Effect of dietary inclusion of date seed (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on intake, digestibility, milk production, and milk fatty acid profile of Holstein dairy cows

  • A. Rezaeenia
  • A. A. Naserian
  • R. Valizadeh
  • A. M. Tahmasbi
  • A. Mokhtarpour
Regular Articles


The objective of this experiment was to investigate the influence of ground date seed (GDS) on intake, digestibility, and milk yield and milk fatty acid (FA) composition of lactating Holstein cows. The experimental design was a 4 × 4 replicated Latin square with eight lactating dairy cows with an average milk production of 35.5 ± 1.5 kg and 75 ± 5 days in milk (DIM). Dairy cows were fed one of the four treatments contained 0, 2, 4, and 6% of diet dry matter (DM) GDS in replacement of wheat bran. All diets contained the same amount of forages (alfalfa hay and corn silage). Dietary treatments had no effect on DM intake (DMI), total tract apparent digestibility, milk yield, and milk composition. Increasing GDS linearly decreased concentration of C13:0 and increased cis-9 C14:1 and trans-11 C18:1 (vaccenic acid) (P < 0.05). A linear tendency for more C16:1 content in milk fat was observed with increasing GDS (P = 0.06). Feeding GDS resulted in a linear decrease (P < 0.01) in saturated FA (SFA) but increased milk fat monounsaturated FA (MUFA) and trans FA (TFA) (P < 0.05). Therefore, low levels of GDS (up to 6%) in the diet of Holstein dairy cows can beneficially modify milk FA composition without any adverse effects on intake, digestibility, and milk yield.


Date seed Oleic acid Phenolic compounds Fatty acid Dairy cow 



The authors would like to express their appreciation to Standard Institute of Khorasan-Razavi province of Iran for their cooperation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We wish to confirm that there is no known conflict of interest associated with this publication.

Statement of animal rights

Animal handling and experimental procedures were performed according to the guidelines approved by Iranian Council of Animal Care (1995) and the Animal Care Committee of the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.


  1. Al-Farsi, M.A., and Lee, C.Y., 2008a. Nutritional and functional properties of dates: a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 48, 877–887.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Farsi, M.A. and Lee, C.Y., 2008b. Optimization of phenolics and dietary fibre extraction from date seeds. Food Chemistry, 108, 977–985.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Owaimer, A.N., El-Waziry, A.M., Koohmaraie, M. and Zahran, S.M., 2011. The use of ground date pits and Atriplex halimus as alternative feeds for sheep. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5, 1154–1161.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Shahib, W. and Marshall, R.J., 2003. Fatty acid content of the seeds from 14 varieties of date palm Phoenix dactylifera L. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 38, 709–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Suwaiegh, S.B., 2016. Effect of Feeding Date Pits on Milk Production, Composition and Blood Parameters of Lactating Ardi Goats. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 29, 509–515.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Arelovich, H.M., Abney, C.S., Vizcarra, J.A. and Galyean, M.L., 2008. Effects of dietary neutral detergent fiber on intakes of dry matter and net energy by dairy and beef cattle: analysis of published data. The Professional Animal Scientist, 24, 375–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ashraf, Z., and Hamidi-Esfahani, Z., 2011. Date and date processing: a review. Food Reviews International, 27, 101–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), 2005. Official Methods of Analysis, 18th ed. Published by AOAC international, Gaithersburg.Google Scholar
  9. Bauman, D.E., Perfield, J.W. and Lock, A.L., 2004. Effect of trans fatty acids on milk fat and their impact on human health. In Proceedings of the 19th Southwest Nutrition and Management Conference, University of Arizona, USA, (41–52).Google Scholar
  10. Benchaar, C., Romero-Pérez, G.A., Chouinard, P.Y., Hassanat, F., Eugene, M., Petit, H.V. and Côrtes, C., 2012. Supplementation of increasing amounts of linseed oil to dairy cows fed total mixed rations: Effects on digestion, ruminal fermentation characteristics, protozoal populations, and milk fatty acid composition. Journal of dairy science, 95, 4578–4590.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Besbes, S., Blecker, C., Deroanne, C. G., Drira, N., and Attia, H., 2004. Date seeds: chemical composition and characteristic profiles of lipid fraction. Food Chemistry, 84, 577–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carvalho, L.P.F., Cabrita, A.R.J., Dewhurst, R.J., Vicente, T.E.J., Lopes, Z.M.C. and Fonseca, A.J.M., 2006. Evaluation of palm kernel meal and corn distillers grains in corn silage-based diets for lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 89, 2705–2715.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, P., Ji, P. and Li, S.L., 2008. Effects of feeding extruded soybean, ground canola seed and whole cottonseed on ruminal fermentation, performance and milk fatty acid profile in early lactation dairy cows. Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 21, 204–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DePeters, E.J., German, J.B., Taylor, S.J., Essex, S.T. and Perez-Monti, H., 2001. Fatty acid and triglyceride composition of milk fat from lactating Holstein cows in response to supplemental canola oil. Journal of Dairy Science, 84, 929–936.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Fereira, A. C., Lopes, O., Giordano de Pinto C. G., Nunes Vaz S. R. and Andrade, O., 2012. Intake, digestibility and intake behaviour in cattle fed different levels of palm kernel cake. Revista MVZ Córdoba, 17, 3105–3112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2013. Agricultural production stats.Google Scholar
  17. He, M., Perfield, K.L., Green, H.B. and Armentano, L.E., 2012. Effect of dietary fat blend enriched in oleic or linoleic acid and monensin supplementation on dairy cattle performance, milk fatty acid profiles, and milk fat depression. Journal of dairy science, 95, 1447–1461.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Huhtanen, P., Rinne, M. and Nousiainen, J., 2009. A meta-analysis of feed digestion in dairy cows. 2. The effects of feeding level and diet composition on digestibility. Journal of dairy science, 92, 5031–5042.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 2000. Animal and vegetable fats and oils, Preparation of methyl esters of fatty acids, ISO 5509:2000.Google Scholar
  20. Iranian Council of Animal Care, 1995. Guide to the care and use of experimental animals, vol. 1. Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan.Google Scholar
  21. Khezri, A., Dayani, O. and Tahmasbi, R., 2017. Effect of increasing levels of wasted date palm on digestion, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis in sheep. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 101, 53–60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Khiaosa-Ard, R., Bryner, S.F., Scheeder, M.R.L., Wettstein, H.R., Leiber, F., Kreuzer, M. and Soliva, C.R., 2009. Evidence for the inhibition of the terminal step of ruminal α-linolenic acid biohydrogenation by condensed tannins. Journal of Dairy Science, 92, 177–188.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Luna, P., Juárez, M., de la Fuente, M.A., 2005. Validation of a rapid milk fat separation method to determine the fatty acid profile by gas chromatography. Journal of Dairy Science, 88, 3377–3381.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Makkar, H.P.S. (Ed.), 2000: Quantification of tannins in tree foliage. In a laboratory manual for the FAO/IAEA coordinated research project on use of nuclear and related technique to develop simple tannin assays for predicting and improving the safety and efficiency of feeding ruminants on tanniniferous tree foliage. Joint FAO/IAEA, FAO/IAEA of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. Animal Production and Health Sub-program, FAO/IAEA Working Document. IAEA, Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar
  25. Mosley, E.E., Powell, G.L., Riley, M.B. and Jenkins, T.C., 2002. Microbial biohydrogenation of oleic acid to trans isomers in vitro. Journal of Lipid Research, 43, 290–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. National Research Council (NRC), 2001. Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle, 7th revised ed. National Academic Science, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  27. Patra, A.K. and Saxena, J., 2011. Exploitation of dietary tannins to improve rumen metabolism and ruminant nutrition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91, 24–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Rezaeenia, A., Naserian, A.A. and Mokhtarpour, A., 2016. Chemical Composition, Fatty Acids Profile and Biological Evaluation of Tannins of Selected Date Seeds Grown in Iran. Iranian Journal of Applied Animal Science, 6, 517–524.Google Scholar
  29. SAS Institute Inc., 2003. SAS/STAT User’s Guide: Version 9. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  30. Sharifi, M., Bashtani, M., Naserian, A.A. and Farhangfar, H., 2017. The Effect of increasing levels of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seed on the performance, ruminal fermentation, antioxidant status and milk fatty acid profile of Saanen dairy goats. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 101, e332–e341.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Toral, P.G., Hervás, G., Bichi, E., Belenguer, Á. and Frutos, P., 2011. Tannins as feed additives to modulate ruminal biohydrogenation: Effects on animal performance, milk fatty acid composition and ruminal fermentation in dairy ewes fed a diet containing sunflower oil. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 164, 199–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Turpeinen, A.M., Mutanen, M., Aro, A., Salminen, I., Basu, S., Palmquist, D.L. and Griinari, J.M., 2002. Bioconversion of vaccenic acid to conjugated linoleic acid in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76, 504–510.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Tyrrell, H.F. and Reid, J.T., 1965. Prediction of the Energy Value of Cow's Milk1, 2. Journal of Dairy Science, 48, 1215–1223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Soest, P.V., Robertson, J.B. and Lewis, B.A., 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583–3597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Van Wyngaard, J.D.V., Meeske, R. and Erasmus, L.J., 2015. Effect of palm kernel expeller as supplementation on production performance of Jersey cows grazing kikuyu-ryegrass pasture. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 199, 29–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vasta, V., Makkar, H.P., Mele, M. and Priolo, A., 2008. Ruminal biohydrogenation as affected by tannins in vitro. British Journal of Nutrition, 102, 82–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Welter, K.C., Martins, C.M.D.M.R., de Palma, A.S.V., Martins, M.M., dos Reis, B.R., Schmidt, B.L.U. and Netto, A.S., 2016. Canola oil in lactating dairy cow diets reduces milk saturated fatty acids and improves its omega-3 and oleic fatty acid content. PLoS One 11:e0151876 Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Research Center of Special Domestic AnimalsUniversity of ZabolZabolIran

Personalised recommendations