Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2013
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Tunick, M.H., Van Hekken, D.L., Paul, M. 2015. Leveraging the beneficial compounds of organic and pasture milk. Editors: Datta, N., Tomasula, P.M., Emerging Dairy Processing Technologies Opportunities for the Dairy Indursty. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chestester, West Sussex, PO198SQ, UK. Book Chapter. 11:307-322.
Interpretive Summary: Consumers wonder whether organic milk is different from conventional milk. People assume that organic cows, who are out on pasture, eat plants that result in milk with higher levels of helpful proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. This study of the scientific literature identifies and describes the health benefits of the various components in milk, and shows that some studies have in fact found increased amounts of favorable compounds in many organic milk samples. Research continues on maximizing the levels of healthy compounds in milk while keeping within the legal regulations.
Technical Abstract: Much discussion has arisen over the possible benefits of organic food, including milk. Organic milk comes from cows that are on pasture during the growing season, and would be expected to contain some compounds that are not found in animals receiving conventional feed, or at higher concentrations. The nature of these compounds, and whether they may confer health benefits, is the subject of ongoing research. This chapter deals with the regulatory and legal issues concerning organic labeling, the bioactivity of the proteins, peptides, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals found in milk, variations in these components due to feed and processing, trends, and research needs.