The Minerals of Milk

Reprod Nutr Dev. Jul-Aug 2005;45(4):473-83. doi: 10.1051/rnd:2005030.


The salt of milk constitutes a small part of milk (8-9 g.L(-1)); this fraction contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium for the main cations and inorganic phosphate, citrate and chloride for the main anions. In milk, these ions are more or less associated between themselves and with proteins. Depending on the type of ion, they are diffusible (cases of sodium, potassium and chloride) or partially associated with casein molecules (cases of calcium, magnesium, phosphate and citrate), to form large colloidal particles called casein micelles. Today, our knowledge and understanding concerning this fraction is relatively complete. In this review, the different models explaining (i) the nature and distribution of these minerals (especially calcium phosphate) in both fractions of milk and (ii) their behaviour in different physico-chemical conditions, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Caseins / analysis*
  • Cattle
  • Chelating Agents
  • Female
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnesium / analysis
  • Micelles
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Salts / analysis


  • Caseins
  • Chelating Agents
  • Micelles
  • Minerals
  • Phosphates
  • Salts
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium