Three groups of ten lactating Sardinian ewes were used between 3rd and 6th month of lactation to determine the effects of supplementing diets with n-3 fatty acids on milk production and milk fat composition. The control group (A) was fed on a mixture of Gramineae hay with a pelleted alfalfa and concentrate; the other groups (B and C) were given the control ration supplemented with graded levels of fish oil. Milk content of nutritionally important fatty acids (n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFA; trans acids and conjugated linoleic acid, CLA) was determined by gas chromatography. Unlike cow milk, milk of normally fed ewes contained detectable quantities of n-3 PUFA and higher amounts of CLA. The supplementation with fish oil resulted in an increased milk fat levels of n-3 PUFA, CLA and trans isomers. There was a positive correlation (R2 = 0.964) between the trans and n-3 fatty acid content in ewe milk, and a close positive correlation (R2 = 0.996) between CLA and trans monoenoic fatty acid contents. PUFA supplementation resulted in a slightly, but not statistically significative, decrease of milk fat percentage. On the contrary, dietary fish oil markedly affected milk production: ewes fed on the n-3 supplemented diet produced more milk than the ewes fed with the control diet
Effect of dietary fish oil supplements on levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, trans acids and conjugated linoleic acid in ewe milk / Mozzon, Massimo; Frega, Natale Giuseppe; Fronte, B.; Tocchini, M.. - In: FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 1330-9862. - ELETTRONICO. - 40:(2002), pp. 213-219.