keywords: Horse milk, fermentation, pasteurization, bioactive peptides, antioxidant, functional food
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic and degenerative diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. There is increasing research interest on the therapeutic potential of milk and milk-derived products. This study investigates antioxidant activity of horse milk (fermented, pasteurized and raw) fractions by 2, 2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. The fermented milk had the highest radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing power of 63.04±6.85% and 0.822±0.10 respectively, followed by the pasteurized milk (61.35±0.15% and 0.631±0.27), while raw milk (55.28±0.20% and 0.461±0.02) shows least antioxidant activity. The total reducing power and radical scavenging activity was found to be concentration dependent with the least antioxidant activity observed at the lowest concentration of all the three milk samples. The study further demonstrated a time-dependent decrease in both DPPH radical scavenging and ferric ion reducing power of the milk fractions, when stored at 4ºC up to three weeks. These results indicate that fermented horse milk may serves as functional food and used as a supplement in the management of oxidative stress-related diseases.