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Alperujo -- a beneficial complement in diet of dairy sheep during non-grazing periods
Date:4/26/2010

The Basque Neiker-Tecnalia technological centre, in collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has demonstrated the benefit of alperujo as a supplement to the diet of dairy sheep during periods when grazing is not available. The analyses undertaken show that sheep fed with alperujo (a sub-product of the olive obtained after milling and pressing) produce milk with healthier characteristics, with a high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids greater than the milk produced by the same animals before being fed with this sub-product. Thus, alperujo is shown to be a beneficial feed complement for this kind of farm animal.

Sheep that feed on pastures and/or vegetable oil-based supplements show increased the concentration of certain health compounds of the resulting milk and cheese, such as unsaturated fatty acids amongst which are isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), antioxidant compounds and certain volatile aromatic compounds. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for the correct functioning of our bodies and should be administered in sufficient quantities in the diet. Their lack in a diet is associated with coronary diseases and a high level of cholesterol.

The research carried out jointly by Neiker-Tecnalia and the Faculty of Pharmacy at the UPV/EHU reveals that stabled sheep which ingest alperujo produce milk with a CLA concentration very similar to sheep that graze. Thus, this feed complement would enable obtaining healthy milk and cheese at any period of the year.

The study was carried out with 12 sheep of the latxa breed in their fifth month of milking. Before starting the trial, milk samples were taken from all the sheep and, in order to act as reference values, zootechnical parameters (milk production = MP, live weight = LW, body condition score = BCS) were determined, as well as milk composition (crude fat content = CF and crude protein
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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