Dairy product development by the modification of fatty acid composition

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Authors: Zsuzsanna Kárnyáczki and Berta Vanda Óré-Sütő



Nowadays due to increased stress, sedentary lifestyle and improper nutrition cardiovascular diseases become more frequent. The right amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet plays a very important role in the prevention of these diseases. It was investigated whether feeding rape or sunflower seed to dairy cows or the addition of Specidol (fatty acid product) to milk has effect on the fatty acid content of dairy produces (yogurt, cheese) and to what extent. Feeding oily seeds increased unsaturated and essential fatty acid content in milk and it can be  possible to preserve in yogurt and cheese. Rapeseed feeding helped omega-6 and omega-3 ratio to approach a close to optimal level in yogurt. Large proportion of unsaturated fatty acids could be preserved during cheese processing though the ratio shifted in a less favorable direction. Results show that increase of unsaturated fatty acid content in milk and milk products can be increased naturally by altering feeding. Reaching favorable fatty acid composition in milk products enables the production of functional dairy products without any special additives.




From mortality rates of the Hungarian population it is evident that unbalanced lifestyles and unhealthy diets play outstandingly important roles in the development of diseases, and are also leading causes of death. We are more and more exposed to the harmful effects of civilization, such as being overworked, consuming foods with too few or too many calories, the presence of pesticide and drug residues in certain foods, or air pollution. Due to these, there is an increasing number of people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and, independently of age cancer [1].


Functional foods, that could be able to prevent the development of the above-mentioned diseases, have had an increasing significance in the Western world, and are starting to gain a foothold in Hungary. When developing functional foods, the goal is to add such ingredients to a food in significant amounts that are proven to be healthpromoting or disease preventing [2].


The term „functional food” first appeared at the beginning of the 1990’s. It was defined in several ways. All definitions explain that functional foods possess some kind of added positive health effect: they are beneficial for health, facilitate certain physiological processes (e.g. digestion) or strengthen the immune system [3].

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