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Impact of US Brown Swiss genetics on milk quality from low-input herds in Switzerland: Interactions with season

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, Eleni Chatzidimitriou, Enrica Franceschin, Dr Leo RempelosORCiD, Dr Marcin Baranski, Gillian Butler, Professor Carlo Leifert



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This study investigated the effect of, and interactions between, US Brown Swiss (BS) genetics and season on milk yield, basic composition and fatty acid profiles, from cows on low-input farms in Switzerland. Milk samples (n=1,976) were collected from 1,220 crossbreed cows with differing proportions of BS, Braunvieh and Original Braunvieh genetics on 40 farms during winter-housing and summer-grazing. Cows with more BS genetics produced more milk in winter but not in summer, possibly because of underfeeding potentially high-yielding cows on low-input pasture-based diets. Cows with more Original Braunvieh genetics produced milk with more (i) nutritionally desirable eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids, throughout the year, and (ii) vaccenic and α-linolenic acids, total omega-3 fatty acid concentrations and a higher omega-3/omega-6 ratio only during summer-grazing. This suggests that overall milk quality could be improved by re-focussing breeding strategies on cows’ ability to respond to local dietary environments and seasonal dietary changes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stergiadis S, Bieber A, Chatzidimitriou E, Franceschin E, Isensee A, Rempelos L, Baranski M, Maurer V, Cozzi G, Bapst B, Butler G, Leifert C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Chemistry

Year: 2018

Volume: 251

Pages: 93-102

Print publication date: 15/06/2018

Online publication date: 11/01/2018

Acceptance date: 10/01/2018

Date deposited: 05/02/2018

ISSN (electronic): 0308-8146

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.01.077


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