The paper surveyed the chemical composition and nitrogen distribution of Maiwa yak milk, and compared the results with reference composition of cow milk. Compared to cow milk, yak milk was richer in protein (especially whey protein), essential amino acids, fat, lactose and minerals (except phosphorus). The contents of some nutrients (total protein, lactose, essential amino acids and casein) were higher in the warm season than in the cold season. Higher ratios of total essential amino acids/total amino acids (TEAA/TAA) and total essential amino acids/total non essential amino acids (TEAA/TNEAA) were found in the yak milk from the warm season. However its annual average ratio of EAA/TAA and that of EAA/NEAA were similar to those of cow milk. Yak milk was rich in calcium and iron (p < 0.05), and thus may serve as a nutritional ingredient with a potential application in industrial processing.
Keywords: chemical composition; nitrogen distribution; seasonal changes; yak milk.