Metabolomics methods to analyze full spectrum of amino acids in different domains of bovine colostrum and mature milk

  • Mohan Li
  • Weixuan Li
  • Fanhua Kong
  • Shimo Kang
  • Xiaona Liang
  • Hongjiao Han
  • Junrui Wu
  • Yan Zheng
  • Qilong Li
  • Xiqing YueEmail author
  • Mei YangEmail author
Original Paper


Amino acids are ubiquitous components of bovine milk. However, systematic analyses of the full spectrum of amino acids in different domains of bovine colostrum and mature milk are relatively scarce. Using metabolomics methods based on iTRAQ combined with HPLC–MS/MS, we analyzed free amino acids in bovine colostrum (FBC) and bovine mature milk (FBM), and insoluble-proteome amino acids in bovine colostrum (IPBC) and bovine mature milk (IPBM). Overall, 33, 31, 29, and 30 amino acids were identified in FBC, FBM, IPBC, and IPBM, respectively. Additionally, 28 and 12 significantly different amino acids were found in the FBC vs. FBM and IPBC vs. IPBM groups, respectively, as well as 38 and 28 significantly different metabolic pathways. The free and insoluble-proteome amino acid profiles differed notably between different lactation stages, and their combination provides a better understanding of the biochemical processes in bovine milk. These results enhance our understanding of amino acids in the different domains of bovine colostrum and mature milk, and provide research directions for the development of milk powder.


Bovine milk Amino acids Metabolomics Lactation Metabolic pathways 



This work was supported by the by National Key R & D Program of China (Grant Number: 2018YFC1604302), “Twelfth Five Year” National Science and Technology Plan Project (Grant Number: 2013BAD18B03), and Shenyang Technological Innovation Project (Grant Number: Y17-0-028).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts to declare.

Compliance with ethics requirements

The collection of milk samples was approved by Shenyang Agricultural University and the Chinese Human Research Ethical Committee (Permit Number: 2018-966) and was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and the Nuremberg Code. All experiments were performed according to Chinese laws and institutional guidelines.

Supplementary material

217_2019_3385_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (53 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food ScienceShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.College of Bioscience and BiotechnologyShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina

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