Lipidomic Characterization of Whey Concentrates Rich in Milk Fat Globule Membranes and Extracellular Vesicles

Richard R Sprenger, Marie S Ostenfeld, Ann Bjørnshave, Jan T Rasmussen, Christer S Ejsing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Lipids from milk fat globule membranes (MFGMs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs) are considered beneficial for cognitive development and human health. Milk-derived whey concentrates rich in these lipids are therefore used as ingredients in infant formulas to mimic human milk and in medical nutrition products to improve the metabolic fitness of adults and elderly people. In spite of this, there is no consensus resource detailing the multitude of lipid molecules in whey concentrates. To bridge this knowledge gap, we report a comprehensive and quantitative lipidomic resource of different whey concentrates. In-depth lipidomic analysis of acid, sweet, and buttermilk whey concentrates identified 5714 lipid molecules belonging to 23 lipid classes. The data show that the buttermilk whey concentrate has the highest level of fat globule-derived triacylglycerols and that the acid and sweet whey concentrates have the highest proportions of MFGM- and EV-derived membrane lipids. Interestingly, the acid whey concentrate has a higher level of cholesterol whereas sweet whey concentrate has higher levels of lactosylceramides. Altogether, we report a detailed lipid molecular compendium of whey concentrates and lay the groundwork for using in-depth lipidomic technology to profile the nutritional value of milk products and functional foods containing dairy-based concentrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Infant
  • Humans
  • Whey
  • Lipidomics
  • Whey Proteins
  • Glycolipids
  • Extracellular Vesicles
  • Milk, Human
  • Glycoproteins
  • Lipid Droplets


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