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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1366-71. doi: 10.1021/jf802989p.

Fatty acid profile of bovine milk naturally enhanced with docosahexaenoic acid.

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  • 1Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Recent studies have shown that the fatty acid profile of dietary lipid has the potential for improving the health of consumers. The present study was conducted to determine the fatty acid composition of commercial milks, namely, Dairy-Oh! Homo-Milk (DOHM), which is naturally enhanced with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or regular Homo-Milk (HM). The milk was collected from local supermarkets. The most abundant saturated fatty acids in the milk were butyric (C4:0), lauric (C12:0), myristic (C14:0), palmitic (C16:0), and stearic (C18:0) acids. Among unsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid (cis-9-C18:1) was also considerably high (502.7 mg/100 mL of milk). The concentration of total trans-18:1 was higher (P < 0.05) in DOHM than in HM (134.7 vs 107.0 mg/100 mL of milk, respectively), whereas total cis-18:1 was higher (P < 0.05) in HM than in DOHM (566.4 vs 508.4 mg/100 mL of milk, respectively). The concentration of DHA was 24.0 times higher (P < 0.05) in DOHM than in HM. DOHM contained 2.8 times higher (P < 0.05) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) compared to HM. Milk fat from DOHM contained a greater concentration of cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA, 16.4 vs 11.6 mg/100 mL of milk, DOHM vs HM, respectively). The total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids content was 2.23 times greater (P < 0.05) in DOHM compared with HM, due to an increase in C18:3n-3, EPA, and DHA. The result of the milk fatty acid analyses indicates that milk fat from DOHM had increased contents of EPA, DHA, and cis-9,trans-11 CLA, which could have a more favorable impact on diet composition and healthfulness.

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