Lecithin: a by-product of biodiesel production and a source of choline for dairy cows
The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of soy lecithins (L), a by-product of the biodiesel production process, and choline chloride microencapsulated with hydrogenated vegetable oils (C) on dry matter intake, milk yield, milk quality traits, milk choline and haematological profile of dairy cows. A total of 12 mid-lactating Holstein Friesian cows were assigned to one of two experimental groups and fed according to cross-over design (2 diets x 2 periods). Diets were isoenergetic, isofibrous and isonitrogenous and had the same content of choline. Dry matter intake was not affected by the diet, but L led to lower milk choline (P<0.05) and to a significantly higher milk yield (P<0.05), although the 3.5% fat-corrected milk (FCM) did not change owing to the higher content of fat in the milk of the C-diet group (P<0.01). The remaining milk components were unaffected by the supplements, except for the milk urea, which was lower in the L-diet group (P<0.01), reflecting a more effective use of degradable proteins by the micro-organisms present in the rumen. With regard to the haematological profile, L led to lower urea (P<0.001) and to higher values of glucose (P<0.01) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA)/Cholesterol ratio (P< 0.05), but all of the values fell within the physiological range of lactating dairy cows. Results indicated that soy lecithins can be used as an available and cost-effective source of choline in mid-lactating dairy cows.
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the Italian Journal of Animal Science [eISSN 1828-051X] is the official journal of the Animal Science and Production Association and it is published by PAGEPress®, Pavia, Italy. Reg. Pavia, n. 2/2010-INF. All credits and honors to PKP for their OJS.