Is phytanic acid a suitable marker for authentification of milk and dairy products from grass-fed cows or organic farming systems?

E. Capuano, A. Elgersma, A. Tres, S.M. van Ruth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Cow milk samples were collected from herds of 30 Dutch farms and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for phytanic acid (PHY) and its diastereomers SRR and RRR to test the hypothesis that PHY could be a suitable marker for authentification of milk from grass-fed cows. The samples differed in the proportion of fresh grass in the cows’ daily dry matter intake (0 to 94%). Grass was either fed indoors or grazed (during daytime, or day and night). Of the latter category, three farms had an organic and three a biodynamic farming system. PHY concentrations were not significantly higher in organic/biodynamic milk compared with conventional milk, nor were they correlated with the proportion or amount of fresh grass in the diet. The proportion of RRR in total PHY was positively correlated with the proportion of fresh grass in the diet. These results indicate that, in contrast to our hypothesis, PHY content is not a suitable indicators of pasture grazing or organic/biodynamic farming, while the proportion of diastereomers of PHY may be useful as such.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEGF at 50: The Future of European Grasslands
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 25th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Aberystwyth, Wales, 7-11 September 2014
EditorsA. Hopkins, R.P. Collins, M.D. Fraser, V.R. King, D.C. Lloyd, J.M. Moorby, P.R.H. Robson
Place of PublicationAberystwyth
PublisherEuropean Grassland Federation EGF
Pages674-676
ISBN (Print)9780992694012
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event25th General Meeting of the EGF 2014, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK -
Duration: 7 Sep 201411 Sep 2014

Publication series

NameGrassland science in Europe
Volume19

Conference

Conference25th General Meeting of the EGF 2014, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Period7/09/1411/09/14

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