Antioxidant Activity of Milk and Dairy Products
Department of Quality Assessment and Processing of Animal Products, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Massimo Todaro and Gianluca Neglia
Received: 25 November 2021
Revised: 30 December 2021
Accepted: 16 January 2022
Published: 20 January 2022
Consumption of food products that are rich in natural antioxidants improves the antioxidant status of an organism through protection against oxidative stress and damage. Milk and dairy products (yogurt and cheese) accounting for approximately 25–30% of the average human diet are undoubtedly a rich source of compounds exhibiting antioxidant properties. The aim of the study was to present a review of literature data on the antioxidant potential of raw milk and dairy products (milk, fermented products, and cheese) and the possibility to modify its level at the milk production and processing stage. The antioxidant capacity of milk and dairy products is mainly related to the presence of sulfur amino acids, whey proteins (especially β-lactoglobulin), vitamins A, E, and C, or β-carotene. The processes of fermentation or cheese maturation are associated with the release of bioactive peptides, which are responsible for the level of the antioxidant status of the product. The use of probiotic strains significantly enhances the antioxidant status. The antioxidant status of milk and dairy products can be modified with the use of natural additives in animal nutrition or at the stage of milk processing. Herbal mixtures, seeds, fruits, and waste from the fruit and vegetable industry are used most commonly. It is worth emphasizing that regular consumption of natural dairy antioxidants minimizes the risk of development of civilization diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes). It also slows down the aging process in the organism.