Dairy-derived emulsifiers in infant formula show marginal effects on the plasma lipid profile and brain structure in preterm piglets relative to soy lecithin

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Breastfed infants have higher intestinal lipid absorption and neurodevelopmental outcomes compared to formula-fed infants, which may relate to a different surface layer structure of fat globules in infant formula. This study investigated if dairy-derived emulsifiers increased lipid absorption and neurodevelopment relative to soy lecithin in newborn preterm piglets. Piglets received a formula diet containing soy lecithin (SL) or whey protein concentrate enriched in extracellular vesicles (WPC-A-EV) or phospholipids (WPC-PL) for 19 days. Both WPC-A-EV and WPC-PL emulsions, but not the intact diets, increased in vitro lipolysis compared to SL. The main differences of plasma lipidomics analysis were increased levels of some sphingolipids, and lipid molecules with odd-chain (17:1, 19:1, 19:3) as well as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acyl chains (16:1, 20:1, 20:3) in the WPC-A-EV and WPC-PL groups and increased 18:2 fatty acyls in the SL group. Indirect monitoring of intestinal triacylglycerol absorption showed no differences between groups. Diffusor tensor imaging measurements of mean diffusivity in the hippocampus were lower for WPC-A-EV and WPC-PL groups compared to SL indicating improved hippocampal maturation. No differences in hippocampal lipid composition or short-term memory were observed between groups. In conclu-sion, emulsification of fat globules in infant formula with dairy-derived emulsifiers altered the plasma lipid profile and hippocampal tissue diffusivity but had limited effects on other absorptive and learning abilities relative to SL in preterm piglets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number718
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Bovine whey phospholipids, Brain, Emulsification, Extracellular vesicles, Infant formula, Milk fat globule membrane, Neurodevelopment, Piglet, Polar lipids, Preterm

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