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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #398006

Research Project: Strategies to Manage Feed Nutrients, Reduce Gas Emissions, and Promote Soil Health for Beef and Dairy Cattle Production Systems of the Southern Great Plains

Location: Livestock Nutrient Management Research

Title: Dietary and animal strategies to reduce the environmental impact of pastoral dairy systems result in altered nutraceutical profiles in milk

item MARSHALL, CAMERON - Lincoln University - New Zealand
item GARRETT, KONAGH - Lincoln University - New Zealand
item VAN VLIET, STEPHAN - Utah State University
item Beck, Matthew - Matt
item GREGORINI, PABLO - Lincoln University - New Zealand

Submitted to: Animals
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2022
Publication Date: 10/31/2022
Citation: Marshall, C.J., Garrett, K., Van Vliet, S., Beck, M.R., Gregorini, P. 2022. Dietary and animal strategies to reduce the environmental impact of pastoral dairy systems result in altered nutraceutical profiles in milk. Animals. 12(21). Article 2994.

Interpretive Summary: The use of both milk urea nitrogen breeding values and plantain as a diet type have been studied for their ability to reduce the environmental impact of pastoral dairy production practices. This study investigated whether these two techniques also influenced the nutraceutical profile of the milk by investigating the amino and fatty acid as well as the metabolomic profile of milk from cows considered divergent for milk urea nitrogen breed values whilst consuming a diet of either plantain or ryegrass. Both the effect of animal genetics and diet were found to influence the nutraceutical profile of the final product. These results indicate the potential to alter the nutraceutical profile of milk for human consumption to potentially produce healthier products. However, further research is required to determine if the consumption of these milk products will have positive health outcomes for the consumer.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate and provide further insights into how dairy cows genetically divergent for milk urea N breeding values [MUNBV, high (2.21 ± 0.21) vs. low (1.16 ± 0.21); µ ± SEM], consuming either fresh cut Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L., PL) or Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L., RG) herbage, impacted the nutraceutical profile of whole milk by investigating amino and fatty acid composition and applying metabolomic profiling techniques. Both diet and MUNBV, and their interaction term, were found to affect the relative abundance of alanine, glycine, histidine, and phenylalanine in the milk (p < 0.05), but their minor absolute differences (up to ~0.13%) would not be considered biologically relevant. Differences were also detected in the fatty acid profile based on MUNBV and diet (p < 0.05) with low MUNBV cows having a greater content of total unsaturated fatty acids (+16%) compared to high MUNBV cows and cows consuming PL having greater content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (+92%), omega 3 (+101%) and 6 (+113%) compared to RG. Differences in the metabolomic profile of the milk were also detected for both MUNBV and dietary treatments. Low MUNBV cows were found to have greater abundances of choline phosphate, phosphorylethanolamine, N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate, and 2-dimethylaminoethanol (p < 0.05). High MUNBV cows had a greater abundance of methionine sulfoxide, malate, 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG), glycerate, arabitol/xylitol, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarate, 5-hydroxylysine and cystine (p < 0.05). Large differences (p < 0.05) were also detected as a result of diet with PL diets having greater abundances of the phytochemicals 4-acetylcatechol sulfate, 4-methylcatechol sulfate, and p-cresol glucuronide whilst RG diets had greater abundances of 2,6-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 2-acetamidophenol sulfate, and 2-hydroxyhippurate. The results of this study indicate the potential to alter the nutraceutical value of milk from dietary and genetic strategies that have been previously demonstrated to reduce environmental impact.