Scientific journal

49 2010

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 4 / 2010

Fatty acid composition of summer and winter cows’ milk and butter
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 49, 2010, No. 4, s. 169-177

Róbert Kubinec, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mlynská dolina CH2, SK – 842 15 Bratislava 4, Slovakia. E-mail:

Summary: Fatty acid (FA) composition of summer and winter cows’ milk and butter as well as pasture forage samples were analysed by gas chromatography. The FA contents in butter fat were very similar to those in milk fat from which butters were produced. The higher average contents of FA in the summer milk compared with the winter milk (P < 0.001) were found for health-beneficial FA, e.g. cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid 8.0 mg.g-1 vs 4.1 mg.g-1, trans vaccenic acid 17.8 mg.g-1 vs 8.5 mg.g-1, ?-linolenic acid 6.4 mg.g-1 vs 4.4 mg.g-1, linoleic acid 20.4 mg.g-1 vs 18.4 mg.g-1 (P < 0.01), oleic acid 218 mg.g-1 vs 194 mg.g-1, and for non-atherogenic stearic acid 102 mg.g-1 vs 90 mg.g-1 of total FA. On the other hand, the contents of health-risky palmitic acid and myristic acid were lower in the summer milk: 293 mg.g-1 vs 331 mg.g-1 (P < 0.001) and 102 mg.g-1 vs 112 mg.g-1 FA (P < 0.01), respectively. In comparison to the winter diet, the summer diet improved the rheological and nutritional properties of butter. The summer butter showed lower palmitic/oleic acids content ratio 1.34 compared with 1.71 (P < 0.01) for the winter butter, and improved nutrition value due to quartile reduction of atherogenicity index from 2.72 to 2.19 (P < 0.001).

Keywords: gas chromatography; fatty acid composition; pasture plants; summer cows’ milk; winter cows’ milk; butter fat

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