An Alternative Energy Source

March 2021

LinPRO-R provides a softer spread to butter

Recent news about specific types of fat sources being fed to dairy cows has created significant media and consumer attention.  Questions have arisen on alternate energy sources, sustainability of products and of course the hardness of butter. Alternative energy sources are available and one such opportunity is a protected polyunsaturated fat called LinPRO®-R.  Polyunsaturated fats are softer creating an opportunity to address the texture in butter that everyone has been discussing. On top of this, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats bring a wealth of immunity opportunities for livestock. And lastly…

Made here in Canada

The following is a summary of an alternative energy source. LinPRO-R is a protected polyunsaturated fat source, providing energy plus added immunity benefits originating from its flaxseed ingredient source. Flaxseed is an energy-rich Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat that is softer because of their carbon chain. Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and are a healthier energy source for the cow. LinPRO-R will pass through the cow’s rumen and into the lower intestine, and ultimately into the butter fat creating softer dairy products (cheese, butter).

A series of topics are listed below with a corresponding explanation. An alternative energy source is proposed with possible opportunities that lie ahead. Ultimately, why is table butter no longer soft at room temperature? And why above all, do dairy rations contain palm oil ?


1)   Fats and oils: essential dietary energy source for milk production

Lipid supplementation in dairy rations has been used for decades, to some extent for cattle breeding, but largely to increase energy density in the diet. These incremental fat sources improve cow health and performance, and ultimately increase the butter fat in raw milk .


2)   The dairy cow’s rumen will by-pass inert C16:0 saturated fats 

The raw palm oil being discussed in various media sources is distilled and processed to provide a solid saturated fat product that can be added directly into a lactating dairy diet. This processed product is primarily grown and harvested in Malaysia and Indonesia. The semi-purified processed palm oil is high in C16:0 saturated fat, and will by-pass the rumen. The C16:0 fatty acids are then absorbed by the mammary gland of the dairy cow and and finally into the milk fat. Current nutritional practice for dairy cows has processed palm fats being added at approximately 1.5% (350g to 500g) of total daily dietary intake. The result of using these inert palm fats is an increase of 0.2 – 0.4 percent milk fat. 

3)  Why #buttergate

The Covid lockdown has made us cook at home and increased consumption of dairy products  in Canada by 12%. Positive news!

Canadian dairy farmers have responded to the positive dairy demand by increasing the energy density in dairy cows diets. The added energy inclusion has altered the fat breakdown of milk, including added saturated fats and ultimately increased butter hardness. This has led to further questioning on the health and sustainability of using imported processed palm oil fats as an ongoing dietary energy source for dairy production. The Canadian “buttergate” has led to the distance between animal scientists, human nutritionists and consumers.

4)  Is there an alternative and sustainable energy source, here in Canada?

Yes, there are alternative energy sources. LinPRO-R is a natural energy source for dairy cows made by dry-extruding several ingredients including flaxseed, alfalfa, vitamin E and dried peas. What makes linPRO-R unique is that it is an easy-to-use, stable source of land-based Omega-3s that can be added to a dairy cow’s diet to provide a rumen protected source of essential fatty acids.

The polyunsaturated fatty acids in linPRO-R are primarily Omega-3’s and are rumen protected, created through O&T Farms dry-extrusion process, and leading to the creation of a unique protein/fat matrix. A picture of that protein/fat matrix is shown at the beginning of this article. This matrix mitigates the biohydrogenation of its fat within the rumen and brings healthy benefits to dairy cows: positive immunity response, reduction of mastitis, improved conception rates and improved milk performance.

Key Nutritional Information of linPRO-R

  • Fat %                   22%    (% Dry Matter)
       By-pass rate     35%    (% of Fat)
  • Energy (NEL)       2.68% (Mcal/kg) 
  • Omega-3 Fat       10.6% (% Dry Matter)
  • Protein %             24%    (% Dry Matter)
       RUP, % CP       58%    (% Dry Matter)

A naturally better choice for consumers : 

LinPRO-R is rich in the Omega-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA) and offers opportunities for the development of enriched Omega-3 milk products, all naturally. By rebalancing the dietary intake for the cows, fats can be naturally adjusted in the final product to create nutritionally better milk.

  • Bring health benefits to consumers (immunity, cardivascular diseases,…)
  • Improving biochemical characteristics (i.e. reducing melting points)

A sustainable source

LinPRO-R is made from ingredients grown here in Canada (flaxseed, alfalfa and peas). These are sustainable ingredients that are grown and processed here in Canada and sold world-wide. The ingredients provide a low environmental foot-print and in fact support reduction of nitrogen gas emmisions for cows.


A targeted fat feeding program that incorporates LinPRO-R into the cow’s diet increases the Omega-3 energy density, reduces negative energy balance during their transition period and  increases fertility and milk production. There are alternative energy sources available, and O&T Farms LinPRO-R is a source.



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O&T Farms offers superior feed ingredients through our innovative dry extrusion technology and research and development program.