|November 19, 2004, FoodNavigator.com:
Organic milk has significantly higher quantities of vitamin E - a
key component in contributing to the shelf-life of milk - than its
conventional equivalent, say Danish researchers, suggesting the origins
of the difference are rooted in the feed.
Food scientists at the Danish research center for organic farming
studied the content of potential antioxidants and vitamins in conventional
and organic milk over several months. They found that in seven out
of 10 samples the organic source contained significantly more vitamin
E - alpha-tocopherol - than conventional milk. “The results
indicate that less synthetic vitamin E is added in the organic milk
production, and in spite of this, the content of vitamin E is higher
in organic milk than in conventional milk,” say the researchers.
“The most important reason for the observed differences is
presumably the large amounts of maize silage used in the conventional
production, whereas a considerable amount of grass and leguminous
plants are used in the organic production,” they add.
Vitamin E, that acts as an antioxidant in prolonging the shelf-life
of the milk, is available partly in the plants and the plant-based
feed products eaten by the cow, but a synthetic product is also
available. In the synthetic production process, eight different
stereo-isomers (varieties) of alpha-tocopherol are formed of which
only one is nature-identical.
“These stereo-isomers of a-tocopherol constitute 15.8-24.7
percent in the conventional milk, but only 6.2-13.5 per cent in
the organic milk,” report the scientists.
In addition to vitamin E, the researchers investigated the level
of carotenoids found in the two milks, finding that the content
was higher in organic milk, and that levels of the poweful antioxidant
beta-carotene were two to three times higher in organic milk than
in conventional milk.
While these compounds act as health-promoting antioxidants, a number
of significant flavor components in the milk are formed on the basis
of the carotenoids, affecting the taste because the substance contributes
to the formation of these aromatic components.
“If the organic farmers wish to produce milk with a high
level of vitamin E and carotenoids in the future, the share of maize
in the feed rations should not be increased,” summarize the
Danish food scientists Jacob H. Nielsen, Tina Lund-Nielsen and Leif
The EU organic market reached around €10 billion in 2002,
according to data from UK market analysts Organic Monitor, but growth
has slowed in recent years: an increase of 8 per cent between 2001
and 2002 shrunk to an estimated 5 per cent between 2002 and 2003.
Copyright - Unless otherwise stated all contents of this web site
are © 2000/2004– NOVIS. – All Rights Reserved.
For permission to reproduce any contents of this web site, please
email our Syndication department: adminnovisgroup.com . Full details
for the use of materials on this site can be found in the Terms