The proximate composition of milk from freefree-ranging-ranging kudu, eland, and oryx is reported with detailed analysis of fatty acid composition and protein identification by electrophoresis. The milk of the eland, kudu and gemsbok contained, respectively, 88.0 ± 13.3,67.5 ± 5.6 and 61.7 ± 12.3 g/kg protein, 67.9 ± 22.7,61.0 ± 18.0 and 71.9 ± 27.1 g/kg fat, and 50.0 ± 10.5,41.0 ± 2.5 and 41.9 ± 2.3 g/kg lactose, and are comparable with ovine milk. The gemsbok milk contained 4.4 ± 1.5 g/kg oligosaccharide, which is four times higher than that found in other ruminants. The milk of the eland and kudu contained significantly lower levels of saturated fatty acids than that of the gemsbok, the levels being respectively, 62.55 ± 3.61,69.70 ± 1.62 and 79.46 ± 0.84%, due to the saturated acids of 8–14 carbon chain lengths. When adding the milk composition of sable antelope from the literature, statistical analysis (PCA) showed a difference between the milk composition of the subfamilies Hippotraginae and Bovinae (tribe Tragelaphini), suggesting phylogenetic effects. Observations on the composition of milk from scimitar oryx, lechwe, okapi and southern pudu are also reported.
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