Processing Milk effects on Fatty Acid Profiles in Consumed Grass-Fed Milk Products

If pastured cows do produce a better fatty acid composition in their milk, how does milk processing affect the composition once it is pasteurized, homogenized, and skimmed? How does milk in its various forms affect human digestion? These questions are being researched by the three people at this session. One of the biggest problems has been the penchant of nutritionists to tout fat-free or low-fat milk because of the saturated fat content regardless of some new facts about stearic and palmitic fatty acids having no or little effect on cardiovascular disease. The problem with skimming off the fat (cream) is that it removes other good fatty acids as well, such as omega-3 (n-3). According to the USDA standard reference database, an eight-fluid ounce cup (244 g) of 3.25% fat milk has 0.183 grams of omega-3s. This is a small amount of n-3 and is from confinement-fed cow’s milk. If the milk is non-fat or skim, the amount goes down to 0.0049 grams of n-3 or essentially zero. Now you can buy non-fat milk with an added n-3 derived from algae, so much for “natural”. Perhaps it would be better just to eat some salmon or trout.

Variations in milk lipids]

Michael H. Tunick*, Ph.D., Diane L. Van Hekken, Ph.D., Peggy M. Tomasula, D.Sc.

Impact of processing on the healthy fatty acids in milk and other dairy products

Diane L. Van Hekken*, Ph.D., Michael H. Tunick, Ph.D., Peggy M. Tomasula, D.Sc.

A New Way to Look at the Impact of Dairy Foods on Health

Peggy Tomasula*, D.Sc., Jenni Firrman, LinShu Liu

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