Donkey's milk detailed lipid composition

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2:537-46. doi: 10.2741/e112.


Donkey's milk (DM) has recently aroused scientific interest, above all among paediatric allergologists. A deeper knowledge of both proteins and fats in donkey's milk is necessary to evaluate the immunological, physiological and nutritional properties. By using the most refined techniques for fatty acids analysis, the paper offers a detailed comparative analysis of the lipid fractions of DM as well as of human and cow milk, also indicating the distribution of fatty-acid moieties among sn-1/3 and sn-2 positions of the glycerol backbone. In DM the position of fatty acids on glycerol backbone, above all of long chain saturated fatty acids, is very similar to that of human milk: this fact, in conjunction with the relatively high contents of medium-chain triglycerides, makes the lipids in DM, through quantitatively reduced, highly bioavailable. The high PUFA n-3 content of donkey's milk, and especially its low n-6/n-3 ratio, acquires particular interest in subjects affected by cow's milk protein allergy. Whole DM might also constitute the basis for formulas suitable for subjects in the first year of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Equidae
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*


  • Lipids