Novel Feed Ingredients: Improving Health Status, Milk and Meat Quality in Small Ruminants, Second Edition

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Small Ruminants".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 5373

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: veterinary epidemiology; animal infectious and parasitic diseases; herd health management; zoonoses; food-borne pathogens; One Health; farm animal husbandry; mastitis; lameness; small ruminant lentiviruses
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alternative feeding approaches are continuously evaluated in small ruminant production systems in an effort to fortify animal health and welfare, improve milk and meat quality, prolong their shelf life and increase their marketable value. Incorporation of novel feed ingredients into small ruminants’ diets has therefore emerged as an effective strategy for the enhancement of milk and meat intrinsic quality since bioactive compounds are preferably deposited where they are mostly required. Dietary supplementation with these novel additives could manipulate bacteria involved in ruminal biohydrogenation, decrease methane emissions, enhance animals’ health and well-being status, reinforce antioxidant and anti-spoilage properties and positively modify milk and meat quality characteristics.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present original research and reviews on the effects of novel feed ingredients and their bioactive compounds on health and welfare status, as well as milk and meat intrinsic quality of small ruminants.

Dr. Panagiotis Simitzis
Dr. Athanasios I. Gelasakis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • novel feed ingredients
  • bioactive compounds
  • antioxidants
  • dietary additives
  • health status
  • welfare
  • milk quality
  • meat quality
  • microbial spoilage
  • oxidation

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 1626 KiB  
Article
Effects of Hemp Seed on the Production, Fatty Acid Profile, and Antioxidant Capacity of Milk from Goats Fed Hay or a Mixed Shrubs–Grass Rangeland
by Daniel Mierlita, Stefania Mierlita, Danut Ioan Struti and Olimpia Smaranda Mintas
Animals 2023, 13(22), 3435; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13223435 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
The research objective was to evaluate the effect of dietary incorporation of hemp seeds in goats fed with hay or mixed shrubs–grass rangeland on the production, FA profile and health-related lipid indices, antioxidant content and total antioxidant capacity of milk, with the purpose [...] Read more.
The research objective was to evaluate the effect of dietary incorporation of hemp seeds in goats fed with hay or mixed shrubs–grass rangeland on the production, FA profile and health-related lipid indices, antioxidant content and total antioxidant capacity of milk, with the purpose to increase the content of beneficial ingredients in milk and to improve its functional activity. Forty indigenous Carpathian goats were allocated into two groups according to the type of basic forage in their diet: hay (H) or mixed shrubs–grass rangeland (SG); each of them was further divided into two subgroups according to the presence of Hs in the concentrate mixture (250 g/kg) or not. Milk production was determined, and milk samples were collected and analyzed for fat, protein, lactose, and cholesterol content, as well as FA profile, lipophilic antioxidant content (α-tocopherol and retinol), and milk TAC. SG goats gave less milk (p < 0.01) but with higher milk fat (p < 0.001) and lower cholesterol content (p < 0.01) than H goats, while milk protein and lactose contents were not affected. Supplementing the diet with Hs caused a significant increase in milk production (p < 0.05) and milk fat content (p < 0.001) and a decrease in cholesterol content (p < 0.05). Grazing compared to indoor feeding but also supplementing the diet with Hs had the effect of decreasing the proportion of SFAs and increasing the concentrations of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) in goat milk fat (p < 0.01). Fats in the milk of SG goats compared to H, but also in those supplemented with Hs, showed significantly higher proportions of vaccenic acid (VA), rumenic acid (CLA c-9,t-11) and omega-3 FA (α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)) which are considered healthy for consumers. The feeding system based on SG and the diet supplementation with Hs ensured the best nutritional and functional quality of milk, confirmed by the FA profile, antioxidant content, and by the value of health-related lipid indices (n-6/n-3 FA ratio and hypo-/hypercholesterolemia, atherogenic index (AI), thrombogenic index (TI), and health promotion index (HPI)). The results of our work will be useful for the development of optimal nutritional strategies that improve the FA profile and the antioxidants content in goat milk, with beneficial effects on human health. Full article
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18 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
The Dietary Inclusion of Ensiled Olive Cake Increases Unsaturated Lipids in Milk and Alters the Expression of Lipogenic Genes in Mammary and Adipose Tissue in Goats
by Marina C. Neofytou, Ariadne-Loukia Hager-Theodorides, Eleni Sfakianaki, Panagiotis Simitzis, Simoni Symeou, Dionysis Sparaggis, Ouranios Tzamaloukas and Despoina Miltiadou
Animals 2023, 13(21), 3418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13213418 - 3 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the dietary inclusion of ensiled OC on milk yield, composition, fatty acid (FA) profile, and the expression of selected genes involved in lipid metabolism in the udder and adipose tissue of goats. Seventy-two Damascus dairy [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the dietary inclusion of ensiled OC on milk yield, composition, fatty acid (FA) profile, and the expression of selected genes involved in lipid metabolism in the udder and adipose tissue of goats. Seventy-two Damascus dairy goats in mid-lactation were assigned randomly to three iso-nitrogenous and iso-energetic diets containing 0, 10, and 20% of ensiled OC as a replacement of forage (OC0, OC10, and OC20, respectively) for 42 days. During weeks 5 and 6 of the trial, dry matter intake, milk yield, milk composition, and FA profiles were recorded, while mammary and perirenal adipose tissue samples were also collected from six animals per treatment from the OC0 and OC20 groups for gene expression analysis. No significant differences were observed among groups concerning milk yield, 4% fat-corrected milk, fat, or protein yield (kg/d). In contrast, the milk fat percentage was gradually increased with increasing OC inclusion rates in the diets, while milk protein percentages were elevated in both OC groups but significantly only in the milk of the OC20 group. The content of FA between C4:0 to C16:0 was reduced, while mono-unsaturated FA (MUFA) concentration was enhanced in the goat milk of OC groups. The OC feeding treatment was associated with the increased mammary expression of SLC2A1 (p < 0.05), VLDLR (p < 0.01), FABP3 (p < 0.01), and elevated SLC2A1 (p < 0.05) and FASN (p < 0.01) gene expression in the adipose tissue of goats fed the OC20 diet. Overall, OC can be used in goats’ diets as a forage replacement, at least in the inclusion rate of 20% DM, since this could increase the milk protein and fat percentage and enrich its content with beneficial for human health lipids without adversely affecting milk production traits. Full article
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Review

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21 pages, 374 KiB  
Review
Alternative Approaches to Feeding Small Ruminants and Their Potential Benefits
by Sofiane Boudalia, Samir Smeti, Mahilet Dawit, Ewonetu Kebede Senbeta, Yassine Gueroui, Vassilios Dotas, Aissam Bousbia and George K. Symeon
Animals 2024, 14(6), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14060904 - 14 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Small ruminants, such as sheep (Ovisaries) and goats (Capra hircus), contribute to approximately 475 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for approximately 6.5% of the global emissions in the agriculture [...] Read more.
Small ruminants, such as sheep (Ovisaries) and goats (Capra hircus), contribute to approximately 475 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for approximately 6.5% of the global emissions in the agriculture sector. Crop residues, silage, grasses, hay, browse, plant leaves, shrubs, agro-industrial by-products, poultry litter, and other alternative feed sources are frequently utilized for small ruminant production. The use of these valuable alternative feeds can significantly improve animal productivity and reduce carbon footprints and GHG fluxes, making it both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Additionally, these alternative feeds possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties that can enhance the quality of the meat and milk produced. By impacting the bacteria involved in ruminal biohydrogenation, alternative feeds can reduce methane emissions and contribute to a decrease in the carbon footprint. Overall, the use of alternative feed sources for small ruminants generally improves their apparent nutrient digestibility and productivity, and has an impact on the production of greenhouse gases, especially methane. Finally, this review recommends evaluating the economic analysis of reducing methane emissions in small ruminants by utilizing different feed sources and feeding techniques. Full article
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