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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Composition and Coagulation Properties of Buffalo Milk Produced Under Swedish Conditions; Changes Taking Place During the First Weeks of Lactation

Johansson, Monika; Lundh, Åse; Sivananthawerl, Thavananthan; Svennersten Sjaunja, Kerstin


The domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) contributes with a significant share of global milk production and is the major milk producing animal in many countries. In Europe, the buffalo milk has been used in the production of buffalo Mozzarella. There is an increasing interest in these multipurpose animals also in Northern Europe, and since 2012, there is also dairy farm production of Swedish buffalo Mozzarella. The composition and properties of the milk will strongly influence processing of buffalo milk into Mozzarella cheese, as changes take place during the first weeks of lactation. Since there is no data available on the composition of buffalo milk produced under Swedish conditions, this study was initiated. In this project, we investigated gross composition, milk protein profile, proteolytic activity, free fatty acids, total calcium, calcium activity and the coagulating properties of milk from individual water buffalos during the first six weeks of lactation. Compared with reference values recorded one week after calving, there were significant changes in many of the compositional parameters investigated. Weekly increase in pH (0.90%), lactose (2.25%) and α-lactalbumin content (4.32%) was observed, whereas total protein content decreased by 5.56% per week. Milk coagulation time and gel firmness did not change significantly during the study period, but in numerical terms there was increase in coagulation time and a decrease in gel firmness. Overall, significant changes in buffalo milk composition can help in devising a strategy for the best use of buffalo milk during the first weeks of lactation, particularly in small, artisanal dairy farmhouses.


Water buffalo milk; Gross composition; Protein profile; Coagulation properties; Early lactation

Published in

Journal of dairy & veterinary sciences
2019, Volume: 14, number: 2, article number: 555885