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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9827369, 12 pages
Review Article

Isolation and Analysis of Phospholipids in Dairy Foods

1Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina (CBQF), Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, Apartado 2511, 4202-401 Porto, Portugal
2Centro de Investigación en Recursos Naturales y Sustentabilidad (CIRENYS), Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins, Fábrica N° 1990, Segundo Piso, Santiago, Chile

Received 31 May 2016; Accepted 25 July 2016

Academic Editor: Vito Verardo

Copyright © 2016 Lígia Pimentel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The lipid fraction of milk is one of the most complex matrixes in foodstuffs due to the presence of a high number of moieties with different physical and chemical properties. Glycerolipids include glycerol and two fatty acids esterified in positions sn-1 and sn-2 with higher concentration of unsaturated fatty acids than in the triglyceride fraction of milk. Sphingolipids consist of a sphingoid base linked to a fatty acid across an amide bond. Their amphiphilic nature makes them suitable to be added into a variety of foods and recent investigations show that phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylserine and sphingomyelin, can exert antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer activities as well as positive effects in Alzheimer’s disease, stress, and memory decline. Polar lipids can be found as natural constituents in the membranes of all living organisms with soybean and eggs as the principal industrial sources, yet they have low contents in phosphatidylserine and sphingomyelin. Animal products are rich sources of these compounds but since there are legal restrictions to avoid transmission of prions, milk and dairy products are gaining interest as alternative sources. This review summarizes the analysis of polar lipids in dairy products including sample preparation (extraction and fractionation/isolation) and analysis by GC or HPLC and the latest research works using ELSD, CAD, and MS detectors.