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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jan 9;61(1):225-30. doi: 10.1021/jf304079r. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Content and distribution of phytanic acid diastereomers in organic milk as affected by feed composition.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, AU Foulum, Tjele, Denmark.


Phytanic acid (PA) is a bioactive compound found in milk that is derived from the phytol chain of chlorophyll, and the content of PA in milk fat depends on the availability of phytol from feed. In this study, the content of PA diastereomers was analyzed in milk sampled from five organic herds twice during the grazing season (May and September). The total content of PA was higher in September compared to May, but was not affected by breed (Danish Holstein or Danish Jersey). Total PA could not be directly related to intake of green feed items. The distribution between diastereomers was closely related to the amount of grazed clovers, where a higher intake resulted in a higher share of the RRR isomer.

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