Phospholipid classes and fatty acid composition of ewe’s and goat’s milk


  • L. Zancada Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca
  • F. Pérez-Díez Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca
  • F. Sánchez-Juanes Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca
  • J. M. Alonso Departamento de Bioquímica, Biología Molecular y Fisiología, Escuela Universitaria de Ingenierías Agrarias de Soria, Universidad de Valladolid
  • L. A. García-Pardo Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León
  • P. Hueso Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca



Bacterial adhesion, Fatty acid, Goat milk, Ovine milk, Phospholipid


The content, distribution of individual species, and the fatty acid composition of phospholipids (PL) from ewe’s and goat’s milk were analyzed. The binding of enterotoxigenic and uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains to PL and the inhibition of bacterial hemagglutination by PL were addressed using high performance thin-layer chromatography-overlay assays and microtiter plates, respectively. Ovine and caprine milk contained more PL than bovine milk but less than human milk. The profile of individual PL was similar, including sphingomyelin, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol in both ovine and caprine milk. Regarding the fatty acid composition, a high content of long-chain fatty acids (more than C16) and unsaturated fatty acids, with C18:1 as the most abundant was found in ovine and caprine milk PL. Ovine milk has longer and less saturated fatty acids while caprine milk has shorter and more saturated ones. Neither the adhesion of any bacterial strains assayed to the individual PL from ovine or caprine milk nor the inhibition of bacterial hemagglutination by PL were observed. These are important constituents of the milk fat globule membrane, but it seems that they do not play a role in the defence of new-borns against bacteria if the results obtained are taken into account.


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How to Cite

Zancada L, Pérez-Díez F, Sánchez-Juanes F, Alonso JM, García-Pardo LA, Hueso P. Phospholipid classes and fatty acid composition of ewe’s and goat’s milk. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2013Jun.30 [cited 2023Jan.29];64(3):304-10. Available from: