Med. Weter. 69 (11), 662-665, 2013

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Brzozowska A., Oprządek J.
Lipid digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants.
Lipids consumed by the ruminants enter the rumen, where they undergo two main processes: the hydrolysis of ester bonds in triglycerides and the hydrogenation of unsaturated bonds. For this reason the composition of fatty acids leaving the rumen is substantially different from the composition of the diet. Fatty acids that enter the small intestine are mainly saturated, mostly palmitic and stearic acids. They are transported to different tissues and organs of the animal, where they may undergo further biochemical transformations. All of these transformations result in significant diversity in fatty acid profiles of animal products, such as milk. This paper presents fatty acid metabolism in the rumen, as it is the most important factor modifying the composition of fatty acids consumed by a ruminant.
Key words: fatty acids, digestion, rumen, hydrolysis, biohydrogenation