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Preliminary investigation of the composition of alpaca (Vicugna pacos) milk in California

Small Ruminant Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2013.12.032
  • Alpacas
  • Milk Composition
  • Fatty Acids
  • Minerals
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The objective of this preliminary investigation was to study the composition of alpaca milk. To define the nutritional requirements of growing alpaca crias, information is needed on the composition of the milk from their dams. Information on milk composition will also contribute to the development of milk formula for alpaca crias. However, there is a paucity of data for the composition of alpaca milk in the literature. The aim of this research was to obtain information on the composition of alpaca milk. Milk samples (n=168) were collected from 11 alpacas on two farms. Average milk concentrations were 3.68% for fat, 4.53% for protein, 6.00% for lactose, and 15.05% for total solids. Milk urea nitrogen averaged 31.4mg/dl of milk. Concentrations of selected minerals (n=22) varied between animals. Concentration of individual milk components, including selected minerals, showed considerable variability. Milk lipids (n=11) had appreciable amounts of fatty acids of 14 carbon chain-length and greater including high amounts of C16:0 (35.04g/100g fatty acids), but there were few fatty acids of 12 carbons and less.

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