Keywords: Grey Ukrainian breed, cattle, gene pool conservation, milk fat, fatty acid content


Grey Ukrainian cattle breed inseparably linked to the history of Ukraine and has great cultural value. This breed is one of ancient, which traces several millennia BC and the most unique cattle breed of Ukraine. Grey Ukrainian bulls are linked with ancient Ukrainian industrial international dealing – salt selling, which is witnessed to exist since 11 century. Cattle of this breed were highly welcomed at markets of Russian empire because of strong and elastic skins (7% of live weight). And their live weight constituted up to 1300 kg. Cows of the breed were characterized with good maternal qualities and fat milk (up to 9%).

But meat qualities of the breed significantly yield to meat qualities of the best international and national beef breeds of Ukraine. It caused the situation when Grey Ukrainian is going to be extinct as the main power of breed survival and prospering in market conditions is profit. Now this breed is available in two herds of Ukraine, counting about 1000 heads. One of the possible ways of its conservation is commercialization of useful traits, which are superior to such traits of other breeds of Ukraine and the world. It is firstly qualitative traits of the breed, including content of milk. One of the important constituents of taste and quality of milk is fat, which depends greatly on qualitative and quantitative fatty acid content. So, the purpose of the article was to investigate fatty acid content of Grey Ukrainian cattle and to compare it to such of other breeds.

Milk for investigation was taken from the cows of Grey Ukrainian breed (n = 5) of state enterprize (research farm of the Institute of Grain of National Academy of Agrarian Sciences) and private farm of Kiev region, Bila Tserkva district (“MotherFarm”), where only one cow of the breed was milked. Cows were taken randomly, kept in one shed (in the frame of one farm) and fed the same ratio. The detection of milk fatty acid content was carried out according to the state standard ISO 5508–2001 “Animal and Vegetable Fats and Oils. Analyzing of fatty acid methyl ethers by gas chromatography method”. Preparation of samples was done in obedience to state standard ISO 5509–2002 “Animal and Vegetable Fats and Oils. Preparation of methyl ethers of fatty acids.” Chromatographic analysis of fatty acids was carried out in the Ukrainian Laboratory of Quality and Food Safety in Agrarian Industry of the National University of Biological Resources and Nature of Ukraine, Kyjiv, at gas chromatograph Trace Ultra with FID detector and capillary column SP-2560 (Supelco).

The content of individual fatty acid was determined as a percentage of it to the total content of this class of organic compounds in the test sample. The error of the sample was calculated between two testing of the same sample. Mathematical processing of the data was done at the Excel software package.

Statistical processing of results showed dominance of individual peculiarities of fatty acids content rather, than farm ones. So, cows of state breeding farm “Polyvanivka”, which is situated in the southern east of Ukraine (Dnipropetrovska oblast) have similar content of fatty acids, as the cows of the same breed of private farm “MotherFarm”, which is situated in the north of Ukraine (Kyjiv oblast) and cows of one farm have significant fluctuations inside the sample on the content of fatty acids.

Milk of the investigated cows of Grey Ukrainian cattle was characterized with 66.61% saturated and consequently, 33.44% unsaturated fatty acids. Milk of the cattle constitute 30.14% of monousaturated fatty acids. Quantity of essential linoleic and α-linoleic fatty acids in the milk of Grey Ukrainian cattle constitutes 3.30%. Interelation of ώ-3 to ω-6 acid in the milk of Grey Ukrainian cattle was 1:3.65.

Comparison of fatty acid content of Grey Ukrainian cattle and other local indigenous cattle of Ukraine – Whiteheaded Ukrainian, showed, that milk of Grey Ukrainian contained less saturated acids, than milk of Whiteheaded Ukrainian (68.37%) and, consequently, more unsaturated. But the quantity of the most required in human organism essential acids (linoleic and α-linoleic), which are not synthesized in organism, in the milk of Whiteheaded Ukrainian constitute 3.57%, which was a bit higher, than in the milk of Grey Ukrainian. But content of monounsaturated myristoliec acid is almost 5 times higher in the milk of Grey Ukrainian, than in the milk of Whiteheaded Ukrainian cattle (p ˂ 0,001). Palmitoleic acid content in the milk of Grey Ukrainian breed exceeds content of the acid in the milk of Whiteheaded more, than 7.5 times. The difference is highly significant (td = 10.96, p ˂ 0.001). Oleic (ω-9) acid is higher in the milk of Whiteheaded Ukrainian, but slightly.

Comparison of fatty acid content in the milk of Grey Ukrainian and Whiteheaded Ukrainian breeds, which both are local authohtonous, and commercial ones (holstenized Ukrainian Black-and-White breed and Holstein) showed similar content of saturated acids with certain fluctuations, but the quantity of essential α-linoleic acid was 10 times lower in the milk of commercial breeds, than in the milk of both above-mentioned local breeds.


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How to Cite
Rieznykova, N. L. (2020). CHARACTERISTICS OF MILK FAT OF GREY UKRAINIAN CATTLE BREED. Animal Breeding and Genetics, 59, 160-167.
Conservation of Animal Biodiversity