was not strictly linked to the grazing practice. The multivariate analysis showed that information contained in the milk FA profile may provide a valuable tool that can distinguish mountain-grass-based diet.
alpine mountain milk; dairy cattle; fresh grass feeding; pasture grazing; fatty acids;
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
   Integrated Alpine Livestock System (IALS)
   IALS
   FONDAZIONE CARIPLO
19-feb-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/910529
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