Donkey milk is popular in kbeauty and southern European beauty products. This ingredient is said to calm sensitive skin and eczema. The use of asinine milk by humans for alimentary and cosmetic purposes has been popular since Egyptian antiquity.
Published data on donkey milk gross composition confirm the closer resemblance to breast milk for lactose, protein and ash levels when compared with cow, sheep and goat milk. Despite the high lactose content of donkey milk the average fat content is lower for this purpose, when used in infant nutrition, donkey milk is usually supplemented with vegetal oil (4 mL 100 mL−1 milk) to conform to human milk energy.
The amino acid profile of the donkey milk proteins shows a very similar percentage of essential amino acids (36.7 e 38.2 g amino acid /100 g protein) than in human milk proteins (40.7 g amino acid /100 g protein), according to Guo et al.
Recent scientific study on a cream containing of lyophilized donkey milk showed different benefits for the skin. These results are related to the effectiveness of donkey milk components like proteins, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, bioactive enzyme and coenzyme which allow the skin a balanced nourishment and a proper hydration. In particular vitamin C content in donkey milk is almost 4 times more of cow’s milk. Donkey milk contain more lactoferrin of cow milk and a considerable mounts of lysozyme, from 1.0 mg/mL to 4 mg/mL (depending on the analytical method used: chemical or microbiological), instead cow’s milk only traces. For this reason have the potentiality, when properly formulated, to reduce problem skin with eczema, acne, psoriasis and herpes and properties in calming the irritation symptoms as reported by some authors.
Some authors have preliminarily evaluated whether the use of a face cream made from donkey milk affected the perception of some sensory aspects. The results showed that treated cream resulted appreciated by dry skin consumers for the following sensory aspects: spreadability, total appearance, smoothness, moisturisation and total effectiveness. The overall judgement also resulted highest for face cream made with donkey milk.
See also goat milk.
C. Cosentino et al. (2015) Innovative Use of Jenny Milk from Sustainable Rearing. In A. Vastola (ed.)
The Sustainability of Agro-Food and Natural Resource Systems in the Mediterranean Basin, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-16357-4_8
Cosentino C. et al. (2013). Market sustainability analysis of jenny milk cosmetics. Emir. J. Food Agric. 2013. 25 (8): 635-640
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