Equine milk and its potential use in the human diet


Food Sci. Technol




Abstract Our objective was to address the use of equine milk for human consumption, highlighting important compositional aspects and peculiar characteristics of this milk. Equine milk stands out for its similarity to breastmilk in compositional aspects considering the quality of the protein and lipid fractions, and due to the presence of important bioactive compounds. The high percentage of whey proteins and the structure of the protein micelles favor equine milk’s digestibility, while its bioactive protein richness and the good relationships established between fatty acids highlight it as a functional food. Children who are allergic to cow's milk protein, the elderly and/or people affected by skin and gastrointestinal disorders are potential consumer of equine milk. Assays have proven the therapeutic properties of koumiss ; high tolerability of equine milk by children who are intolerant to cow’s milk; beneficial effects in treating atopic dermatitis and chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; and potential of this milk in the prophylaxis and/or nutritional support of patients affected by several diseases. Scientific findings highlight the potential of equine milk as a beneficial food for human health, regarding both its nutritional aspects and functionalities, which could contribute to the increased demand for equine milk in global dairy market.

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