Altering rumen biohydrogenation to improve the milk fatty acid profile of dairy cows
03 / 2007 - 02 / 2011
Milk fatty acids (FA) may be divided in saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated FA. When dietary lipids enter the rumen, the initial step in lipid metabolism is the hydrolysis of the ester linkages found in triglycerides, phospholipids and glycolipids. Biohydrogenation of unsaturated FA is the second major transformation of dietary FA in the rumen. Biohydrogenation is extensive, and for most diets linoleic and linolenic acid are hydrogenated 70 - 100 %. The objective of the project is to improve the milk FA profile of dairy cows by increasing the content of unsaturated FA in milk fat by developing natural feeding concepts and altering the rumen biohydrogenation processes.