Milk odd- and branched-chain fatty acids in relation to the rumen fermentation pattern

B Vlaeminck, V Fievez, S Tamminga, RJ Dewhurst, A Van Vuuren, D De Brabander, D Demeyer

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130 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were 1) to determine whether a relationship exists between molar proportions of volatile fatty acids in the rumen and milk odd-and branched-chain fatty acid concentrations (i.e., iso C13:0, anteiso C13:0, iso C14:0, C15:0, iso C15:0, anteiso C15:0, iso C16:0, C17:0, iso C17:0, anteiso C17:0, and cis-9 C17:1); and 2) to evaluate the accuracy of prediction of the latter equations using an independent data set. For development of the regression equations, individual cow data from 10 feeding experiments with rumen-fistulated dairy cows were used, resulting in a data set of 148 observations. Milk odd- and branched-chain fatty acids were closely related to the molar proportions of acetate (SE = 15.3 mmol/mol), propionate (SE = 14.7 mmol/mol), and butyrate (SE = 9.2 mmol/mol). These regression equations were further validated using data from the literature (n = 14). Evaluation of these prediction equations using the independent data set resulted in a root mean square prediction error of 3.0, 9.0, and 8.9% of the observed mean for acetate, propionate, and butyrate, respectively. In addition, less then 5% of the mean square prediction error was due to line bias. This suggests that the currently developed prediction equations based on milk odd- and branched-chain fatty acids show potential to predict molar proportions of individual volatile fatty acids in the rumen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3954-3964
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPrint publication - Oct 2006


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