Milk production in Northern Ireland is primarily grass–based and this can have advantages for the nutritional quality of the milk.
Northern Ireland is one of only a few countries which utilises grass as the main component in our cows’ diet, and milk from pasture–based dairying can contain more of certain healthy nutrients. Milk from our grass–fed cows is naturally richer in the beneficial fatty acids CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and omega–3s, and can have higher amounts of some vitamins, such as vitamin E.
Stanton C et al. Dietary influences on bovine milk cis–9, trans–11–conjugated linoleic acid content. J Food Sci. 1997; 62: 1083–1086
Dhiman TR et al. Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets. J Dairy Sci. 1999; 82: 2146–2156
Dewhurst et al. Forage breeding and management to increase the beneficial fatty acids content of ruminant products. Proc Nut Soc 2003: 62; 329–336
Elgersma et al. Modifying milk through forage. Anim Feed Sci Tech. 2006: 13; 207–225
Couvreur S et al. The linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cow diet, milk fatty acid com– position, and butter properties. J Dairy Sci. 2006; 89: 1956–1969
Butler G et al. Fatty acid and fat–soluble antioxidant concentrations in milk from high– and low–input conventional and organic systems: seasonal variation. J Sci & Food Agri. 2008: 88: 1431–1441