Le Producteur de Lait Québécois MagazineVolume Number October 5, 2020
Débora SantschiPh.D., Agr.

The milk fatty acid profile: What else can we learn?

Profil d’acides gras du lait : que peut-on apprendre d’autre?

In collaboration with Daniel Warner, Innovation and Development, Lactanet

The fatty acid profile of bulk tank milk has been available to Quebec dairy producers since February 2020. Each time milk is collected from the farm, farmers not only have access to regular milk composition (fat, protein, lactose and other solids) and herd somatic cell count, but can also learn more about the metabolism of their cows from urea and fatty acid analyses. The fatty acid profile (de novo, mixed and preformed) has helped many producers optimize herd management and diet, and we’re now working to refine the use of these new indicators. Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far, and what’s on the horizon…  

  1. PROFILab in bulk tank milk: what we’ve learned
  2. PROFILab in bulk tank milk: what’s next?
  3. PROFILab individual cow: a glimpse at what’s in the pipeline


The fatty acid profile has now been available for a number of months in Quebec, and new management tools and indicators are being developed and are expected to be launched in the coming months. Collectively, these tools based on the bulk tank or individual cow fatty acid analysis should enable us to refine our feeding and herd management practices to maximize the efficiency and health of cows of all breeds, and ensure close follow-up for every cow in lactation in our herds.