Mineral retention in three-week-old piglets fed goat and cow milk infant formulas

S.M. Rutherfurd, A.J. Darragh, W.H. Hendriks, C.G. Prosser, D. Lowry

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Goat milk and cow milk are commonly used in infant formula preparations and, as such, understanding the nutritional characteristics of infant formulas made from these milks is important. In this study, a goat milk infant formula was compared with an adapted (whey-enhanced) cow milk infant formula with respect to mineral absorption and deposition using the 3-wk-old piglet as a model for the 3-mo-old infant. Equal numbers of piglets (n = 8) were fed either the goat milk formula or the cow milk formula. The mineral composition of the prepared goat milk formula was higher than that of the prepared cow milk formula for most minerals, including calcium (75.1 vs. 56.7 mg/100 mL) but excluding iron, which was higher in the prepared cow milk formula (0.92 vs. 0.74 mg/100 mL). The amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and manganese absorbed by the piglets were significantly higher for the goat milk formula, whereas the amounts of zinc, iron, and magnesium absorbed were significantly higher for the cow milk formula. Apparent mineral absorption, relative to intake, was statistically higher in the cow milk formula for calcium and phosphorus, although the actual differences were very small ( less than 1.3%). For copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium there was no significant difference between treatments in apparent mineral absorption, whereas for manganese, absorption was higher for the goat milk infant formula. The absolute mineral deposition was higher in piglets fed the goat milk formula for calcium, phosphorus, and manganese, whereas iron deposition was higher in the piglets fed cow milk formula. For all other minerals tested, there were no significant differences between treatments. The goat milk infant formula provided a pattern of mineral retention in the 3-wk-old piglet very similar to that of the adapted cow milk infant formula. The minor differences observed between the 2 appeared to be due to the different mineral contents of the 2 formulas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4520-4526
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • nutritive utilization
  • rats
  • bioavailability
  • phosphorus
  • calcium
  • iron

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