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Authentication of Organic Milk Using δ13C and the alpha-Linolenic Acid Content of Milk Fat

Molkentin, Joachim (2009) Authentication of Organic Milk Using δ13C and the alpha-Linolenic Acid Content of Milk Fat. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57, pp. 785-790.

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The carbon stable isotope ratio (δ13C) and the alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3ω3) content of milk fat were analyzed to examine their applicability as general markers for the authentication of organic retail milk in Germany. To record the variable effect of feeding, including the seasonal influence on milk composition, three conventionally and three organically produced brands of retail milk were collected biweekly during a period of 18 months. Altogether 286 milk samples were analyzed. Threshold values for the identification of German organic milk were established and allowed to delimit almost all conventional samples. Organic retail milk was always above a minimum C18:3ω3 content of 0.50% and below a maximum δ13C of -26.5‰. The universal and strongly negative correlation (r ) -0.93)between C18:3ω3 and δ13C impedes the intentional manipulation of conventional milk. Conventional milk can naturally exceed the C18:3ω3 limit under atypical and rare conditions, but differentiation from organic milk can be improved by time-resolved comparison of data. In contrast with the general opinion, organic milk did not generally contain more c9,t11-C18:2 (CLA) than conventional milk. The
proposed limits may deviate with dairy products containing milk from foreign countries.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Carbon stable isotopes; fatty acids; alpha-linolenic acid; authentication; organic milk
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Germany > Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food - MRI > Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish Products
Deposited By: Molkentin, Dr. Joachim
ID Code:17233
Deposited On:05 Jul 2010 09:12
Last Modified:05 Jul 2010 09:12
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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