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Gewählte Publikation:

Gierus, M; Alter, I; Taube, F.
(2009): Fatty acid composition of forage plants: Consequences for the fat quality of milk and meat
BER LANDWIRTSCH. 2009; 87(2): 214-233.

The main objective the present work is to discuss changes in the fatty acid composition within the plant-animal production system and possibilities of influencing the fatty acid composition in milk and meat. The fatty acid composition in animal products is influenced by different aspects within the food production chain. It is not just environmental contrasts such as climatic conditions that alter the fatty acid composition of forages; grassland management practices (cutting frequency, forage conservation), animal husbandry (pasture/indoor feeding), the species composition of pasture-based production systems and the diet composition in the feeding of ruminants may also contributes to the different fatty acid composition. However, little is known about the relationship between species composition on grassland and the variation in fatty acid composition, as most work is done on single species. Along the food production chain, ruminants contribute substantially to the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in milk and meat. The formation of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) is unique for ruminants and CLA is claimed to be related to good health in human nutrition. Although PUFA content is found in animal products, the higher content of PUFA leads to a softer consistency of fat and consequently to higher susceptibility of meat and milk fat to oxidation, shortening the retail life time span of these products. Animal products, especially beef from South America, are being imported and make up a large part of the European meat market. With regard to the fatty acid composition, only a few works confirm the assumption that it is not just the pasture-based feeding that may influence the fatty acid composition. Tropical and subtropical climatic conditions in the production countries reduce the amount of PUFA. In consequence, the fat tends to be of a harder consistency. However, there are few studies supporting this observation.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Gierus Martin

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