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Role of antioxidant molecules in milk of sheep

Caroprese, M., Ciliberti, M.G., Albenzio, M., Marino, R., Santillo, A., Sevi, A.
Small ruminant research 2019 v.180 pp. 79-85
allergens, ambient temperature, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, ewe milk, fatty acids, lactation, milk, oxidants, oxidation, oxidative stress, sheep, vitamins, whey protein
Sheep milk contains a large number of antioxidant molecules, such as whey proteins, vitamins, fatty acids and others. In sheep milk the oxidation process is naturally balanced by the presence of constitutive antioxidant agents, however, the abundance of this antioxidant compounds depends also by the stressor conditions to which animal can be exposed. The stage of lactation together with particular environmental conditions, such as the high ambient temperatures, can cause an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants, being responsible for the oxidative stress that can be measured both in plasma and in milk samples. Different methods to measure the antioxidant activity of milk have been proposed, according to each single antioxidant compounds and to the need for consumers’ health of decreasing the exposition to oxidized proteins capable for creation of a novel class of allergens. However, the golden standard for the measurement of antioxidant activity in milk has not still found. Therefore, the present review aims at describing the roles of various antioxidant molecules of milk, and provides an overview of the different methods available to measure the total antioxidant capacity of milk.