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2. Composition of Mare’s Colostrum and Milk – A Review

Currently, there is considerable interest in the use of mare’s milk for human consumption in Western Europe. It has been suggested that mare’s milk may be curative agent for metabolic and allergic diseases and, consequently, the price paid for mare’s milk has increased greatly, for this research is needed to evaluate the value of mare’s milk as a human food. Based on the fact that data on composition, of mare’s milk are limited, a study was initiated to evaluate the composition of mare’s milk. The objectives of the experiment were to evaluate time changes in milk composition from foaling to 45 days of lactation as well. The author summarise the result of their experiments, and compare to the data are located in the literature, and give an overview about the composition of the colostrum and milk. They established that the total protein, whey protein, casein and NPN contents, respectively, were 16.41, 13.46, 2.95 and 0.052% for colostrum immediately after parturition; 4.13, 2.11, 2.02 and 0.043% for milk between the 2nd and 5th days and 2.31, 1.11, 1.20 and 0.031% for milk in the 8th to 45th days of lactation. The ratios of true protein and whey protein to total protein decreased, while the comparable ratios of casein and NPN increased from foaling to 45 days. The amino acid content of colostrum and milk decreased during the first 45 days of lactation. Most of the essential amino acids (threonine, valine, cystine, tyrosine and lysine) decreased, while glutamic acid and proline increased in the milk protein after parturition. Therefore, the biological value of the milk protein is highest (132.3) immediately after parturition due to very high levels of threonine and lysine. This value decreases in the course of 5 days to 119.7 and to 107.9 on the 45th day of lactation. The total solid and the fat content, respectively, of the colostrum and milk were 24.25 to 26.28% and 2.85 to 2.93% on the first day of lactation, 12.15 to 12.78% and 2.05 to 2.17% on the 2nd to 5th days and 10.37 to 10.61% and 1.04 to 1.32% on the 8th to 45th days of lactation. The concentrations of octanoic, decanoic, dodecanoic, miristic and palmitoleic acids increased over time while stearic, oleic, linolic and linolenic acids decreased. Mare’s milk fat contained octanoic, decanoic, dodecanoic, linolic, linolenic, stearic, miristic and palmitic acids, respectively, in respective ratios of approximately 9.6, 3.1, 2.1, 4.4, 224, 0.2, 0.6 and 0.5 times those of concentrations in cow’s milk. The essential fatty acid content of mare’s milk was higher than that of cow’s milk. Content of vitamins A, D, K and C of colostrum (0.88, 0.0054, 0.043, 23.8 mg/kg) was found to be 1.4 to 2.6 times the levels in normal milk (0.34, 0.0032, 0.029, 17.2 mg/kg). There was no significant difference found between vitamin E content of colostrum and milk (1.342 and 1.128 mg/kg). Ash content of colostrum (0.592%) was significantly higher than that of normal milk (0.405%). Calcium content was lowest immediately after foaling (747.7 mg/kg) and reached a maximum on day 5 (953.7 mg/kg). Zinc and copper content decreased after reaching a maximum on day 5, while manganese content increased to day 5 and maintained that level. The macro- and microelement content (mg/kg) of colostrum and milk, respectively, was: potassium, 928.6 and 517.2; sodium, 320.0 and 166.6; calcium, 747.7 and 822.9; phosphorus, 741.7 and 498.8; magnesium, 139.7 and 65.87; zinc, 2.95 and 1.99; iron, 0.996 and 1.209; copper, 0.606 and 0.249 and manganese, 0.0447 and 0.0544. The low sodium content of mare’s milk is a particularly desirable attribute for a dietary component for cardiovascular disorder and hypertension patients.


Hungarian Dairy Journal. 2018. 75 (1) 29-42.


Szerző: authorsó-Salamon_A-kanca-kolosztrumának-és-tejének-összetétele.pdf