Fatty acid content of retail milk – What’s in it for the consumer?

Presenter's Name(s)

Allison L. UngerFollow

Abstract

The fatty acid (FA) composition and content of whole milk (3.25% fat) from organic, omega-3 (n-3) FA fortified, and conventional retail brands available in the northeastern U.S. were assessed monthly via gas chromatography. Among the retail labels, organic milk stood out as it contained a distinct and more healthful FA profile, consistently comprised of a higher content of unique bioactive FA (short-chain FA, odd- and branched-chain FA, vaccenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acids) per serving, particularly during the warm season. The total content of saturated FA did not differ by retail label. While organic and n-3 fortified milk contained a similar content of total n-3 FA, the proportion of individual n-3 FA differed significantly (organic milk: 18:3 n-3; n-3 fortified milk: 20:6 n-3) as a result of the production system and process, respectively. Overall, per serving, the FA profile of organic milk may provide added nutritional and health benefits.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jana Kraft

Faculty/Staff Collaborators

Dana E. Bourne, Helen Walsh, Jana Kraft

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

Abstract only.

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Fatty acid content of retail milk – What’s in it for the consumer?

The fatty acid (FA) composition and content of whole milk (3.25% fat) from organic, omega-3 (n-3) FA fortified, and conventional retail brands available in the northeastern U.S. were assessed monthly via gas chromatography. Among the retail labels, organic milk stood out as it contained a distinct and more healthful FA profile, consistently comprised of a higher content of unique bioactive FA (short-chain FA, odd- and branched-chain FA, vaccenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acids) per serving, particularly during the warm season. The total content of saturated FA did not differ by retail label. While organic and n-3 fortified milk contained a similar content of total n-3 FA, the proportion of individual n-3 FA differed significantly (organic milk: 18:3 n-3; n-3 fortified milk: 20:6 n-3) as a result of the production system and process, respectively. Overall, per serving, the FA profile of organic milk may provide added nutritional and health benefits.