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What is the MCDB?

The Milk Composition Database (MCDB) is a freely available electronic database containing detailed information about small molecule metabolites found in cow milk. The MCDB contains a complete list of metabolite names, metabolite structures, level of verification (confirmed or probable), reference spectra (NMR, GC–MS and LC–MS) and citations for all (to the best of our knowledge) of the milk compounds that have ever been identified, quantified or reported either in this database or in the existing scientific literature. The database contains 2,355 metabolite entries including both water- and lipid-soluble metabolites as well as metabolites that would be regarded as either abundant (>1 uM) or relatively rare (<1 nM). Each metabolite entry contains more than 90 data fields and many of them are hyperlinked to other databases (KEGG, PubChem, ChEBI, PDB, MetaCyc, DrugBank, GenBank, and UniProt) and a variety of structure and pathway viewing applets. The MCDB itself is fully searchable and supports text, mass, spectral and structure searches. The information includes literature and experimentally derived chemical and molecular/biochemistry data.

Citing the MCDB

The Milk Composition Database is offered to the public as a freely available resource. Use and re-distribution of the data, in whole or in part, for commercial purposes requires explicit permission of the authors and explicit acknowledgment of the source material (Milk Composition Database) and the original publication (see below). We ask that users who download significant portions of the database cite the Milk Composition Database paper in any resulting publications.


Please cite:

  1. Aidin Foroutan, An Chi Guo, Rosa Vazquez-Fresno, Matthias Lipfert, Lun Zhang, Jiamin Zheng, Hasan Badran, Zachary Budinski, Rupasri Mandal, Burim N. Ametaj and David S. Wishart. The Chemical Composition of Cow’s Milk. J Agric Food Chem. 2019 May 1;67(17):4897-4914 30994344