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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-02-08
    Description: Intensifying agricultural production alters food composition, but this is often ignored when assessing system sustainability. However, this could compromise consumer health and influence the concept of “sustainable diets”. Here, we consider the milk composition of Mediterranean dairy sheep, finding inferior fatty acid (FA) profiles with respect to consumer health as a result of a more intensive system of production. Semi-intensive management produced 57% more milk per ewe, with a 20% lower fat content (but inferior fat composition). The milk had a nutritionally poorer fatty acid (FA) profile, with an 18% lower omega-3 FA concentration (n-3) (19% fewer long-chain n-3s) and a 7% lower monounsaturated FA concentration but a 3% higher saturated FA (9% higher in C14:0) concentration compared to ewes under traditional, extensive management. A redundancy analysis identified close associations between fat composition and animal diets—particularly concentrate supplementation and cultivated pasture grazing—and n-3 was associated with grazing in diverse, native mountain pastures. This paper questions if identifying such key elements in traditional systems could be deployed for “sustainable intensification” to maintain food quality while increasing output.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-05-02
    Description: Researching the distinguishing factors of nutritional milk quality is key to sustainable production and addresses increasing media and scientific scrutiny regarding human health effects and ecological impacts of dairy products. Modern Western diets have high omega-6 relative to omega-3 fatty acid (FA) consumption. This ratio in milk can be manipulated by management practices; increasing forage in dairy diets raises omega-3 in milk. Whilst studies identify higher concentrations of nutritionally beneficial FAs in organic dairy, milk from 100% forage-fed cows in the UK has not been investigated. This study explores differences in FA composition between supermarket conventional and organic and Pasture for Life Association (PFLA) milk, collected in April, July and October, 2017. PFLA milk had higher concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid (+94%) and omega-3 (+92%) than conventional milk. Additionally, concentrations of palmitic acid (+11%), omega-6 (+69%) and the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 (+201%) were higher in conventional than PFLA milk. PFLA milk had higher concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid (+39%), conjugated linoleic acid (+30%) and omega-3 (+21%) and lower concentrations of omega-6 (−36%) and a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 (−44%) than organic milk. This supports previous studies and demonstrates the scope to improve milk FA profiles further for potential health benefits through pasture-based management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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