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Profiles of odd- and branched-chain fatty acids in bovine colostrum and transition milk.

L. L. Guan




Profiles of odd- and branched-chain fatty acids in bovine colostrum and transition milk.
H. S. Xin1,2, Y. Xu2, Y. H. Chen2, G. Chen2, L. L. Guan*2. 1College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 2Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Odd- and branched-chain fatty acids (OBCFAs) including iso-C14:0, iso-C15:0, C15:0, anteiso-C15:0, iso-C16:0, iso-C17:0, C17:0, anteiso-C17:0 and iso-C18:0 are found in bovine milk and have been reported to have positive influences on human health. However, it is unknown whether they are also present in colostrum and transition milk, which are used to feed neonatal calves and are potential bioactive compounds impacting calf gut health. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate OBCFA profiles in colostrum and transition milk. All samples were collected from a total of 12 Holstein dairy cows (6 primiparous and 6 multiparous) on the 1st day (colostrum, within 0.5 h), 3rd day (transition milk) and 5th day (milk) after calving, respectively. The OBCFAs profiles of the milk samples were measured with gas chromatography and the effect of milk type on OBCFAs was analyzed using the PROC MIXED procedure in SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC). The total OBCFAs amount was 134 mg/100g milk in the colostrum, which was 24% and 35% lower (P < 0.05) than that in the transition milk and milk, respectively. Similar findings were found on the contents of total iso-OBCFAs, total anteiso-OBCFAs, total odd-OBCFAs, total even-OBCFAs as well as total BCFAs. As for the individual OBCFA profiles, straight-chain fatty acids C15:0 and C17:0 were the top 2 abundant OBCFA in all milk types, accounting for 20—25% and 21—24% of the total OBCFAs, respectively. The proportions of iso-C14:0, anteiso-C15:0, iso-C16:0, iso-C17:0, anteiso-C17:0 and iso-C17:0 were the lowest (P < 0.05) in the colostrum, followed by the transition milk and milk, while the proportions of iso-C15:0 and C15:0 were the highest in the colostrum, followed by the transition milk and milk. No difference was observed on iso-C18:0 proportion among 3 milk types. In summary, the results indicated that colostrum, transition milk and milk had different OBCFAs contents and profiles with the total OBCFAs content being lower in colostrum, compared with transition milk and milk samples. Whether these differences play a role in calf health warrants future studies.

Keywords: odd- and branched-chain fatty acids, colostrum, transition milk.