1 Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Faculty of Technical and Social Sciences, Department of Food Science, Piaţa Libertăţii 1, 530104 Miercurea Ciuc, Romania 2University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, Institute of Food Technology, H-4032 Debrecen, Böszörményi u. 138. Hungary
2 Kaposvár University, Faculty of Animal Science, H-7400 Kaposvár, Guba St. 40. Hungary.
3 Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Faculty of Technical and Social Sciences, Department of Food Science, Piaţa Libertăţii 1, 530104 Miercurea Ciuc, Romania
4 Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Nutritional Science
5 Retired from Kaposvár University, Faculty of Animal Science, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, H-7400 Kaposvár, Guba St. nr. 40
Until the middle of the last century, selenium was considered to be toxic, but recently it turned out to be a micronutrient with important physiological effects, whose lack impedes the functioning of several enzymes, while in the case of a prolonged deficiency, disease processes can also occur in the body. Hungary belongs to the selenium-deficient regions in Europe; therefore, our aim was to contribute to the improvement of selenium supply of the population through increasing the selenium content of milk and dairy products. A daily supplementation of 1-6 mg organic selenium to the feed of dairy cows increases the selenium content of milk from the value of 18 μg/kg to 94 μg/kg in 8 weeks, decreasing again to the initial value in 6 weeks after stopping the supplementation.
After producing various products from the control milk (18 μg/kg selenium content) and the selenium-enriched milk (53 μg/kg) obtained from dairy cattle fed on a feed supplemented with 2 mg selenium/day, we concluded that the selenium content of selenium-enriched milk compared to the products produced from the control milk increased from the value of 18.6 to 58.5 μg/kg in the case of yogurt, from 66.0 to 138.1 μg/kg in the case of telemea, from 80.8 to 163.7 μg/kg in the case of orda (urdă) and from 88.6 to 200.0 μg/kg in the case of semi-hard cheese obtained by mixed-coagulation. The selenium content of whey also increased significantly (from 8.8-9.7 μg/kg to 20.1-25.8 μg/kg), which could also be used as a food for people or feed for animals. According to our calculations, the selenium requirements of the developing organism could be satisfied by the consumption of 2-3 dl selenium-enriched milk until the age of 8 and with 4-6 dl selenium-enriched milk until the age of 20.
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