Dairy fat in milk: hazard or essential part of the diet? : Consumers attitude and preferences on the basis of milk consumption

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011114403
Title: Dairy fat in milk: hazard or essential part of the diet? : Consumers attitude and preferences on the basis of milk consumption
Author: Karpik, Elena
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Food and Nutrition
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011114403
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321309
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Food Science
Food Science
Food Science
Abstract: In general the amount of fat in cow’s milk, what consists mostly of fatty acids, is about 4%, and more than half of the milk fatty acids are saturated. Dairy fat, due to its saturated fat and cholesterol content, is related to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, energy from fat can also be related to obesity. These relations also concern cow’s milk, however, its fat content remains around 4% and besides fat, there are a lot of positive effects on health, as milk is a good source of some vitamins and minerals. Milk consumption in Finland per capita has been the largest in the world for many years. There is also a market for milk substitutes, i.e. non-dairy drinks, produced mostly from oat, soy, and almond. This master’s thesis focuses on cow’s milk fat content and its relations to human health, especially the cardiovascular health and obesity. According to the hypothesis, consumer attitude towards cow’s milk is strongly affected by assumptions associated with the impact of dairy fat on health as well as the impact of dairy industry on climate change. The aim of this research was to study how detrimental or beneficial the dairy fat in milk is for human health on the basis of cow’s milk chemical composition, health related reports by authorities, research findings, historical perspectives, and consumer preferences. According to the literature, the chemical composition and nutrients properties of whole milk show that more nutrients of health benefit are present in comparison than of detrimental compounds. Most of present evidence suggest that milk and dairy products have neutral or beneficial effect on human cardiovascular health alhtough it is generally recognized in dietary recommendations that saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The experimental part investigated Finnish consumers attitudes and preferences regarding milk consumption and overall preferences and issues affecting attitude toward food choice. It appears that the study hypothesis partly refuted, as the majority of participants were not much affected by assumptions associated with the impact of dairy fat on health. However, the impact of dairy industry on climate change was a very important issue related to attitude and preference regarding milk consumption. The majority of the study participants made their choice of drinking milk on the basis of taste, and the impact on health was considered mainly as beneficial rather than detrimental.
Subject: Dairy fat
milk consumption
saturated fatty acids
cholesterol
cardiovascular disease
obesity


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