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The Macrostructure of Milk Lipids: The Fat Globules.

Martini, Mina; Salari, Federica; Altomonte, Iolanda.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr; 56(7): 1209-21, 2016 May 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2016 | ID: mdl-24915408
Resumo: The aim of this review article is to summarize the information available related to milk fat globules (MFGs) in order to highlight their contribution to the nutritional and technological characteristics of milk and dairy products. The macrostructure of milk lipids is composed of globules made up of triglycerides with different melting points, enveloped by a biological membrane from the mammary epithelial cell. In milks of different animal species, there are different-sized MFGs, ranging from diameters of less than 0.2 µm to a maximum of 15 µm. The average diameter and the number of globules are affected by endogenous, physiological, and exogenous factors. The size of the globules in turn affects the qualitative characteristics of milk and cheese. In addition, the average diameter of the globules and their surface that is exposed to the digestive system affect fat digestibility in different ways. Finally, the components of the MFG membranes have been shown to take part in the secretion process of globules and to have a beneficial effect on human health. In conclusion, by acting on factors influencing the dimensions of the fat globules and by increasing the content of the milk membrane could help adapt milk production to specific consumer targets and improve milk nutritional properties.