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Nutritional and therapeutic value of fermented caprine milk


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Caprine milk is a nutritional and therapeutic food. The unique and beneficial characteristics of caprine milk that are superior to bovine milk include: better digestibility; greater buffering capacity; fat globules that are smaller in diameter and better distributed in the milk emulsion; higher content of short-chain fatty acids in the milk fat; higher content of zinc, iron and magnesium; stronger lactoperoxidase (antimicrobial) system as well as better immunological and antibacterial characteristics. The larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, zinc and magnesium, in caprine milk may influence the growth of lactic acid bacteria since they are a normal part of some enzymatic complexes involved in lactose fermentation. The higher whey protein content could also be significant because Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria grow better in the presence of higher levels of some amino acids (valine, glycine, hystidine). The use of caprine and ovine milk in cheesemaking is well known, but the production of fermented caprine milk via probiotics has not yet been developed, although many studies have highlighted the requirements for production of that kind of healthy food. During fermentation caprine milk loses its characteristic ‘goaty’ taste, which is unacceptable to many consumers. Moreover, the nutritive value of caprine milk increases during fermentation. The rise in the number of goat farms in Croatia has created the need to find other products that can be produced using caprine milk. According to the present situation in Croatia, there is no real possibility of producing fermented caprine milk for the global market, but many studies of fermented caprine milk have been performed.