Cyclopropenoid fatty acids (CPEFA), found in oilseeds from Malvaceae and Sterculiaceae, have been shown to interfere with the endogenous synthesis of several bioactive lipids of dairy fat, such as cis-9, trans-11 18:2 and cis-9 18:1, by inhibiting Δ9-desaturase. No previous study has reported the presence of sterculic acid in animal fat and its incorporation in tissues after its administration, due to the lack of a proper methodology. In the present research, a GC-MS method based on cold base derivatization to fatty acids methylesters was developed to determine CPEFA in ewe milk triglycerides, after infusing sterculic acid (0.5 g/day) to six lactating ewes. An alternative derivatization based on silanyzation followed by GC-MS analysis was also tested, showing its possible applicability when CPEFA are present in the form of free fatty acids. Sterculic acid was detected in ewe milk triglycerides, demonstrating its incorporation from the bloodstream into milk by the mammary gland. The mean transfer rate represented 8.0 ± 1.0% of the daily dose. This study provides, for the first time, the presence of sterculic acid in milk fat, supporting the importance of understanding its occurrence in vivo and encouraging further research to determine whether it can be present in foods, such as dairy products, obtained under practical farming conditions.
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