Protein

Even though sheep milk contains approximately 40% more total protein than cow milk, the ratio of casein and whey proteins in both sheep and cow milk are similar.

Typical distribution of the various nitrogen fractions in sheep, cow, and goat milk are shown in Table 2.

Sheep milk casein micelles are similar in structure to those of cow milk; however, sheep milk does contain more small micelles than cow milk. The asi, p, m-caseins exist in sheep and cow milk in similar proportions.1-2-1 There are slight differences in the amino acid composition of sheep and cow k-casein, but the action with chymosin is the same for both species.[1] Of the whey proteins, sheep milk contains more p-lactoglobulin, about the same proportion of a-lactalbumin, and lower proportions of serum albumin and immunoglobulin than cow milk.[6] Relative amounts of a-lactalbumin decrease throughout the season and p-lactoglobulin rises in midseason and then gradually decreases toward the end of the lactation. Serum albumin remains fairly stable throughout the year. Sheep milk contains more urea and uric acid and less free amino acids than cow milk.[2]

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