Nudda, Anna and Battaccone, Gianni and Boaventura Neto, Oscar and Cannas, Antonello and Francesconi, Ana Helena Dias and Atzori, Alberto Stanislao and Pulina, Giuseppe (2014) Feeding strategies to design the fatty acid profile of sheep milk and cheese. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, Vol. 43 (8), p. 445-456. eISSN 1806-9290. Article.
The majority of sheep milk produced in the world is transformed into cheese. Feeding is a major factor affecting the quality of sheep milk and, therefore, of sheep cheese. Because fat is the main compound of cheese, this review gives an update on the effects of feeding and nutrition on milk fat content and deeply discusses feeding strategies aimed at increasing the levels of healthy fatty acids (FA), such as conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 FA, in milk and cheese in the human diet. In addition, the use of alternative feed resources such as by-products, aromatic plants, and phenolic compounds in the sheep diet and their effects on milk and cheese FA composition are also discussed. Among feeding strategies, grazing and the use of supplements rich in oils seem to be the best and the cheapest strategies to improve the nutritional value of the fatty acid profile in sheep cheese.
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