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Article

Refining Knowledge of Factors Affecting Vitamin B12 Concentration in Bovine Milk

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Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada, Centre de Recherche et Développement de Sherbrooke, 2000 rue College, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8, Canada
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Regroupement FRQ-NT Op+Lait, 3200 rue Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2, Canada
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Département de Pathologie et Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2, Canada
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Département des Sciences Animales, Université Laval, 2425 rue de l’Agriculture, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
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Département de Microbiologie et D’infectiologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boul. De l’Université, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
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Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
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Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Massimo Mozzon and Marina Pasquini
Animals 2021, 11(2), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020532
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 11 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine and Non-bovine Milk Quality)
Milk is considered a staple and complete food that contains several essential nutrients for humans. For instance, it is an excellent natural source of vitamin B12 (B12) due to the presence in the bovine rumen of a myriad of bacteria and archaea capable of producing the vitamin. This vitamin is only produced by prokaryotic microorganisms; vegetal products do not naturally contain it. A 250-mL glass of milk contains about 46% of the daily recommended dietary allowance of B12 for individuals over 13 years old. However, B12 concentration is variable in milk; therefore, identifying factors contributing to its variation is critical to ensure a stable B12 supply for consumers. The aims of these experiments are to gather more knowledge on possible sources of variation in B12 concentrations in milk in order to optimize and stabilize its levels and thereby improve the perception of milk in terms of its health benefits. We observed that B12 concentration increases when the conditions of the rumen are optimal, such as with elevated pH. We also studied if bedding type—e.g., recycled manure solid bedding or straw, which has been reported to impact milk microbiota—could have an impact on milk B12 concentration. In this study, no such correlation was detected. This paper is one of a series seeking to elucidate factors responsible for variations in milk B12 concentration.
Milk is an excellent source of vitamin B12 (B12) for humans. Therefore, being able to guarantee a high and consistent concentration of this vitamin would enhance consumer perception of milk as a health food. The aim of the paper was to gather additional knowledge on factors that could explain B12 variation in cow milk through two observational studies: (1) to explore the relationship between milk B12 and ruminal conditions, such as pH and volatile fatty acid concentrations; and (2) to examine the impact of bedding on B12 concentrations in bulk tank milk. For study 1, a total of 72 milk and ruminal liquid samples were obtained from 45 Holstein cows fitted with ruminal cannula between 10 and 392 days of lactation. For study 2, bulk tank milk samples were obtained from 83 commercial herds; 26 herds used recycled manure solid bedding and 57 used straw bedding. Milk samples were analyzed for B12 using radioassay. Using principal component regression analysis, we observed that ruminal pH and the acetate:propionate ratio for cows receiving the early lactation ration were positively correlated with milk B12. Bedding did not influence milk B12 in bulk tanks, which averaged 4276 pg/mL. In conclusion, as B12 is synthesized by ruminal bacteria, optimizing ruminal conditions had a positive effect on milk B12, while bedding management had no influence. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanocobalamin; environmental factor; cattle; milk quality; bovine milk cyanocobalamin; environmental factor; cattle; milk quality; bovine milk
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MDPI and ACS Style

Duplessis, M.; Fréchette, A.; Poisson, W.; Blais, L.; Ronholm, J. Refining Knowledge of Factors Affecting Vitamin B12 Concentration in Bovine Milk. Animals 2021, 11, 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020532

AMA Style

Duplessis M, Fréchette A, Poisson W, Blais L, Ronholm J. Refining Knowledge of Factors Affecting Vitamin B12 Concentration in Bovine Milk. Animals. 2021; 11(2):532. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020532

Chicago/Turabian Style

Duplessis, Mélissa, Annie Fréchette, William Poisson, Lya Blais, and Jennifer Ronholm. 2021. "Refining Knowledge of Factors Affecting Vitamin B12 Concentration in Bovine Milk" Animals 11, no. 2: 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020532

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