Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Fatty acid profile of ghee derived from two genotypes (cattle–yak vs yak) grazing different alpine Himalayan pasture sites

S. Marquardt A , S. R. Barsila A , S. L. Amelchanka A , N. R. Devkota B , M. Kreuzer A and F. Leiber C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A ETH Zurich, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Universitaetstrasse 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

B Agriculture and Forestry University, Directorate of Research and Extension, Chitwan, Nepal.

C Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstrasse 113, 5070 Frick, Switzerland.

D Corresponding author. Email: florian.leiber@fibl.org

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16111
Submitted: 23 February 2016  Accepted: 17 August 2016   Published online: 28 November 2016

Abstract

The fatty acid (FA) profile of ghee produced from milk of cattle–yak hybrids grazing five mountain pasture sites along a high-alpine transhumance route in Nepal was analysed. Pastures differed in altitude above sea level (2600–4500 m), time period of being grazed and phytochemical composition of the swards. Additionally, a comparison of ghee from purebred yak and hybrid was performed, with samples produced at two of the sites. Pasture site had a strong effect on almost all FAs. Proportions of oleic, linoleic and α-linolenic acid in ghee were smallest on the highest pasture at 4500 m where the largest condensed tannin concentrations in the forages were found. No systematic site effects were found for c9,t11 conjugated linoleic acid and total polyunsaturated FAs. Ghee produced from the hybrids’ milk was richer in major functional FAs such as α-linolenic and linoleic acid, while yak ghee contained more saturated FAs and eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids.

Additional keywords: α-linolenic acid, CLA, high-altitude grasslands, transhumant system.


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