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Coppa M.,University of Turin | Chassaing C.,Clermont University | Chassaing C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Ferlay A.,Clermont University | And 18 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

The aims of this work were to elucidate the potential of using milk fatty acid (FA) concentration to predict cow diet composition and altitude of bulk milk collected in 10 different European countries and to authenticate cow-feeding systems and altitude of the production area using a data set of 1,248 bulk cow milk samples and associated farm records. The predictions based on FA for cow diet composition were excellent for the proportions of fresh herbage [coefficient of determination (R2)=0.81], good for hay, total herbage-derived forages, and total preserved forages (R2>0.73), intermediate for corn silage and grass silage (R2>0.62), and poor for concentrates (R2<0.51) in the cow diet. Milk samples were assigned to groups according to feeding system, level of concentrate supplementation, and altitude origin. Milk FA composition successfully authenticated cow-feeding systems dominated by a main forage (>93% of samples correctly classified), but the presence of mixed diets reduced the discrimination. Altitude prediction reliability was intermediate (R2<0.62). Milk FA composition was not able to authenticate concentrate supplementation level in the diet (<58% of samples correctly classified). Similarly, the altitude origin was not successfully authenticated by milk FA composition (<76% of samples correctly classified). The potential of milk FA composition to authenticate cow feeding was confirmed using a data set representative of the diversity of European production conditions. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.

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