Dairy Fat--What's In It For The Consumer?

This webinar by Jana Kraft and Allison Unger of the University of Vermont took place on May 27, 2020.

About the Webinar

Dairy fat is undeniably the most complex and diverse dietary fat source in the human diet, comprising hundreds of different fatty acids and fatty acid derivatives that fulfill diverse structural, metabolic, and functional roles within the human body. Moreover, the fatty acid composition of dairy fat is distinct because approximately 70% of the total fatty acids are saturated as the result of ruminal biohydrogenation of dietary unsaturated fatty acids. Over the past two decades, most scientific and public attention has focused on saturated fatty acids. Yet, dairy fat contains a large variety of unique minor fatty acids or individual fatty acids that are generated by rumen microbes and the mammary gland. Recent studies indicate that these unique dairy-derived fatty acids possess unusual biological properties and health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value. The webinar will summarize the current knowledge on the bioactivity of dairy-derived fatty acids with emphasis on potential health benefits. Additionally, we will present data from a recently conducted study comparing the fatty acid composition and content, on a per serving basis, between the three types of retail milk (i.e., conventional milk, organic milk, and omega-3 fortified milk) in the Northeast U.S.

About the Presenter

Dr. Jana Kraft holds a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Physiology/Lipid Biochemistry from the University of Jena in Germany. After a period of postdoctoral work at both the University of Jena and the Unviersity of Vermont, she joined the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences as an Assistant Professor. Her areas of expertise and research include dairy lipids and human health, lipid metabolism and fatty acid analysis.

Allison Unger is a PhD. student in Dr. Kraft's lab at the University of Vermont. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Rhode Island and is a project coordinator at the Clinical Research Center for a study that is looking at the effects of bioactive fats in milk on metabolic health markers. 

Note: Our first milk fatty acid webinar was recorded--it focused on fatty acids in dairy cows and their diets. You can find the recording here.

Published February 6, 2020

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.