Effects of mineral content of bovine drinking water: Does iron content affect milk quality?
Mann, Georgianna Rhodes
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Implications of water chemistry on milk synthesis are not well described yet water is an important nutrient for dairy cattle. High mineral concentrations (>0.3 mg/kg Fe and others) may be associated with natural levels in ground water, contaminating sources, drought conditions, or storage systems. This study evaluated effects of added iron in bovine drinking water on milk composition (Ca, Cu, Fe, P) measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and oxidative stability measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay for malondialdehyde (MDA), volatile chemistry and sensory analysis (triangle test). Prepared ferrous lactate treatments, corresponding to 0, 2, 5, and 12.5 mg/kg drinking water levels were given abomasally (10 L/d) to 4 lactating dairy cows over 4 periods (1 wk infusion/period) in a Latin square design. Milk was collected (d6 of infusion), processed (homogenized, pasteurized), and analyzed within 72 h of processing and 7 d of refrigerated storage. No differences in MDA (1.46ï¿½0.04 mg/kg) or iron (0.22ï¿½0.01 mg/kg) were observed in processed milk. Cross effects analysis (treatment*cow) showed significant differences in calcium, copper and iron (P < 0.05). Sensory differences (P < 0.05), in treatment vs. control, suggested iron from water sources contributes to milk flavor changes. A case study with high and low (0.99; 0.014 mg/kg) iron treatments revealed no significant differences (P > 0.05) in mineral composition (0.23ï¿½0.06 mg/kg Fe) or MDA (0.77ï¿½0.03 mg/kg) of raw milk. Iron added to milk causes changes in oxidation; high levels of iron in bovine drinking water may not have observed effects.
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