Seasonal changes of buffalo colostrum: physicochemical parameters, fatty acids and cholesterol variation Abstract
Colostrum has many beneficial effects on newborns due to its main compounds (proteins, fats, lactose, essential fatty acids, amino acids) as well as protective antibodies that confer to the body. The buffaloes are the second important species for milk production in the world after cows. The importance of the species is also conferred by a longer longevity, high dry content of milk and a strong organic resistance when compared with cows. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes of buffalo colostrum compounds such as fatty acids, cholesterol and physicochemical parameters during the first seven days postpartum and under the impact of the season, summer on pasture and winter on dry diet (hay based).
Fat from colostrum differs depending on the postpartum day showing mean values of 11.31-7.56% (summer season) and 11.22-7.51% (winter season). These values gradually decreased starting with first day postpartum until day seven. Dry substance and protein presented a similar evolution to fat reaching the lowest values at the end of the colostral period. Lactose, ash and pH showed a gradually increase reaching the maximum on day seven postpartum. The highest titres of fatty acids from colostrum are: butyric acid (C4:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitic acid (C16:0), oleic acid (C18:1) and the lowest values showed up in myristoleic acid (C14:1), cis-10-pentadecanoic acid (C15:1), pentadecylic acid (C15:0) and margaric acid (C17:0) for both seasons. Higher concentrations have been recorded for the summer season in general. Cholesterol concentration decreased from 12.93 and 12.68 mg/100 mL (summer and winter season) to 9.02 and 7.88 mg/100 mL in the end of the colostral period.
Physicochemical compounds of buffalo colostrum were influenced by season and postpartum day of milking. Excepting lactose all other parameters gradually decreased during colostral period. Fatty acids and cholesterol showed the same evolution, presenting higher values for the summer season. Specific feeding in the summer season (on pasture) did lead in more concentrated colostrum in dry substance, fatty acids and cholesterol.
Keywords: Buffalo colostrum; Fatty acids; Cholesterol; GC; HPLC; Seasonal variation; Diet Graphical abstract
Colostrum is the first food for mammalian newborns during the first days of life. The composition of this liquid secreted and stored in the mammary gland in the first days after parturition is of great importance due to its physicochemical properties and its immunoprotective role in the early days of the calf . Colostrogenesis, the transfer of immunoglobulines (Ig) from maternal circulation to mammary secretions, begins 3–4 weeks before parturition under endocrine control. Colostrum is critical for the survival of ruminant neonates since maternal antibodies are not transported across the placenta . Colostrum is considered vital for normal growth and development of the calves  and it is also a protecting agent against various diseases [4-6].
Colostrum contains major nutrients (fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates), vitamins (A, B6, B12, C etc.), minerals (Ca, Na, Mg, P, Cl, K etc.), immunological compounds (immunoglobulines – IgG, IgA and IgM) [5,7], hormones and enzymes [7,8]. Besides providing immune support, colostrum has remarkable musculoskeletal repair and growth capabilities. In addition, it seems that colostrum is the only natural source of four major growth factors namely transforming growth factors alpha (TGF-α) and beta (TGF-β), and insulin-like growth factors 1 (IGF-1) and 2 (IGF-2) .
The main parameters which are ordinary determined in almost every cow and/or buffalo farm are: fat, protein, lactose, total solids, ash and pH. The buffalo diet seems to have a major role in colostrum composition , but also the...
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