1. The phospholipids of skim-milk, buttermilk and butter prepared from one bulk of Friesian milk were examined, using chromatographic methods. No major differences were found between the three products.
2. The phospholipids of buttermilk contained (in moles %) phosphatidylethanolamine 29, phosphatidylserine 10, phosphatidylcholine 33, sphingomyelin 19. The content of lipid-bound inositol was 5 moles % and of plasmalogens 3 moles %. Nitrogen, associated with the kephalin fraction, equivalent to 14 moles % of the lipid P was not identified. No lysoglycerophospholipids were present.
3. Unsaturated fatty acids were present in both the α'- and β-positions of the milk glycerophospholipids, in contrast to those from other animal sources which have usually been found to contain unsaturated acids in the α'-position and predominantly saturated acids in the β-position.
The authors are indebted to Prof. H. D. Kay for providing facilities at the National Institute for Research in Dairying, Reading; to Dr R. H. Smith for advice on processing, and to Miss H. R. Chapman and the staff of the Experimental Dairy for carrying out the dairy work.
This work forms part of the programme of the Food Investigation Organization of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Mr P. Whiteley contributed to the experimental work.