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Variable sialic acid content in milk of Indian cattle and buffalo across different stages of lactation

Rekha Sharma, Sonika Ahlawat, Himani Sharma, R A K Aggarwal, Vivek Sharma, M S Tantia
Journal of Dairy Research 2018 December 6, : 1-4
The aim of this Research Communication was to contribute to the knowledge of milk sialic acid concentration of bovines with specific focus on India. Sialic acids (SA) are important constituents of mammalian milks. Buffaloes are the main milk producing species in India, therefore, our research focused on both cow and buffalo. Two Indian cattle (Bos indicus) breeds (Sahiwal, Tharparkar), one cross bred cattle - Karan Fries (Tharparkar × Holstein Friesian) and a buffalo breed (Murrah) were selected. Systematic comparisons of the total, free and bound form of SA and also its distribution over the course of lactation- colostrums and mature milk (120-140 d) was generated. Animal management, sample collection and methodology of SA estimation were identical for the different groups. Colostrum had the highest concentration of SA, which declined with the progress of lactation in all the groups. Majority of the SA existed in bound form. No significant (P < 0.05) difference was recorded in the total, bound or free SA across all the groups. However, differences were obvious in the total and bound SA level in the mature milk. Indian cattle, Sahiwal and Tharparkar were equivalent, but had higher concentration of total and bound SA than crossbred cattle. Milk of buffalo had SA equivalent to that of crossbred cattle. The mean (se) levels of total SA was 23.4 (0.8), 25.8 (2.4), 20.3 (0.6) and 20.2 (1.2) in Sahiwal, Tharparkar, cross bred and Murrah buffalo, respectively. The findings suggested that milk of indigenous cattle may be a potential source of SA, a bioactive compound with beneficial effect on human health and a potential functional ingredient in foods. Results add value to the currently declining indigenous cattle of India.


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