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Zinc supplementation of Friesian cows: Effect on chemical-nutritional composition and aromatic profile of dairy products

Ianni, Andrea, Innosa, Denise, Martino, Camillo, Grotta, Lisa, Bennato, Francesca, Martino, Giuseppe
Journal of dairy science 2018
aldehydes, animal health, biochemical mechanisms, cheeses, conjugated linoleic acid, consumer acceptance, dairy cows, dietary mineral supplements, esters, functional foods, lactation, milk, milk yield, oleic acid, oxidative stability, saturated fatty acids, sensory properties, somatic cell count, vaccenic acid, volatile compounds, zinc
Zinc represents an essential microelement for several biochemical mechanisms. The body's inability to store zinc necessarily requires a constant dietary supply to avoid alteration of physiological functions. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of dietary enrichment with zinc on chemical-nutritional and aromatic properties of milk and cheese. Thirty commercial dairy cows, balanced for parity, milk production, and days in milk, were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The control group was fed with a conventional complete diet (22 kg of dry matter/animal per day), whereas the experimental group received a daily zinc supplementation of 60 mg per kg of dry complete feed. During the experimental period, the milk yield was monitored and samples of milk and caciotta cheese were collected to obtain information about the chemical-nutritional composition and aromatic profile. Dietary zinc integration did not influence milk yield and composition, but induced a marked reduction of somatic cell count and improved the oxidative stability of ripened caciotta cheese. In both milk and cheese, the experimental group samples were characterized by a lower concentration of saturated fatty acids and an increase in oleic acid, vaccenic acid, and rumenic acid. The aromatic profile of dairy products was also positively affected by dietary zinc intake, with an increase in concentration of carboxylic acids, aldehydes, and esters. The present results suggest a positive role of zinc in improving animal health and nutraceutical properties of milk and corresponding cheese. Taking into account the analysis of volatile compounds, zinc dietary supplementation of dairy cows should contribute to the production of cheeses with interesting organoleptic properties, although more studies are necessary to confirm the consumer acceptability of these changes.