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Use of Donkey Milk in Children with Cow\'s Milk Protein Allergy
Published: 25 March 2013 by MDPI in Foods: Bioactives, Processing, Quality and Nutrition session Allergens and Intolerances
Abstract: Human breast milk is the best nutritional support that insure the right development and influence immune status of the newborn infant. However, when it is not possible to breast feeding may be necessary to use commercial infant formulas that mimic, where possible, the levels and types of nutrients present in human milk. Despite this, some formula-fed infant develops allergy and/or atopic disease compared to breast-fed infants. Cow\'s milk allergy can be divided into immunoglobulin Ig-E mediated food allergy and non–IgE-mediated food allergy. Most infants with cow\'s milk protein allergy (CMPA) develop symptoms before 1 month of age, often within 1 week after introduction of cow\'s milk-based formula. Donkey milk may be considered a good substitute for cow\'s milk in feeding children with CMPA since its composition is very similar to human milk. Donkey milk total protein content is low (13-28 mg/mL), very close to human milk. In particular, donkey milk is rich in whey proteins; they represent 35-50% of the nitrogen fraction, while in cow\'s milk only 20%. A deep analysis of the donkey milk protein profile has been performed in this study; the interest was focused on the milk proteins considered safe for the prevention and treatment of various disorders in human. The content of lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and lysozyme, peptides with antimicrobial activity, able to stimulate the development of the neonatal intestine, was determined. Donkey milk is characterized by a low casein content, with values very close to human milk; the total whey protein content in donkey milk is 7.50 mg/mL, very close to human milk (8.0 mg/mL). Among whey proteins, α-lactalbumin concentration in donkey milk is 1.8 mg/mL. The results of this study confirmed the possibility of using donkey milk in feeding children with CMPA .
Keywords: donkey milk; milk protein allergy; bioactive peptides