C NMR spectra of TAG: An easy way to distinguish milks from different animal species

Giuseppina Andreotti, Raffaele Lamanna, Enrico Trivellone, Andrea Motta

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In order to differentiate milks from different species, we carried out a comparative analysis of TAG from cow, buffalo, goat, and sheep milk fat based on13C NMR experiments. NMR spectroscopy, although less sensitive than other techniques, does not require an extensive chemical manipulation of samples and can easily highlight the differences in the content of short-chain acyl groups in the four milk species. The resonances were assigned and quantified, and by using only three NMR parameters in data clustering with fuzzy logic analysis, we were able to distinguish goats' milk from sheep's milk, and both of these milks from cows' and buffaloes' milks. This appears to be an important result, considering the ease and rapidity with which milk identification can be obtained. From13C NMR spectra of TAG, the positional distribution of FA chains on the glycerol backbone can also be easily evaluated. In particular, analysis of the positional distribution of mono-unsaturated FA revealed that it may be species-specific, and we are currently analyzing larger data sets in order to evaluate the use of this parameter as a suitable approach to address the issue of milk authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123 - 127
Number of pages5
JournalJAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry

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