Goat milk

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Goat milk Liqueur from goat milk, Fuerteventura.JPG
Goat milk
Goat milking Geitenmelk.jpg
Goat milking
Dairy goat breed "Saanen" Herd of goats Saanen.JPG
Dairy goat breed "Saanen"
A goat being machine milked on an organic farm in Israel Goat milking on an organic farm in Israel.jpg
A goat being machine milked on an organic farm in Israel

Goat milk is the milk of domestic goats.

Goats produce about 2% of the world's total annual milk supply. [1] Some goats are bred specifically for milk.

Goat milk naturally has small, well-emulsified fat globules, which means the cream will stay in suspension for a longer period of time than cows milk; therefore, it does not need to be homogenized. Eventually, the cream will rise to the top over a period of a few days. Indeed, if the milk is to be used to make cheese, homogenization is not recommended, as this changes the structure of the milk, affecting the culture's ability to coagulate the milk and the final quality and yield of cheese. [2]

Dairy goats in their prime (generally around the third or fourth lactation cycle) average—2.7 to 3.6 kg (6 to 8 lb)—of milk production daily—roughly 2.8 to 3.8 l (3 to 4 U.S. qt)—during a ten-month lactation, producing more just after freshening and gradually dropping in production toward the end of their lactation. The milk generally averages 3.5% butterfat. [3]


Pelardon is a type of cheese made from goat milk Moitie de pelardon cendre.jpg
Pélardon is a type of cheese made from goat milk

Goat milk is commonly processed into cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, cajeta and other products.

Goat cheese is known as fromage de chèvre ("goat cheese") in France. Some varieties include Rocamadour and Montrachet. [4] Goat butter is white because goats produce milk with the yellow beta-carotene converted to a colorless form of vitamin A. Goat milk has less cholesterol [5]


The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages feeding infants milk derived from goats. An April 2010 case report [6] summarizes their recommendation and presents "a comprehensive review of the consequences associated with this dangerous practice", also stating, "Many infants are exclusively fed unmodified goat's milk as a result of cultural beliefs as well as exposure to false online information. Anecdotal reports have described a host of morbidities associated with that practice, including severe electrolyte abnormalities, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, allergic reactions including life-threatening anaphylactic shock, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and infections." Untreated caprine brucellosis results in a 2% case fatality rate. According to the USDA, doe milk is not recommended for human infants because it contains "inadequate quantities of iron, folate, vitamins C and D, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid to meet an infant’s nutritional needs" and may cause harm to an infant's kidneys and could cause metabolic damage. [7]

The department of health in the United Kingdom has repeatedly released statements stating on various occasions that [8] "Goats' milk is not suitable for babies, and infant formulas and follow-on formulas based on goats' milk protein have not been approved for use in Europe", and "infant milks based on goats' milk protein are not suitable as a source of nutrition for infants." [9] Moreover, according to the Canadian federal health department Health Canada, most of the dangers of, and counter-indications for, feeding unmodified goat's milk to infants parallel those associated with unmodified cow's milk — especially insofar as allergic reactions go. [10]

However, some farming groups promote the practice. For example, Small Farm Today, in 2005, claimed beneficial use in invalid and convalescent diets, proposing that glycerol ethers, possibly important in nutrition for nursing infants, are much higher in does' milk than in cows' milk. [11] A 1970 book on animal breeding claimed that does' milk differs from cows' or humans' milk by having higher digestibility, distinct alkalinity, higher buffering capacity, and certain therapeutic values in human medicine and nutrition. [12] George Mateljan suggested doe milk can replace ewe milk or cow milk in diets of those who are allergic to certain mammals' milk. [13] However, like cow milk, doe milk has lactose (sugar), and may cause gastrointestinal problems for individuals with lactose intolerance. [13] In fact, the level of lactose is similar to that of cow milk. [9]

Some researchers and companies producing goat's milk products have made claims that goat's milk is better for human health than most Western cow's milk due to it mostly lacking a form of β-casein proteins called A1, and instead mostly containing the A2 form, which does not metabolize to β-casomorphin 7 in the body. [14] [15] [16] [17]

Like whole cow's milk, goat's milk is not recommended for use by infants due to the discrepancy between the composition of goat's milk and female and the imperfection of the child's digestive organs for digesting evolutionarily unsuitable food. Lack of folic acid when using goat's milk instead of breastfeeding in children leads to the development of B12 folate deficiency anemia. In the event of an allergic reaction in children to cow's milk, contrary to popular belief, the likelihood of developing it to goat's milk is equally high. [18]

Basic composition of various milks (mean values per 100 g) [19]
ConstituentDoe (goat)CowHuman
Fat (g)
Protein (g)
Lactose (g)
Ash (g)
Total solids (g)12.212.312.3
Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams [20]
Constituentsunit Cow Doe
Sugars (lactose)g4.
Saturated fatty acidsg2.
Monounsaturated fatty acidsg1.
Polyunsaturated fatty acidsg0.

These compositions vary by breed (especially in the Nigerian Dwarf breed), animal, and point in the lactation period.

Related Research Articles

Dairy product Food produced from or containing the milk of mammals

Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory. Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of most of East and Southeast Asia and parts of central Africa.

Lactose Chemical compound

Lactose is a disaccharide. It is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C12H22O11. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from lac (gen. lactis), the Latin word for milk, plus the suffix -ose used to name sugars. The compound is a white, water-soluble, non-hygroscopic solid with a mildly sweet taste. It is used in the food industry.

Milk White liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals

Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals, including breastfed human infants before they are able to digest solid food. Early-lactation milk is called colostrum, which contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system and thus reduces the risk of many diseases. It holds many other nutrients, including protein and lactose. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon, particularly among humans, many of whom consume the milk of other mammals.

Lactose intolerance Medical condition

Lactose intolerance is a common condition caused by a decreased ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Those affected vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate before symptoms develop. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. These symptoms typically start thirty minutes to two hours after eating or drinking milk-based food. Their severity typically depends on the amount a person eats or drinks. Lactose intolerance does not cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Infant formula

Infant formula, baby formula or just formula or baby milk, infant milk or first milk, is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder or liquid. The U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) defines infant formula as "a food which purports to be or is represented for special dietary use solely as a food for infants by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human milk".

Casein Family of proteins found in milk

Casein is a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, comprising about 80% of the proteins in cow's milk and between 20% and 60% of the proteins in human milk. Sheep and buffalo milk have a higher casein content than other types of milk with human milk having a particularly low casein content.

Whey Liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained

Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is a byproduct resulting from the manufacture of rennet types of hard cheese, like cheddar or Swiss cheese. Acid whey is a byproduct brought out during the making of acid types of dairy products, such as cottage cheese or strained yogurt.


Brunost is a common, Norwegian name for mysost, a family of cheese-related foods made with whey, milk, and/or cream. The term is often used to just refer to the Gudbrandsdalsost type, which is the most popular variety. Brunost is primarily produced in Norway and is popular in both Norway and South-Korea. It is regarded as one of the country's most iconic foodstuffs, and is considered an important part of Norwegian gastronomical and cultural identity and heritage.

Whey protein Protein supplement

Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. The proteins consist of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin and immunoglobulins. Whey protein is commonly marketed as a dietary supplement, and various health claims have been attributed to it. A review published in 2010 in the European Food Safety Authority Journal concluded that the provided literature did not adequately support the proposed claims. For muscle growth, whey protein has been shown to be slightly better compared to other types of protein, such as casein or soy.

Milk substitute

A milk substitute is any substance that resembles milk and can be used in the same ways as milk. Such substances may be variously known as non-dairy beverage, nut milk, grain milk, legume milk and alternative milk.

A2 milk Type of cows milk

A2 milk is a variety of cows' milk that mostly lacks a form of β-casein proteins called A1, and instead has mostly the A2 form. Cows' milk like this was brought to market by The a2 Milk Company and is sold mostly in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Non-cow milk, including that of humans, sheep, goats, donkeys, yaks, camels, buffalo, and others, also contain mostly A2 β-casein, and so the term "A2 milk" is also used in that context.

Milk allergy Type of food allergy caused by milk

Milk allergy is an adverse immune reaction to one or more proteins in cow's milk. When allergy symptoms occur, they can occur rapidly or have a gradual onset. The former may include anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition which requires treatment with epinephrine among other measures. The latter can take hours to days to appear, with symptoms including atopic dermatitis, inflammation of the esophagus, enteropathy involving the small intestine and proctocolitis involving the rectum and colon.

The United States raw milk debate concerns issues of food safety and claimed health benefits of raw milk, and whether authorities responsible for regulating food safety should prohibit sale of raw milk for consumption.

Goat Domesticated mammal (Capra aegagrus hircus)

The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. It is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, according to archaeological evidence that its earliest domestication occurred in Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago.

Donkey milk Milk produced by female donkeys

Donkey milk is the milk from the domesticated donkey (Equus asinus). It has been used since antiquity for cosmetic purposes as well as infant nutrition.

Milk protein concentrate (MPC) is any type of concentrated milk product that contains 40–90% milk protein. The United States officially defines MPC as "any complete milk protein concentrate that is 40 percent or more protein by weight." In addition to ultrafiltered milk products, the MPC classification includes concentrates made through other processes, such as blending nonfat dry milk with highly concentrated proteins, such as casein.

Vegan cheese Cheese-like substance made without animal products

Vegan cheese is a category of non-dairy, plant-based cheese analogues. Vegan cheeses range from soft fresh cheeses to aged and cultured hard grateable cheeses like plant-based Parmesan. The defining characteristic of vegan cheese is the exclusion of all animal products.

Sour cream

Sour cream or soured cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name comes from the production of lactic acid by bacterial fermentation, which is called souring. Crème fraîche is one type of sour cream with a high fat content and less sour taste.

Goat farming Raising and breeding of domestic goats

Goat farming involves the raising and breeding of domestic goats as a branch of animal husbandry. People farm goats principally for their meat, milk, fibre and skins.

Pea milk

Pea milk is a type of plant milk made using pea protein, which is made of yellow peas water, sunflower oil, gums as thickeners, Tricalcium Phosphate, vitamins, and Dipotassium Phosphate. Commercial pea milk typically comes in sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavours, and is usually enriched with vitamins. It is marketed as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to almond milk and a non-GMO alternative to soy milk. The two largest brands of pea milk are Ripple Foods and Bolthouse Farms. Pea milk is a plant-based alternative to dairy milk. It is available in several countries including the US, UK and Australia and is vegan, nut free and lactose free. Pea milk is a part of plant milks, which are gaining in popularity due to increased lactose intolerance among consumers and demand for environmentally sustainable products. The plant-based milk industry as per 2019 estimates is worth approximately US$5 billion and will reach a value of US$26 billion in 5 years. There has been research in the role of pea proteins in preparing infant formula, yoghurt and calf mixtures. The colour is off-white and pea milk is made through crushing yellow split peas and mixing the soluble components with water. Pea milk may also be prepared at home. It is perceived to be environmentally sustainable and requires less water than the production of dairy milk. There is limited information on the total carbon emissions and water consumption of producing ready to drink pea milk.


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