Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 4, July-August 2005
Page(s) 473 - 483
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 473-483
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005030

The minerals of milk

Frédéric Gaucheron

INRA, UMR Science et Technologie du Lait et de l'OEuf, 65 rue de Saint-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes, France

Abstract - The salt of milk constitutes a small part of milk (8-9 g·L-1); this fraction contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium for the main cations and inorganic phosphate, citrate and chloride for the main anions. In milk, these ions are more or less associated between themselves and with proteins. Depending on the type of ion, they are diffusible (cases of sodium, potassium and chloride) or partially associated with casein molecules (cases of calcium, magnesium, phosphate and citrate), to form large colloidal particles called casein micelles. Today, our knowledge and understanding concerning this fraction is relatively complete. In this review, the different models explaining (i) the nature and distribution of these minerals (especially calcium phosphate) in both fractions of milk and (ii) their behaviour in different physico-chemical conditions, are discussed.

Key words: milk / minerals / salts / calcium / phosphate / casein micelle

Corresponding author: Frédéric Gaucheron

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005