Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Equids".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 37502

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari A. Moro, 70010 Valenzano, Italy
Interests: ruminant nutrition; meat; milk; animal welfare; fatty acids; volatile compounds; by-products in ruminant feeding; methane emission; in vitro digestion

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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University Aldo Moro of Bari, Valenzano, Italy
Interests: milk; meat; welfare; farm management; feeding management

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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: equid milk; milk yield; milk quality; nutritional and nutraceutical quality; farm management

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology and Food Science, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Interests: dairy science and technology; fermentation; lactic acid bacteria; donkey milk; bioactive peptides; probiotics

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Guest Editor
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: animal selection; horse breeding; mares milk production; equine niche production indigenous breeds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Interests: horse and donkey meat; meat tenderization process; proteomics; meat oxidation; animal welfare

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Equids have been used worldwide since ancient times, as working animals in agriculture and for transporting people. Mechanization and industrialization have reduced these needs, leading some asinine and horse breeds to become endangered. In the last couple of decades, both the scientific community and farmers have made a great effort in repositioning donkeys and cold-blooded horse breeds in other economic activities, mainly focused on milk and meat production, although associated with other ancillary non-material productions (animal-assisted activities and therapies, agroecological services, etc.). Worldwide, equid food production is diffused in a lot of cultures, and represents an important opportunity for valorizing not only animal biodiversity, but a model of food production with a low environmental impact that is sustainable from both an economic and social point of view.

The present Issue aims to collect innovations in equid food production with a multidisciplinary approach.

In this Special Issue of Animals, we invite the submission of manuscripts, both original research and review articles, addressing animal management, animal welfare, reproduction, feeding techniques, equids meat and milk production efficiency, meat and milk quality, and innovation in dairy and processed meat technology, as well as environmental impact and economics studies.

We invite you to share your recent discoveries to this Special Issue. 

Prof. Rosaria Marino
Prof. Mina Martini
Prof. Pasquale De Palo
Prof. Aristide Maggiolino
Prof. Klemen Potocnik
Prof. Photis Papademas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • horse
  • donkeys
  • meat
  • milk
  • animal management
  • welfare
  • feeding techniques
  • reproduction

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
Nutritional Profile of Donkey and Horse Meat: Effect of Muscle and Aging Time
by Rosaria Marino, Antonella della Malva, Aristide Maggiolino, Pasquale De Palo, Francesca d’Angelo, Josè Manuel Lorenzo, Agostino Sevi and Marzia Albenzio
Animals 2022, 12(6), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060746 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6070
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 14-day vacuum aging on the nutritional composition of donkey and horse meat. Longissimus Dorsi (LD), Semimebranosus (SM), and Rectus Femoris (RF), Semitendinosus (ST) muscles were sampled from each left carcass of 12 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 14-day vacuum aging on the nutritional composition of donkey and horse meat. Longissimus Dorsi (LD), Semimebranosus (SM), and Rectus Femoris (RF), Semitendinosus (ST) muscles were sampled from each left carcass of 12 donkeys and 12 horses, respectively. Each muscle was divided into three sections, vacuum packaged, and stored at 2 °C for different aging times (1, 6, and 14 days). Fatty acids, amino acids, and cholesterol content were determined. SM exhibited higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) both in donkey and horse, whereas LD evidenced higher saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fatty acids and lower cholesterol content in horse after 1, 6, and 14 days of storage. An aging effect was found only in donkey meat with higher saturated fatty acids and lower PUFA content at the end of the aging period. The highest value of essential amino acids has been displayed in SM an LD muscles from horse and donkey, respectively. Our results highlighted that equine meat, due to an excellent nutritional profile, represents a healthy alternative to traditionally consumed red meat. A different aging method could be used in donkey meat to preserve the high PUFA content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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15 pages, 1526 KiB  
Article
The Indicators of Clinical and Subclinical Mastitis in Equine Milk
by Dominika Domańska, Michał Trela, Bartosz Pawliński, Bartłomiej Podeszewski and Małgorzata Domino
Animals 2022, 12(4), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040440 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
The somatic cell count in milk (SCC) and electrical conductivity of milk (ECM) are indicators of the health status of the mammary gland. Among somatic cells, mainly polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), macrophages (MAC), and lymphocytes (LYM) are rated. This study aimed to determine the [...] Read more.
The somatic cell count in milk (SCC) and electrical conductivity of milk (ECM) are indicators of the health status of the mammary gland. Among somatic cells, mainly polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), macrophages (MAC), and lymphocytes (LYM) are rated. This study aimed to determine the SCC, PMN, MAC, LYM, ECM, and bacteriological index (BII) in milk collected from mares with (CM) and without (NCM) clinical symptoms of mastitis concerning mares with (SM) and without (NSM) subclinical mastitis. Milk samples were collected from 27 mares divided into NCM (n = 12) and CM (n = 15) groups. In samples, SCC quantification, cytological examinations, ECM measurement, and bacteriological examination were performed. In NCM mares, the values of SCC, PMN, MAC, LYM, and ECM were higher in initial than in consecutive examined days after birth until weaning. After weaning the proportion of SCC, PMN, MAC, LYM, ECM, and BII increased and did not differ with the average values in CM mares. These equine milk indicators may reflect an early symptom of subclinical mastitis and in the future may be used in the early detection of mastitis or as a tool of assessment of the health status of the mammary gland in the dairy equine farm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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11 pages, 994 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Physiological Status and Diet on Blood Metabolic Parameters in Amiata Dairy Donkeys
by Federica Salari, Cristina Roncoroni, Iolanda Altomonte, Carlo Boselli, Giovanni Brajon and Mina Martini
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113292 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Body weight changes and blood metabolic parameters in jennies feeding two different diets and in three physiological statuses were investigated (maintenance vs. pregnancy; maintenance vs. lactation). The relationships between blood metabolic profile and milk quality were also evaluated. Fourteen jennies were allocated to [...] Read more.
Body weight changes and blood metabolic parameters in jennies feeding two different diets and in three physiological statuses were investigated (maintenance vs. pregnancy; maintenance vs. lactation). The relationships between blood metabolic profile and milk quality were also evaluated. Fourteen jennies were allocated to two groups (1: pregnant/lactating; 2: non-pregnant, non–lactating). Pregnant jennies and maintenance jennies (during the first 10-week measurement period) fed a diet consisted of ad libitum grass hay (diet 1); lactating jennies and maintenance jennies (during the last 10-week measurement period) fed ad libitum grass hay plus 2 kg/head/day of concentrate (diet 2). Blood sampling was performed on the jennies of both groups; individual milk samples were also collected during the first 70 days in milk. Higher blood NEFA (p < 0.05) were found in pregnant compared to maintenance jennies (diet 1) (68 vs. 37 μmol/L). Lactating jennies showed higher (p < 0.01) average blood NEFA (268 vs. 26 μmol/L) and glucose (66 vs. 55 mg/dL) compared to the maintenance (diet 2). Blood glucose was positively correlated to milk fat (p < 0.05), while negative significant correlations between de novo milk fatty acids and NEFAs were observed. Positive correlations between plasma B-HBA and somatic cell count (p < 0.01) were also found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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12 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Effect of Gender on Meat Quality from Adult Obsolescent Horses
by Violeta Razmaitė, Rūta Šveistienė, Alma Račkauskaitė and Virginija Jatkauskienė
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102880 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The objective of the study was to assess the influence of gender, age, and carcass weight on the properties of meat from adult horses slaughtered in Lithuania. M. pectoralis profundus of twenty-six obsolescent horses from 3 to 21 years of age were used [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to assess the influence of gender, age, and carcass weight on the properties of meat from adult horses slaughtered in Lithuania. M. pectoralis profundus of twenty-six obsolescent horses from 3 to 21 years of age were used in the experiment. Gender appeared to affect the horse meat properties. Stallions demonstrated (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively) lower content of dry matter and also considerably lower (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01) intramuscular fat content compared with mares and geldings and higher (p < 0.01) cholesterol content compared with mares. The meat of stallions showed the highest pH; however, a significant (p < 0.01) difference was obtained only in comparison with mares. Meat lightness (L*) and yellowness (b*) of stallions were lower (p < 0.05) compared with geldings. Meat toughness of stallions was also lower (p < 0.01) than the meat of mares and geldings. The highest (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) proportion of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), higher (p < 0.05) and more favorable PUFA/SFA ratio, and also the highest (p < 0.05) but least favorable n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio, were detected in the muscles of stallions compared with mares and geldings. The differences in horse ages did not exhibit any effect on the properties of M. pectoralis profundus. Despite the age differences at the decline of horse life, the properties of the horse meat exhibited good quality and showed that horse meat is potentially highly beneficial to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
17 pages, 8833 KiB  
Article
Muscle and Subcutaneous Fatty Acid Composition and the Evaluation of Ageing Time on Meat Quality Parameters of Hispano-Bretón Horse Breed
by Lorea R. Beldarrain, Lara Morán, Miguel Ángel Sentandreu, Kizkitza Insausti, Luis Javier R. Barron and Noelia Aldai
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051421 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2620
Abstract
A full-randomized block design was used for the study of the FA composition and meat quality parameters, considering ageing time as a split-plot factor. Chemical and fatty acid composition of steaks (longissimus thoracis and lumborum muscle) from 15 month old semiextensively reared Hispano-Bretón [...] Read more.
A full-randomized block design was used for the study of the FA composition and meat quality parameters, considering ageing time as a split-plot factor. Chemical and fatty acid composition of steaks (longissimus thoracis and lumborum muscle) from 15 month old semiextensively reared Hispano-Bretón horses were characterized (day 0), and the effect of vacuum ageing (0, 7, 14 and 21 days) on several meat quality parameters (pH, instrumental color and texture and cook loss) was determined. The average fat content of horse loin was 3.31%, and the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content, although higher than in ruminant meats, suggested that the finishing on a high-grain diet limited muscle n-3 accumulation. Results revealed that ageing affected all meat quality measurements; color started to turn brownish at 14 days of ageing, with a decrease in redness but not in yellowness. Tenderness improved during the first two weeks, and the Warner-Bratzler shear force scores showed that meat aged for 7 days could be considered as ‘intermediate tender’. Under the present study conditions, an ageing period between 7 and 14 days is recommended for an optimum horse meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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14 pages, 1015 KiB  
Article
Effect of Breed and Finishing Diet on Growth Parameters and Carcass Quality Characteristics of Navarre Autochthonous Foals
by Aurora Cittadini, María V. Sarriés, Rubén Domínguez, Gregorio Indurain and José M. Lorenzo
Animals 2021, 11(2), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020488 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
This research was conducted to study the effect of breed, Jaca Navarra (JN) vs. Burguete (BU), and finishing diet, conventional concentrate—diet 1 vs. silage and organic feed diet 2—on growth parameters and carcass characteristics from forty-six foals. Parameters as live weight (LW), average [...] Read more.
This research was conducted to study the effect of breed, Jaca Navarra (JN) vs. Burguete (BU), and finishing diet, conventional concentrate—diet 1 vs. silage and organic feed diet 2—on growth parameters and carcass characteristics from forty-six foals. Parameters as live weight (LW), average daily gain (ADG), body condition score (BCS), and fat depots were monitoring. In addition, the carcass parameters assessed were: carcass weight (CW), conformation, degree of fatness, morphology, and pH. Moreover, hindquarters of the left-half carcasses were sectioned in the main commercial primal cuts of leg. Results showed a clear “breed effect” in favor of BU foals, recording the highest productive values and carcass traits compared with JN foals. On the other hand, finishing diet contributed to improving the productive and carcass features of JN foals. In particular, diet 1 showed to affect positively the features analyzed compared with diet 2. Nevertheless, the meat primal cuts resulted in being unaffected by the breed and diet effects (except for knuckle), obtaining similar values among the groups of animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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10 pages, 832 KiB  
Article
Optimization of UV-C Processing of Donkey Milk: An Alternative to Pasteurization?
by Photis Papademas, Panagiotis Mousikos and Maria Aspri
Animals 2021, 11(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010042 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3111
Abstract
The effect of UV-C light technology on the inactivation of six foodborne pathogens inoculated in raw donkey milk was evaluated. Fresh raw donkey milk was artificially inoculated with the following foodborne pathogens—L. inoccua (NCTC 11288), S. aureus (NCTC 6571), B. cereus (NCTC [...] Read more.
The effect of UV-C light technology on the inactivation of six foodborne pathogens inoculated in raw donkey milk was evaluated. Fresh raw donkey milk was artificially inoculated with the following foodborne pathogens—L. inoccua (NCTC 11288), S. aureus (NCTC 6571), B. cereus (NCTC 7464), Cronobacter sakazakii (NCTC 11467), E. coli (NCTC 9001), Salmonella enteritidis (NCTC 6676)—and then treated with UV-C doses of up to 1300 J/L. L. innocua was the most UV-C-resistant of the bacteria tested, requiring 1100 J/L for complete inactivation, while the rest of the bacteria tested was destructed in the range of 200–600 J/L. Results obtained from this study indicate that UV-C light technology has the potential to be used as a non-thermal processing method for the reduction of spoilage bacteria and foodborne pathogens that can be present in raw donkey milk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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16 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
How Volatile Compounds, Oxidative Profile and Sensory Evaluation Can Change with Vacuum Aging in Donkey Meat
by Aristide Maggiolino, José Manuel Lorenzo, Gerardo Centoducati, Rubén Domínguez, Francesca Rita Dinardo, Rosaria Marino, Antonella della Malva, Andrea Bragaglio and Pasquale De Palo
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112126 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2286
Abstract
This study aims to improve knowledge on donkey meat and the vacuum aging effect on the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), oxidative profile and status and the sensory characteristics. Ten 18-month old Martina Franca donkeys’ male foals were involved in the trial. Longissimus thoracis [...] Read more.
This study aims to improve knowledge on donkey meat and the vacuum aging effect on the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), oxidative profile and status and the sensory characteristics. Ten 18-month old Martina Franca donkeys’ male foals were involved in the trial. Longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle was extracted from each left half carcass, between the fourth and the ninth rib. Each muscle was divided into five sections, vacuum packaged, stored at 2 °C, and randomly assigned to one of the different aging time (1, 3, 6, 9, and 14 days of aging). Volatile compounds, oxidation parameters, and antioxidant enzymes were analysed, and a sensory test was performed. A nested one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed for aging time as an independent variable. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Aldehydes are the most produced VOCs, but no changes were observed during vacuum aging (p > 0.05). Nitrogen compounds increased during aging (p < 0.01). TBARs and hydroperoxides did not change during the storage, whereas the protein carbonyls increased (p < 0.05). Vacuum aging slowed down lipid oxidation and put in evidence the presence of protein oxidation and degradation, influencing the VOCs productions and sensory evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
10 pages, 255 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Carcass and Meat Quality Obtained from Mule and Donkey
by Paolo Polidori, Silvia Vincenzetti, Stefania Pucciarelli and Valeria Polzonetti
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091620 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2583
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the carcass characteristics and the chemical and physical parameters of the meat produced by 10 male crossbred donkeys and 10 male mules slaughtered at 16 ± 1 years of age. The carcass weight and dressing [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare the carcass characteristics and the chemical and physical parameters of the meat produced by 10 male crossbred donkeys and 10 male mules slaughtered at 16 ± 1 years of age. The carcass weight and dressing percentage were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in mules. Samples of the muscle Longissimus thoracis (LT) were analyzed. Donkey meat showed a higher fat content, while the glycogen content was higher in the mule LT. The total collagen content was higher in the mule LT; in this muscle, the shear force values were higher compared to the donkey LT. The lightness parameter (L*) was lower in the mule LT, while the redness index (a*) was higher in the mule LT; this muscle showed a higher content of iron, while zinc was higher in the donkey muscle LT. The donkey LT muscle showed a higher content of essential amino acids (52.2%) compared to the mule LT (50.1%). The results obtained demonstrated that the chemical and physical traits of mule and donkey meat were similar to those of other kinds of equid meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
17 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Volatile Organic Compounds, Oxidative and Sensory Patterns of Vacuum Aged Foal Meat
by Alessandra Tateo, Aristide Maggiolino, Ruben Domínguez, José Manuel Lorenzo, Francesca Rita Dinardo, Edmondo Ceci, Rosaria Marino, Antonella della Malva, Andrea Bragaglio and Pasquale De Palo
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091495 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of 14-day vacuum aging on the volatile compounds (VOC) profile, oxidative profile, antioxidant enzymes activity, and sensory evaluation in the Longissimusthoracis muscle of foal meat under vacuum aging. Longissimusthoracis (LT) was sampled in 20 mm thick [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of 14-day vacuum aging on the volatile compounds (VOC) profile, oxidative profile, antioxidant enzymes activity, and sensory evaluation in the Longissimusthoracis muscle of foal meat under vacuum aging. Longissimusthoracis (LT) was sampled in 20 mm thick slices, vacuum packed, and stored at 4 °C. Samples were randomly assigned to different aging times (1, 6, 9, 14 days after slaughtering). VOCs, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs), hydroperoxides, carbonyl proteins, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase were analyzed, and a sensory test was performed. A nested one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed for aging time as an independent variable. Significance was set at p < 0.05. The main VOCs originating from cooked steaks were aldehydes, (from 47.18% to 58.81% of the total volatile compounds), followed by hydrocarbons (from 9.32% and 31.99%). TBARs and hydroperoxides did not show variations due to aging (p > 0.05), instead, protein carbonyls showed higher values at the 14th day (p < 0.01). Catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase showed increasing values during aging time (p < 0.01). Vacuum aging slowed down lipid oxidation, and protein oxidation was shown to be present. However, the best vacuum aging duration is in the range of 6–9 days from slaughtering, with an improvement of sensory evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)

Review

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16 pages, 334 KiB  
Review
The Possibility of Including Donkey Meat and Milk in the Food Chain: A Southern African Scenario
by Zahra Mohammed Hassan, Tlou Grace Manyelo, Ndivho Nemukondeni, Amenda Nthabiseng Sebola, Letlhogonolo Selaledi and Monnye Mabelebele
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091073 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
Animal proteins are essential for the optimal growth and health of humans. Meat and milk are common sources of protein, mostly produced by ruminants. The agrarian challenges experienced around the world warrant sourcing alternative proteins from animals that can withstand harsh environmental conditions [...] Read more.
Animal proteins are essential for the optimal growth and health of humans. Meat and milk are common sources of protein, mostly produced by ruminants. The agrarian challenges experienced around the world warrant sourcing alternative proteins from animals that can withstand harsh environmental conditions to produce quality proteins. Donkeys (Equus asinus) are known to survive on low husbandry and inferior quality forage to produce meat and milk, which have been used since ancient times. However, the commercialisation of these products has not flourished due to product scarcity, low production rates, and consumer preferences. Recent discoveries and the quest to look for alternative sources of protein have sparked studies on donkey products. In addition, milk and meat from donkeys have active ingredients that could also contribute to curing diseases. Donkey milk is believed to contain antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative, and antidiabetic properties. In many countries, particularly in Africa, the consumption of donkey meat and milk has not been fully adopted due to a lack of knowledge and legislation regarding production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
15 pages, 294 KiB  
Review
Current Knowledge on Functionality and Potential Therapeutic Uses of Donkey Milk
by Mina Martini, Iolanda Altomonte, Domenico Tricò, Riccardo Lapenta and Federica Salari
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051382 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4002
Abstract
The increase of knowledge on the composition of donkey milk has revealed marked similarities to human milk, which led to a growing number of investigations focused on testing the potential effects of donkey milk in vitro and in vivo. This paper examines the [...] Read more.
The increase of knowledge on the composition of donkey milk has revealed marked similarities to human milk, which led to a growing number of investigations focused on testing the potential effects of donkey milk in vitro and in vivo. This paper examines the scientific evidence regarding the beneficial effects of donkey milk on human health. Most clinical studies report a tolerability of donkey milk in 82.6–98.5% of infants with cow milk protein allergies. The average protein content of donkey milk is about 18 g/L. Caseins, which are main allergenic components of milk, are less represented compared to cow milk (56% of the total protein in donkey vs. 80% in cow milk). Donkey milk is well accepted by children due to its high concentration of lactose (about 60 g/L). Immunomodulatory properties have been reported in one study in humans and in several animal models. Donkey milk also seems to modulate the intestinal microbiota, enhance antioxidant defense mechanisms and detoxifying enzymes activities, reduce hyperglycemia and normalize dyslipidemia. Donkey milk has lower calorie and fat content compared with other milks used in human nutrition (fat ranges from 0.20% to 1.7%) and a more favourable fatty acid profile, being low in saturated fatty acids (3.02 g/L) and high in alpha-linolenic acid (about 7.25 g/100 g of fat). Until now, the beneficial properties of donkey milk have been mostly related to whey proteins, among which β-lactoglobulin is the most represented (6.06 g/L), followed by α-lactalbumin (about 2 g/L) and lysozyme (1.07 g/L). So far, the health functionality of donkey milk has been tested almost exclusively on animal models. Furthermore, in vitro studies have described inhibitory action against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. From the literature review emerges the need for new randomized clinical trials on humans to provide stronger evidence of the potential beneficial health effects of donkey milk, which could lead to new applications as an adjuvant in the treatment of cardiometabolic diseases, malnutrition, and aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)

Other

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7 pages, 248 KiB  
Brief Report
Grazing Mares on Pasture with Sycamore Maples: A Potential Threat to Suckling Foals and Food Safety through Milk Contamination
by Benoît Renaud, Anne-Christine François, François Boemer, Caroline Kruse, David Stern, Amandine Piot, Thierry Petitjean, Pascal Gustin and Dominique-Marie Votion
Animals 2021, 11(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010087 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
Equine atypical myopathy (AM) is seasonal intoxication resulting from the ingestion of seeds and seedlings of the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) that contain toxins, among them, hypoglycin A (HGA). Literature mentions several cases of AM among gravid mares and in unweaned [...] Read more.
Equine atypical myopathy (AM) is seasonal intoxication resulting from the ingestion of seeds and seedlings of the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) that contain toxins, among them, hypoglycin A (HGA). Literature mentions several cases of AM among gravid mares and in unweaned foals. The objective of this study was to determine whether HGA and/or its metabolite are present in milk from grazing mares exposed to sycamore maple trees as confirmed by detection of HGA and its metabolite in their blood. Four mare/foal couples were included in the study. Both HGA and its metabolite were detectable in all but one of the milk samples. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing transfer of HGA to the milk. This unprecedented observation could partially explain cases of unweaned foals suffering from AM. However, a transplacental transfer of the toxin cannot be excluded for newborn foals. Besides being a source of contamination for offspring, milk contamination by toxins from fruits of trees of the Sapindaceae family might constitute a potential risk for food safety regarding other species’ raw milk or dairy products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food from Equids: A Supply Chain Approach)
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