Consumers are increasingly concerned about the food they eat; viewing it not only as a means of nutrition but as a strategy for disease prevention.
Therefore, opportunities exist in the functional feeding of livestock to enhance not only the health and productivity of the animal but for the development of omega-3 enriched food options for consumers.
Identifying effective omega-3 feed ingredients that can be used towards the natural production of functional dairy foods will have a significant impact on agri-food business, dairy industries and consumer availability of essential nutrients.
LinPRO-R is a dry extruded feed ingredient rich in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The product is commonly fed to dairy cattle to promote animal health and performance; however, the presence of omega-3 fatty acids suggests a potential market opportunity for the development of functional dairy products.
O&T Farms collaborated with the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre in a multi-disciplinary research project to evaluate the effects of feeding linPRO-R to dairy cattle on the fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of havarti cheese.
Results show that feeding linPRO-R to dairy cattle can significantly increase the omega-3 fatty acid content of the milk with minimal losses during cheese manufacturing.
Sensory evaluations of havarti cheese made from linPRO-R fed dairy cows indicated that panelists were unable to identify differences in flavour, taste, colour compared to the control cheese.
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