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Gross, mineral and fatty acid composition of alpaca (Vicugna pacos) milk at 30 and 60 days of lactation

Martini, Mina, Altomonte, Iolanda, da Silva Sant'ana, Amanda Marilia, Del Plavignano, Giada, Salari, Federica
Small ruminant research 2015 v.132 pp. 50-54
Vicugna pacos, alpacas, calcium, casein, conjugated linoleic acid, fatty acid composition, goat milk, lactation, llamas, milk, mineral content, nutrition knowledge, progeny, protein content, sheep
The aim of this study was to investigate the composition of alpaca milk in order to improve knowledge of the nutritional needs of crias during their first months of life. Analyses of alpaca milk were performed in terms of chemical, mineral composition and fatty acid profile during the first two months of lactation. Percentages of fat, protein, casein and ash did not change in the first two months of lactation. Alpaca milk showed a similar protein content to sheep and camelid milk such as llama (Lama glama), lower casein content compared to ruminants, and similar fat percentages to cow and goat milk. The Ca and P content was similar to cow milk. Concerning the fatty acid profile, alpaca milk had higher conjugated linoleic acid (C18:2 cis 9, trans 11) and unsaturated fatty acid contents than ruminant milk, and a low percentage of fatty acids with chains <C14: 0. In fact, during the first months of life, alpaca offspring may not sufficiently exploit these fatty acids. Ruminant milk cannot be considered as an ideal surrogate for the nutritional needs of crias.