Starter cultures and cattle feed manipulation enhance conjugated linoleic acid levels in cheddar cheese



Document Type


Publication Date



Journal of Dairy Science


E-Suppl. 1








Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid (FA) that provides several health benefits to humans. The feeding of fish oil-supplemented diets to dairy cows has been extensively studied as a means to improve the CLA content in milk. Several studies have also been conducted on the ability of many microorganisms to produce CLA by utilizing substrates containing linoleic acid. In the present study, the dietary manipulated milk was used in combination with the CLA-producing culture to manufacture Cheddar cheese. The two diets fed to cattle were control and treatment diets to obtain control and treatment milk, respectively. The treatment diet containing fish oil (0.75% of dry matter) was fed to 32 dairy cows grouped in a pen for 18 d to increase the total CLA content in milk. Treatment milk had a CLA content of 1.60 g/100 g of FA compared with 0.58 g/100 g of FA in control milk obtained by feeding the control diet. A 2 × 2 factorial design with 3 replicates was used to test the combined effect of the CLA-producing starter culture of Lactococcus lactis(CI4b) versus a commercial CLA nonproducing cheese starter as the control culture, and type of milk (control vs. treatment milk) on CLA content in Cheddar cheese. Chemical composition (moisture, salt, fat, and protein) was not affected by the type of culture used. However, the age of the cheese affected the sensory properties and microbiological counts in the different treatments. Ripening with the CI4b culture was found to be effective in further enhancing the CLA content. The CI4b cheeses made from control milk and treatment milk contained 1.09 and 2.41 (±0.18) g of total CLA/100 g of FA after 1 mo of ripening, which increased to 1.44 and 2.61 (±0.18) g of total CLA/100 g of FA after 6 mo of ripening, respectively. The use of treatment milk resulted in an increase in the CLA isomers (trans-7,cis-9 + cis-9,trans-11, trans-9,cis-11 + cis-10,trans-12, trans-10,cis-12, cis-9,cis-11, trans-11,cis-13, cis-11,cis-13, trans-11,trans-13, and trans-9,trans-11). The CI4b culture specifically increased cis-11,cis-13 and trans-10,cis-12 isomers in cheese. The total CLA content in cheese was significantly higher when the CI4b culture was used compared with CLA nonproducing culture cheeses made from control milk and treatment milk after 1 mo [1.09 and 2.14 (±0.18) g of total CLA/100 g of FA] and 6 mo [0.99 and 2.05 (±0.18) g of total CLA/100 g of FA] of ripening, respectively. The results indicated that the combination of a CLA-producing starter culture and milk from cattle fed fish oil-supplemented diets (0.99 g of CLA/100 g of FA) could enhance levels of total CLA in Cheddar cheese by up to 2.6 times compared with cheese made from control milk with CLA nonproducing starter culture (2.61 g of CLA/100 g of FA) after 6 mo.