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Milk fatty acid composition and cheese texture and appearance from cows fed hay or different grazing systems on upland pastures

Abstract : The objective of this work was to compare milk fatty acid (FA) profile and texture and appearance of Cantal cheeses obtained from cows grazing 2 different upland grasslands: a highly diversified pasture (74 species) of area 12.5 ha managed under continuous mode (C), and a weakly diversified pasture (31 species) of area 7.7 ha (an old temporary grassland) managed under rotational mode (R). A control group of cows fed a hay-based diet (indoors, I) was used. Three equivalent groups of 12 Montbeliarde cows underwent the 3 treatments from May to September 2008. The cheeses were manufactured during 3 consecutive days in early June, early July, and late August (27 cheeses in all). The texture, appearance, and chemical composition of the cheeses were determined after 12 wk of ripening. Concentrations of total saturated FA and monounsaturated FA were higher and lower, respectively, in I milks compared with pasture milks. The concentrations of trans-11-C18:1 and cis-9-C18:1, and polyunsaturated FA as well as yellowness decreased during the season in C-derived milk but remained constant in R-derived milk, through a combined effect of grass development stage and the cows' grazing selection. The I cheeses were, on average, firmer, less creamy, less elastic, and less yellow than the pasture cheeses. Decreasing and increasing trends in texture firmness during the season were observed for C and R cheeses, respectively. The rind of the pasture-fed cow cheese had fewer, less intensely colored, and less prominent spots than did that of I cheeses. This difference was probably due to greater migration of fat to the rind during pressing because of the lower fat melting point of the pasture-fed cow cheeses, which had higher unsaturated FA content. The greater amounts of fat deposited on the rind of the pasture-fed cow cheeses may have partially inhibited the microbial activity responsible for rind appearance. Our trial underlines the importance of the effects of grazing management associated with vegetation type on milk and cheese characteristics.
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Mauro Coppa, Anne Ferlay, Françoise Monsallier, Isabelle Verdier-Metz, Philippe Pradel, et al.. Milk fatty acid composition and cheese texture and appearance from cows fed hay or different grazing systems on upland pastures. Journal of Dairy Science, 2011, 94 (3), pp.1132-1145. ⟨10.3168/jds.2010-3510⟩. ⟨hal-02644977⟩



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