Donkey milk is particularly recommended for infant nutrition as substitute of cow milk in case of sensitive neonates (showing cow milk protein allergies). Its protein composition and the ratio between caseins and whey proteins reveals a high similarity with human milk, thus, in the last 10 years, an increasing interest arose to obtain a full characterisation of donkey milk proteins, here acknowledged. Digestibility data, mainly derived in vitro with human gastrointestinal enzymes, showed the high digestibility of donkey caseins and major whey proteins, except lysozyme and α-lactalbumin which proved to be quite resistant. The reported antimicrobial properties of donkey milk open concrete possibilities to use donkey milk as natural food preservative. Due to its attractive healthy properties, donkey milk was investigated for useful applications or to develop novel foods characterised by a high nutritional profile.
Part of the book: Milk Proteins