Donkey milk is rich in vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, E, and well balanced in omega 3 and 6, said the company’s founder and head of business development, Pierluigi Christophe Orunesu.
Donkey milk also contains high amounts of calcium, and four times less fat than some other commercial mammalian milks. In addition, Orunesu said, it is reputed to be naturally hypoallergenic, contains retinol and about 1g/L of lysozyme, a natural antimicrobial enzyme.
As lysozyme is more abundant in donkey milk than other traditional milks, Orunesu said Eurolactis is seeing increased sales of donkey milk powder during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Recent studies had already shown that donkey’s milk is the mammal’s milk with the closest composition to human milk,” Orunesu said.
Orunesu said scientific evidence and medical publications have reported on the unique nutritional properties of donkey milk, including a study last year in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: A Novel Donkey Milk–derived Human Milk Fortifier in Feeding Preterm Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
The National Research Council’s Institute of Sciences of Food Production (Cnr-Ispa) and the neonatal intensive care team at the Sant'Anna University Hospital of the Città della Salute, both in Turin, with support from the Compagnia di San Paolo di Torino, conducted the study, which Orunesu said demonstrated signs of feeding intolerance decreased with the use of donkey milk.
Eurolactis Italia provided the donkey milk for the trial.
The company has been manufacturing and selling donkey milk freeze-dried powder since 2010 and is now expanding its milk collection network in Italy.
Orunesu added that last year, strategic agreements were signed with key players in the food industry in order to support an organic growth of the supply-chain while focusing on quality and not quantity.