THE RELATION OF THE SOLUBLE PORTION OF ALFALFA TO
THE RAPID ABSORPTION OF FEED FLAVOR IN MILK
C. L. ROADHOUSE AND J. L. HENDERSON
Dairy Industry Division, University of California, Davis
Feed as a source of flavor in milk has been known for more than a
century (1) and the absorption of feed flavors in milk soon after the feed
has been consumed has been reported by investigators in recent times (2)
to (6). Although it has been generally accepted that feed, is an important
source of flavor in milk when given to cows previous to milking, it has not
been previously described how the feed flavor could appear in the milk
20-30 minutes after the ingestion of the feed, since the feed ordinarily re-
mains in the rumen several hours before it passes on to the abomasum or
fourth stomach and the intestinal
tract where absorption takes place.
Schalk and Amadon (7) in their study of the physiology of rumination
pointed out that as soon as roughage was swallowed by the animal and
passed into the rumen it was flooded with waves of liquid forced into the
rumen from the second stomach. This action takes place with each
peristaltic contraction of the rumen.
This offered to the writers a possible
explanation for the presence of the feed flavor in milk soon after flavor-
producing feeds were consumed by the animal.
The present experiment
was undertaken to study the rate at which the juice of the alfalfa plant
made its appearance as a feed flavor in the milk.
Green alfalfa, cut just before the bloom stage, was immediately placed
in the cold storage room at 15 ° F. and thoroughly frozen. The purpose of
the freezing was to rupture the plant cell walls, thus aiding in the extrac-
tion of juice from the plant tissues (8). After thawing the alfalfa at room
temperature, it was cut into fine pieces by the use of a food grinder and the
liquid pressed out of the pulp and filtered to remove all solid particles.
This juice was then administered to the cows as a drench.
from 25 pounds of a