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Effect of Feeding Intensity and Milking System on Nutritionally Relevant Milk Components in Dairy Farming Systems in the North East of England

Stergiadis, Sokratis, Leifert, Carlo, Seal, Chris J., Eyre, Mick D., Nielsen, Jacob H., Larsen, Mette K., Slots, Tina, Steinshamn, Håvard, Butler, Gillian
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2012 v.60 no.29 pp. 7270-7281
alpha-tocopherol, beta-lactoglobulin, conjugated linoleic acid, dairy farming, farming systems, fatty acid composition, milk, milk quality, milking, milking parlors, multivariate analysis, omega-3 fatty acids, production technology, England
There is increasing concern that the intensification of dairy production reduces the concentrations of nutritionally desirable compounds in milk. This study therefore compared important quality parameters (protein and fatty acid profiles; α-tocopherol and carotenoid concentrations) in milk from four dairy systems with contrasting production intensities (in terms of feeding regimens and milking systems). The concentrations of several nutritionally desirable compounds (β-lactoglobulin, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-3/omega-6 ratio, conjugated linoleic acid c9t11, and/or carotenoids) decreased with increasing feeding intensity (organic outdoor ≥ conventional outdoor ≥ conventional indoors). Milking system intensification (use of robotic milking parlors) had a more limited effect on milk composition, but increased mastitis incidence. Multivariate analyses indicated that differences in milk quality were mainly linked to contrasting feeding regimens and that milking system and breed choice also contributed to differences in milk composition between production systems.