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Milk yield, quality, and coagulation properties of 6 breeds of goats: Environmental and individual variability

Vacca, Giuseppe M., Stocco, Giorgia, Dettori, Maria L., Pira, Emanuela, Bittante, Giovanni, Pazzola, Michele
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.8 pp. 7236-7247
Murcia-Granada, Saanen, cheesemaking, coagulation, data analysis, farms, firmness, goat milk, goats, lactation, lactose, least squares, milk, milk composition, milk yield, pH, plate count, protein content, rearing, rennet, somatic cell count, somatic cells, statistical models, variance
Goat milk and cheese production is continuously increasing and milk composition and coagulation properties (MCP) are useful tools to predict cheesemaking aptitude. The present study was planned to investigate the extension of lactodynamographic analysis up to 60 min in goat milk, to measure the farm and individual factors, and to investigate differences among 6 goat breeds. Daily milk yield (dMY) was recorded and milk samples collected from 1,272 goats reared in 35 farms. Goats were of 6 different breeds: Saanen and Camosciata delle Alpi for the Alpine type, and Murciano-Granadina, Maltese, Sarda, and Sarda Primitiva for the Mediterranean type. Milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, pH; somatic cell score; logarithmic bacterial count) and MCP [rennet coagulation time (RCT, min), curd-firming time (k20, min), curd firmness at 30, 45, and 60 min after rennet addition (a30, a45, and a60, mm)] were recorded, and daily fat and protein yield (dFPY g/d) was calculated as the sum of fat and protein concentration multiplied by the dMY. Data were analyzed using different statistical models to measure the effects of farm, parity, stage of lactation and breed; lastly, the direct and the indirect effect of breed were quantified by comparing the variance of breed from models with or without the inclusion of linear regression of fat, protein, lactose, pH, bacterial, somatic cell counts, and dMY. Orthogonal contrasts were performed to compare least squares means. Almost all traits exhibited high variability, with coefficients of variation between 32 (for RCT) and 63% (for a30). The proportion of variance regarding dMY, dFPY, and milk composition due to the farm was moderate, whereas for MCP it was low, except for a60, at 69%. Parity affected both yield and quality traits of milk, with least squares means of dMY and dFPY showing an increase and RCT and curd firmness traits a decrease from the first to the last parity class. All milk quality traits, excluding fat, were affected by the stage of lactation; RCT and k20 decreased rapidly and a30 was higher from the first to the last part of lactation. Alpine breeds showed the highest dMY and dFPY but Mediterranean the best percentage of protein, fat, and lactose and a shorter k20 and a greater a30. Among the Mediterranean goats, Murciano-Granadina goats had the highest milk yield, fat, and protein contents, whereas Maltese, Sarda, and Sarda Primitiva were characterized by much more favorable technological properties in terms of k20, a30, and a45. In conclusion, as both the farm and individual factors highly influenced milk composition and MCP traits, improvements of these traits should be based both on modifying management and individual goat factors. As expected, several differences were attributable to the breed effect, with the best milk production for the Alpines and milk quality and coagulation for the Mediterranean goats.