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Variation in fatty acid composition of ewes' colostrum and mature milk fat

Pavlíková, Eva, Blaško, Jaroslav, Górová, Renáta, Addová, Gabriela, Kubinec, Róbert, Margetín, Milan, Soják, Ladislav
International dairy journal 2010 v.20 no.9 pp. 637-641
ewes, colostrum, ewe milk, milk fat, fatty acid composition, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, branched chain fatty acids, palmitic acid, myristic acid, temporal variation, lactation stage, nutritive value
Temporal content variations of approximately 70 C4-C24 fatty acids (FA) in colostrum and milk of ewes consuming winter diet were determined by gas chromatography. The content of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and straight-chain saturated FA 14:0-16:0 in colostrum was higher whereas the content of 4:0-12:0, 18:0 and branched-chain saturated FA 15:0-17:0 was lower than that in mature milk. The effect of ewe breed on the FA profiles was not significant. The composition of FA changed most significantly 1-2 days after lambing in agreement with the time schedule of colostrum formation. Nevertheless, the content of FA further successively changed up to approximately the 6th day of lactation, whereas further changes up to the 60th day of lactation were smaller. This is consistent with the recommendation that ewes' milk is suitable for human consumption after six-to-eight days of lactation. The higher contents of palmitic and myristic acids in colostrum compared with mature milk suggest that FA composition in colostrum matches the changing needs of the growing lambs.