Variation in Milk Fatty Acid Composition with Body Condition in Dairy Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)

  • Qureshi, Muhammad Subhan (Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University) ;
  • Mushtaq, Anila (Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University) ;
  • Khan, Sarzamin (Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University) ;
  • Habib, Ghulam (Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University) ;
  • Swati, Zahoor Ahmad (Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, NWFP Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2009.09.12
  • Accepted : 2009.11.06
  • Published : 2010.03.01


Buffaloes usually maintain higher body condition and do not produce milk at the cost of their own body reserves under tropical conditions. The mobilization of body reserves for fulfilling the demands of lactation has been extensively studied in dairy cows while limited work is available on this aspect in dairy buffaloes. Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine variations in milk fatty acid profiles with body condition in Nili-Ravi buffaloes. A total of 24 Nili-Ravi buffaloes within 60 days after parturition, were selected from a private dairy farm in the district of Peshawar. All animals consumed the same diet during the experimental period. A total of 576 raw milk samples were collected for laboratory analysis. The study continued up to 6 months during 2008. Body condition score (BCS), milk yield and composition were recorded once a week. Means for milk fatty acid profile were compared for various levels of BCS. The mean milk yield and fat content were 9.28 kg/d and 5.36%, respectively. The total saturated fatty acids (SFA) were 64.22 g/100 g and the unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) were 35.79 g/100 g. Of the SFA the highest amount was recorded for $C_{16:0}$, followed by $C_{18:0}$, and $C_{14:0}$. The total sum of hypercholesterolemic fatty acids (HCFA, $C_{12:0}$, $C_{14:0}$ and $C_{16:0}$) was 43.33 g/100 g. The concentrations of UFA were greater for moderate BCS followed by poor and highest BCS while SFA showed the opposite trend. The correlation analysis showed that milk yield was negatively affected by BCS and milk fat positively affected, though non-significantly. The present study suggests that Nili-Ravi dairy buffaloes produce similar milk to dairy cows regarding availability of cardioprotective fatty acids, with the highest concentration of $C_{18:1\;cis-9}$. Two HCFA ($C_{12:0}$ and $C_{14:0}$) were associated with higher body condition. Buffaloes with moderate body condition yielded milk containing healthier fatty acids.


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