Sheep milk: A pertinent functional food
Arpita Mohapatra, Ajay Kumar Shinde, Raghvendar Singh
Modern human diet and changes in lifestyle are emerging as a challenge in developing countries resulting to endless ailments. Thus, in modern spectra of human health, bioactive foods play a pivotal role. Under the umbrella of food and nutrition security, functional dairy foods have become the need of the hour. Sheep milk is one of the functionally active dairy foods and it is also considered as nutritional powerhouse. The beneficial role of sheep milk results from its fatty acid, immunoglobulin and non-immune protein contents. In human gut, milk proteins turn into excellent source of bioactive peptides with antioxidative, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory and antithrombotic role. It is also used in anti-ageing formulations and cosmetic soap preparations to soothe psoriasis and skin eczema like chronic conditions. The unique physicochemical and biochemical properties of sheep milk also include prebiotics and probiotics which make it perfect functional food for human health promotion and disease risk reduction. The milk from Indian sheep is relished by the shepherds and their households. They claim that it has many health benefits, but it is an untapped area by the Indian researchers. The major challenge in Indian prospect is non availability of dairy sheep breed, but their milk functional potential cannot be ignored. This review is focused on worldwide work done on sheep milk for its unique functional characteristics.
Sheep milk; Milk composition; Functional food; Bioactive peptides
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The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.