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The dynamics of individual whey protein concentrations in cows’ mammary secretions during the colostral and early lactation periods

  • Raquel F.S. Raimondo (a1), Juliana S.P. Ferrão (a2), Samantha I. Miyashiro (a2), Priscila T. Ferreira (a1), João Paulo E. Saut (a3), Daniela B. Birgel (a4) and Eduardo H. Birgel Junior (a4)...

The bovine whey consists of more than 200 different types of proteins, of which β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, serum albumin, immunoglobulins and lactoferrin predominate. However, their concentrations are not stable due to the existence of protein dynamics during a transition from colostrum secretion to mature milk. To evaluate the dynamics of whey proteins of Jersey cows during a colostral phase and first month of lactation and an influence of the number of lactations, 268 milk samples from 135 Jersey cows were selected through a clinical evaluation. Whey was obtained by rennet coagulation of the mammary secretion. The concentration of total proteins was determined by the biuret method and their fractions were identified by 12% dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (12% SDS-PAGE). Maximum concentrations of all protein fractions were observed in the first 12 h of lactation, reducing over the course of the study. Modification of the protein predominance was also observed. The transition from colostrum secretion to milk occurred between 24 and 72 h postpartum. There was an influence of the number of lactations on the dynamics of whey proteins, indicating that multiparous cows had better immunological and nutritional quality when compared to primiparous cows.

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Authors for correspondence: Raquel F.S. Raimondo, Email:
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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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