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The “Grass-Fed” Milk Story: Understanding the Impact of Pasture Feeding on the Composition and Quality of Bovine Milk

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Department of Food Chemistry & Technology, Teagasc Food Research Center, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Cork, Ireland
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Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Cork, Ireland
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Department of Food Quality & Sensory Science, Teagasc Food Research Center, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Cork, Ireland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(8), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080350
Received: 26 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Dairy)
Milk is a highly nutritious food that contains an array of macro and micro components, scientifically proven to be beneficial to human health. While the composition of milk is influenced by a variety of factors, such as genetics, health, lactation stage etc., the animal’s diet remains a key mechanism by which its nutrition and processing characteristics can be altered. Pasture feeding has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on the nutrient profile of milk, increasing the content of some beneficial nutrients such as Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vaccenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), while reducing the levels of Omega-6 fatty acids and palmitic acid. These resultant alterations to the nutritional profile of “Grass-Fed” milk resonate with consumers that desire healthy, “natural”, and sustainable dairy products. This review provides a comprehensive comparison of the impact that pasture and non-pasture feeding systems have on bovine milk composition from a nutritional and functional (processability) perspective, highlighting factors that will be of interest to dairy farmers, processors, and consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy farming; pasture; milk; TMR; nutrition; grass-fed dairy farming; pasture; milk; TMR; nutrition; grass-fed
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Alothman, M.; Hogan, S.A.; Hennessy, D.; Dillon, P.; Kilcawley, K.N.; O’Donovan, M.; Tobin, J.; Fenelon, M.A.; O’Callaghan, T.F. The “Grass-Fed” Milk Story: Understanding the Impact of Pasture Feeding on the Composition and Quality of Bovine Milk. Foods 2019, 8, 350.

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