The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Milk Protein: New Insights Into Quality and Function

Milk protein: New insights into quality and function

Milk contains proteins, bioactive peptides and individual amino acids, which are all considered important anabolic nutrients in the human body. Several additional roles in metabolic health and disease prevention have also recently been described for milk protein fractions. The review summarises the functions of milk protein and briefly describes the different methods currently used to evaluate protein quality. Applied to milk and dairy, these assessment methods show that the quality of milk protein is higher than previously thought and that the functions of dairy protein go beyond the provision of amino acids and organic nitrogen. The implications of these findings for meeting protein requirements and improving nutritional quality are discussed for a range of nutritional and developmental scenarios. Based on current evidence, the South African food-based dietary guideline that recommends daily intake of milk and other dairy products is a step towards harnessing the full benefit of dairy protein.

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