The Influence of Feed on Richert Micelle Value and Butyro-Refractometer Values


Have you ever wondered how the food cow’s eat affects the quality of milk they produce? Well, get ready for an exploration into the impact of feed on two essential quality factors of milk fat: Richert micelle value and Butyro refractometer values. Join us as we delve into the world of bovine nutrition and discover how it shapes the delectable goodness we find in milk.


Effect on Richert Micelle Value:

Richert micelle value is a measure of the fat content in milk, specifically the fat globules known as micelles. These micelles play an important role in the texture and feel of dairy products. Now, let’s explore how the feed given to cow’s can influence this value.

When cows are fed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which is mostly found in fresh grass, the Richert micelle value increases. Studies have shown that cow’s grazing on high-quality feed produces milk with Richert micelle values ranging from 12 to 14. In comparison to the cows fed a diet composed of silage or grain expected to have lower Richert micelle values, around 10 to 12.

Effect on Butyro Refractometer Values:

Butyro refractometer values provide information of the fatty acid composition of milk fat. This measurement is particularly necessary to determining the amount of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids present.


How feed can influence these values.

A study conducted with cow’s fed a diet high in in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) revealed that  that the monounsaturated fatty acid content (C18:1) in milk fat could be increased by as much as 50 to 80% through the addition of lipids rich in 18-carbon fatty acids. In some cases, the monounsaturated fatty acids approached 50% of the overall milk fatty acid composition. Such a shift was observed when cows were provided with feed supplemented with specific lipids.

When the fed of cow’s was changed to have low roughage feeds resulted in an increased content of0 monounsaturated fatty acids in milk fat. This effect could be additive when combined with lipid supplementation. In Addition, the content of palmitic acid (C16:0) in milk fat, a type of saturated fatty acid, could be reduced by 20 to 40% through dietary adjustments, unless the supplemented lipid itself was rich in C16:0.



In conclusion, the feed given to cows plays an important role in shaping the quality and composition of milk fat. Through careful dietary modifications, dairy farmers can influence the Richert micelle value. And also, by adjusting the cow’s feed to with specific lipids, they can enhance the monounsaturated fatty acid content while reducing the content of saturated fatty acids.