Saturation in Milk and Meat Fats

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Science  09 Jun 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3780, pp. 1365-1366
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3780.1365


Meat and milk products from ruminants (cows, goats, sheep, and beef animals) contribute 35 to 40 percent of the fat in the average American diet. Such fat is highly saturated, containing less than about 4 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. The unsaturated plant lipids (fats) ordinarily consumed by the ruminant are hydrogenated (saturated) in the rumen. Transport and incorporation of this hydrogenated fat into meat and milk follows. Rumen hydrogenation does not take place until the fat is broken down to free fatty acids, thus establishing the fact that lipolysis is an essential feature of the process. Circumvention of this lipolysis may lead to more-unsaturated meat and milk fat.