The Impact of Organic Agriculture on Biodiversity Conservation and Milk Quality for Traditional Cheese Production

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Summary

Organic farming represents agricultural practice that could contribute to the preservation of biological diversity and breeding of cows with the most desired milk quality attributes. Milk composition could vary widely according to genetic diversity of the animals and different feeding systems. These are related to higher dry matter content, fat, protein and a more favorable ratio of the saturated/unsaturated fatty acids, which is important in traditional cheese production. Standard chemical analyzes were performed and this paper shows the differences in the chemical properties and the fatty acid profile of milk, depending on the different breeds and breeding methods of animals. Simmental milk (indoors) was most abundant in dry matter and fat (13.01 and 4.30%, respectively) while protein and casein level was the highest in the Busha milk (3.67 and 2.63%, respectively). Holstein Friesian milk (organic) possessed a more constant composition and, together with Busha appropriate hygienic quality of milk (low level of somatic cells and total bacteria count). Also, milk from Holstein Friesian cows (organic) was disposed with better nutritional quality and more desirable fatty acid profile (SFA (63.40%), MUFA (30.79%) and PUFA (5.72 %)). On the other hand, Holstein Friesian (conventional) milk contained SFA (67.45%), MUFA (29.27%) and PUFA (3.28%) while Simmental (indoors) higher values of SFA (71.21%) and less MUFA (25.39%) and PUFA (3.40%). There are various ways to preserve biodiversity and the application of organic production standards in the traditional cheese production contributes to obtaining safer, quality products which are more recognizable on the market.

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