Comparison of bovine milk oligosaccharides in native North European cattle breeds

Anne Vuholm Sunds*, Apichaya Bunyatratchata, Randall Robinson, Maria Glantz, Marie Paulsson, Daiva Leskauskaite, Anne Pihlanto, Ragnhild Inglingstad, Tove G. Devold, Gerd E. Vegarud, Bryndís Eva Birgisdóttir, María Guðjónsdóttir, Daniela Barile, Lotte Bach Larsen, Nina Aagaard Poulsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Milk oligosaccharides are of high interest due to their bioactive properties. This study is the first to characterise milk oligosaccharides from native North European cattle breeds, as represented by 80 milk samples collected from eight native breeds originated from Norway (Norwegian Doela cattle and Norwegian Telemark cattle), Sweden (Swedish Mountain cattle), Denmark (Danish Red anno 1970), Iceland (Icelandic cattle), Lithuania (native Lithuanian Black and White) and Finland (Western Finncattle and Eastern Finncattle). Using high-performance liquid-chromatography chip/quadrupole time-of-flight mass-spectrometry, 18 unique monosaccharide compositions and a multitude of isomers were identified. No N-glycolylneuraminic acid was identified among these breeds. Western Finncattle milk was most abundant in neutral, acidic and fucosylated oligosaccharides. Further, Eastern Finncattle milk was significantly higher in acidic oligosaccharides and Icelandic cattle milk significantly higher in fucosylated oligosaccharides, compared to the mean. This study highlights specific native breeds of particular interest for future exploitation of milk oligosaccharides and breeding strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104917
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding text
The authors thank the farmers and co-workers in the different countries providing the milk samples. Further, the authors are grateful for the financial support from Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF, Aarhus, Denmark), Frands Christian Frantsen Fund (Aarhus, Denmark), as well as the Graduate School of Science and Technology (GSST) at Aarhus University (Aarhus, Denmark). The UC Davis authors acknowledge partial support from the National Institutes of Health , grant R01AT008759 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Other keywords

  • Oligosaccharides
  • Milk
  • Northern Europe
  • Comparison


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