Composition and oligosaccharides of a milk sample of the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Tadashi Nakamura, Tadasu Urashima, Taiji Mizukami, Michihiro Fukushima, Ikichi Arai, Tatsudo Senshu, Koji Imazu, Tatsuko Nakao, Tadao Saito, Zhiyong Ye, Hong Zuo, Kongju Wu

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40 Citations (Scopus)


A milk sample from a captive giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), obtained at 13 days postpartum, contained 7.1% protein, 1.6% carbohydrate, 10.4% lipid and 0.9% ash. The ratio of casein to whey proteins was 5.0:2.1. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of the whey protein fraction showed the presence of at least two major proteins other than α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin. SDS-PAGE and urea-gel electrophoresis showed that αs-casein is not a major component. The proportions of triacylglycerol, cholesterol, cholesterol esters and phospholipid were 90.5, 5.3, 0.96 and 3.1%, of the total lipid, respectively. The dominant saccharide in the panda milk was Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (isoglobotriose). The milk contained, in addition, lesser amounts of lactose, Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]Glc (fucosyl isoglobotriose), Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3′-N-acetylneuraminyl-lactose), Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)Glc (6′-N-acetylneuraminyl-lactose) and Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]Glc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Casein
  • Fatty acid
  • Giant panda
  • Lipids
  • Milk
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Structure
  • Whey proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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