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The magic of milk-based components


*Corresponding author
Milk Specialties Global, 7500 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 500, Eden Prairie, MN 55344, USA


Milk is a necessary part of a healthy diet. It contains unique nutrients such as high-biological value proteins like casein and whey, as well as bioactive compounds. Many of the beneficial nutrients found in milk can be extracted as functional ingredients and used in making as functional foods. Herein is a review of selected functional ingredients from milk including those from: proteins like whey protein, alphalactalbumin, and lactopeptides; carbohydrates like the prebiotic, galactooligosaccharide; and from fat like trans-palmitolic acid and phospholipids. Colostrum is reviewed as well. These functional ingredients were selected for review, because they represent compounds that a typical dairy processing plant would extract and offer. Selected human studies on these bovine functional ingredients are reviewed. Many people prefer to use functional ingredients in functional foods, rather than drinking milk. Based on the literature review is it possible to use efficacious amounts of functional ingredients from milk to target specific conditions. Herein is a review of the biological actions of these functional ingredients, and how they can be incorporated into functional foods.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Dr. Bell serves as a consultant to Milk Specialties Global, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a manufacturer of bioactive compounds from dairy products. Mr. Kafley is a full-time employee there.

The demand for functional foods containing bioactive, functional ingredients is increasing. Many people prefer to consume a functional food targeted for a specific condition, like to enhance exercise or manage diabetes, than to consume conventional foods. One good example of popular functional ingredients are those derived from fluid milk. Dairy products are recommended for healthy people, but paradoxically fluid milk consumption has been declining over the past half century (1). Thus, opportunities exist to create functional foods using the bioactive ingredients from milk to offer unique benefits. For example, milk contains functional ingredients such as high-quality whey protein, which enhances satiety, and attenuates oxidative stress and inflammation; these often accompany obesity and other chronic disease of aging like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) (2-4). In additio ...

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