About goat milk
At Ausnutria Dairy Ingredients, we are convinced of the unique properties of goat milk. We have been marketing goat milk products for decades and continuously invest in research to expand our knowledge of the special characteristics and nutritional, technical and health benefits of goat milk and goat milk products. The Ausnutria R&D organization in the Netherlands works closely together with scientists, research institutes and universities throughout the world to uncover the value of goat milk and to develop new and/or improved products and processes.
Goat milk quality, environment, safety
All our goat milk products are manufactured from the highest-quality Dutch goat milk. The milk is collected from over 100 Dutch family-run goat farms by our Ausnutria B.V. sister company Holland Goat Milk B.V. and delivered to our production facilities for processing. As fresh goat milk is the basic ingredient of our products, quality is the most important factor when selecting our goat milk suppliers. The selected farmers combine the traditional care for and dedication to their goats with the most advanced farm management processes in the world. The farmers monitor the entire process by means of a certified quality management system in order to guarantee healthy and satisfied animals and, naturally, high-quality milk. All farmers are committed to complying with the strict quality requirements of Ausnutria B.V. By having this vertically integrated supply chain within Ausnutria, we can guarantee full traceability and the highest quality and food safety standards. For more information about the origin of our goat milk, visit the website of Holland Goat Milk B.V.
Nutritional and health benefits of goat milk
Milk is the only source of nutrition for all newborn mammals and is necessary for healthy growth and sustenance. The composition of milk from different species varies, but usually when reference is made to ‘dairy’ or ‘milk’, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is cow’s milk. In fact, dairy research primarily concerns cow dairy, while goat milk is actually the most commonly consumed type of milk worldwide. In recent years, however, there has been a growing focus on the properties of goat milk and worldwide demand for goat milk products is rising in both traditional and new markets.
Goat milk is quite different from cow’s milk in both the characteristics of the macronutrients[1,2] as well as the micronutrients present. Although total solids, fat, crude protein, lactose, and ash contents of goat milk are very similar, there are important differences in the individual fatty acids, protein profile and fat composition. Its unique composition makes it extremely suitable for nutrition products for infants and people with specific dietary needs.
Unique nutritional composition for easy digestion & health
Goat milk protein
The protein fraction of goat milk consists of casein and whey proteins in a ratio very similar to that of cow’s milk, approximately 80:20 by weight. In general, casein proteins in milk are present in the form of casein micelles, which consist of four different types of casein proteins. The ratio between these casein forms varies between different species and breeds. In all dairy, the main whey proteins are β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin and immunoglobulins, but the ratio between and the exact structure of these proteins can vary between species.
The casein protein micelles of goat milk are different from cow’s milk in that they have a very low concentration of αs1-casein, while the dominant casein fraction in goat milk is β-casein (Figure 1). Apart from the differences in the proportions of different caseins, the casein micelles from goat milk are larger, have a lower hydration and a higher mineralization than cow’s milk micelles.
Upon consumption, this casein profile and structure seems to produce looser curds in the stomach, making it easier for the gastric enzymes to start the digestion process.
The main protein in goat whey is β-lactoglobulin. This ß-lactoglobulin is structurally different from that in cow’s milk and the specific structure also seems to facilitate easy gastric digestion.
The proteins in goat milk are so-called complete proteins, thus containing all essential amino acids. Goat milk has a high level of the important branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, valine, and isoleucine. As the BCAAs, and in specific leucine, play a key role in muscle protein synthesis, this makes goat proteins very suitable for lifestyle nutrition.
Goat milk fat
Goat milk fat is different from cow’s milk fat, as the fat globules are slightly smaller and the fat contains a higher volume of medium-chain fatty acid. This combination appears to make the fat easy to digest. The smaller fat globules in milk give lipase, the fat-splitting enzyme, a greater surface area to work on, resulting in a higher initial digestion rate in the stomach. At the same time, the medium-chain fatty acids are easily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract via passive diffusion directly into the bloodstream. This makes full-fat goat milk and goat milk cream great products to provide energy for growing children or for the treatment of malabsorption or undernourishment.
Goat milk carbohydrates
Lactose is the main carbohydrate in goat milk with a typical level of 4.1%, which is slightly lower than in cow’s milk. Lactose is a disaccharide found exclusively in milk and is broken down in the body to supply energy (see the paragraph lactose intolerance on this page).
Lactose, from any source, is less cariogenic and has a lower glycemic index than sucrose. It has a slightly sweet taste, with a relative sweetness of about a third of that of sucrose.
Besides lactose, goat milk contains small amounts of various other carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, glycopeptides, glycoproteins and nucleotides.
Goat milk helps support a healthy gut and immune system
In comparison to cow’s milk, goat milk naturally contains a relatively high concentration of nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. These have been shown to have beneficiary effects on the gastrointestinal system and gut microbiota.
Goat milk is significantly richer in lactose-derived oligosaccharides compared to cow’s milk, both in level as well as in diversity. Goat milk oligosaccharides are thought to be beneficial to human nutrition, as the digestive system cannot break them down and they reach the colon intact. Here they can act as prebiotics and could help to maintain the health of the digestive tract and gut microbiome by encouraging the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, specifically Bifidobacteria, and reducing the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria.[7,8]
The microbiome is responsible for numerous processes, including aiding digestion and the absorption of nutrients, helping to regulate bile and vitamin levels, and supporting the immune system. It follows that gut health has a huge impact on overall health. An imbalance in gut bacteria has been found to contribute to chronic diseases such as IBS and diabetes. Studies have also suggested links to mental health and depression, cholesterol levels and obesity.
Goat milk provides essential vitamins and minerals
Goat milk is naturally rich in important micronutrients, such as vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3) and minerals (calcium, phosphor, magnesium, zinc and iodine). Goat milk contains more vitamin A than cow’s milk, because goats convert all β-carotene from the feed into vitamin A. This also causes the milk to be a whiter color, which is especially evident in goat butter. Goat milk contains lower levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 than cow’s milk. Goat milk provides higher quantities of some minerals, including Ca, P, K, Mg and Cl, and lower quantities of others, including Na, than cow’s milk.[1,3] More importantly than exact levels, however, several animal model studies have shown that the bioavailability of minerals in goat milk is better than in cow’s milk.[9,10] This improved nutritional quality of goat milk in terms of mineral utilization is considered to be caused by the composition of both protein and fat in goat milk.
Goat milk, allergies and adverse reactions
Consumption of milk products can lead to adverse reactions. The two most common causes for adverse reactions are lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy.
While lactose intolerance is uncommon in infants, it is estimated that about 75% of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is due to a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down lactose into glucose and galactose in the small intestine. This deficiency leads to lactose passing into the large intestine unaltered, where it is fermented by the gut microbiota, causing gastrointestinal disturbances and discomfort. Most infants and children produce sufficient lactase, but the ability to produce lactase diminishes upon ageing. When the body stops producing lactase, or produces not enough lactase, a person is lactase deficient and thus lactose intolerant to a greater or lesser extent. The degree of lactose malabsorption varies greatly, but most intolerant people can still consume about 12 to 15 grams of goat dairy or 300 to 350 ml of goat milk daily without symptoms.
One hypothesis as to why goat milk leads to less lactose intolerance symptoms, besides it being slightly lower in lactose than cow’s milk, is that goat milk’s higher level of prebiotic oligosaccharides promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria in the large intestine. Bifidobacteria are able to metabolize lactose into short-chain fatty acids, which results in a reduction of the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.
Milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in the world, with an estimated prevalence in young children in developed countries ranging from 0.5% to 3%. The prevalence in adults is lower, as children often outgrow the symptoms. Milk allergy is an immune reaction to one or more of the proteins in milk. The reaction can be immunoglobulin-E (Ig-E) mediated, leading to acute symptoms, or non-Ig-E mediated, leading to delayed symptoms.
If a person has a medically confirmed cow’s milk allergy, it is very likely they will also have an allergic reaction to goat milk. This contradicts with the fact that people frequently report having no adverse reaction to goat milk, while they do state to be allergic to cow’s milk. This is most likely because they do not suffer from a real and medically confirmed cow’s milk allergy, but from a cow’s milk intolerance where certain components in the milk are digested poorly. This leads to discomfort after consuming cow’s milk products. This group could benefit from a switch to nutrition based on goat milk.
One reason for this reduced discomfort could be that goat milk contains predominantly the A2 form of ß-casein and, naturally, contains little or no A1 ß casein. A number of studies have shown that A1 ß-casein, commonly found in most cow’s milk, can cause intestinal discomfort. A1 ß-casein may be a contributing factor because, upon digestion, it releases a short beta-casomorphin peptide known as BCM-7. BCM-7 has been shown to interact with opiate receptors in the gut to slow gastrointestinal transit. Longer transit times may allow for increased fermentation of short-chain carbohydrates in the gut, causing gas, bloating and discomfort. By comparison, research shows that consuming A2 ß-casein does not cause the release of BCM-7 and therefore has not been associated with symptoms of abdominal pain, stool frequency changes or constipation.[12,13,14]
Ausnutria Dairy Ingredients – CBM – Products
Ausnutria Dairy Ingredients markets a full range of goat milk ingredients under the CBM brand. The CBM brand is world-leading in high-quality goat milk ingredients for the global business-to-business market.
The products include full-cream goat milk powder, skimmed goat milk powder, organic goat milk powders, goat butter, goat butter oil or anhydrous milk fat (AMF), and goat cream.
In addition, a range of specialties is available: the CBM Goat Power range of protein ingredients and (custom) blended concepts derived from the highest-quality Dutch goat milk. This range includes different skimmed goat milk (casein) protein powders (SGPP with or without lecithin and/or with or without additional lactose) and a whey protein concentrate (WPC 50%).
More information: Our products – Ausnutria Dairy Ingredients BV (ausnutria-dairy-ingredients.com)
As goat milk is the basic ingredient of our products, quality comes first when it comes to selecting goat milk suppliers.
1. Ceballos, L. S., Morales, E. R., Advare, G. T., Castro, J. D., Marinez, L. P., & Sampelayo, M. R. S. (2009). Composition of goat and cow milk produced under similar conditions and analyzed by identical methodology. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 22, 322–329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2008.10.020
2. Roy, D., Ye, A., Moughan, P. J., & Singh, H. (2020). Composition, Structure, and Digestive Dynamics of Milk From Different Species-A Review. Frontiers in nutrition, 7, 577759. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.577759
3. Park, Y.W. and Haenlein G.F.W., Handbook of milk of non-bovine mammals. 2nd ed. 2017, Ames, Iowa, Blackwel Pub. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470999738
4. Maathuis A, Havenaar R, He T, Bellmann S. Protein Digestion and Quality of Goat and Cow Milk Infant Formula and Human Milk Under Simulated Infant Conditions. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017;65(6):661-666. https://doi.org/10.1097/MPG.0000000000001740
5. Alférez MJ, Barrionuevo M, López Aliaga I, et al. Digestive utilization of goat and cow milk fat in malabsorption syndrome. J Dairy Res. 2001;68(3):451-461. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022029901004903
6. Kiskini A, Difilippo E. Oligosaccharides in goat milk: structure, health effects and isolation. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2013;59(1):25-30. Published 2013 Nov 3. https://www.cellmolbiol.org/index.php/CMB/article/view/480
7. Leong A, Liu Z, Almshawit H, et al. Oligosaccharides in goats’ milk-based infant formula and their prebiotic and anti-infection properties. Br J Nutr. 2019;122(4):441-449. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711451900134X
8. Russell DA, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Metabolic activities and probiotic potential of bifidobacteria. Int J Food Microbiol. 2011;149(1):88-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.06.003
9. Campos, M., López-Aliaga, I., Alférez, M., Nestares, T., & Barrionuevo, M. (2003). Effects of goats’ or cows’ milks on nutritive utilization of calcium and phosphorus in rats with intestinal resection. British Journal of Nutrition, 90(1), 61-67. doi:10.1079/BJN2003862
10. Alférez, M.J., López Aliaga, I., Barrionuevo, M., & Campos, M.S. (2003). Effect of dietary inclusion of goat milk on the bioavailability of zinc and selenium in rats. Journal of Dairy Research, 70, 181 – 187. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022029903006058
11. Swagerty DL Jr, Walling AD, Klein RM. Lactose intolerance [published correction appears in Am Fam Physician. 2003 Mar 15;67(6):1195]. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(9):1845-1850.
12. Jung, T. H., Hwang, H. J., Yun, S. S., Lee, W. J., Kim, J. W., Ahn, J. Y., Jeon, W. M., & Han, K. S. (2017). Hypoallergenic and Physicochemical Properties of the A2 β-Casein Fraction of Goat Milk. Korean journal for food science of animal resources, 37(6), 940–947. https://doi.org/10.5851/kosfa.2017.37.6.940
13. Kamiński, S., Cieslińska, A., & Kostyra, E. (2007). Polymorphism of bovine beta-casein and its potential effect on human health. Journal of applied genetics, 48(3), 189–198. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03195213
14. Brooke-Taylor, S., Dwyer, K., Woodford, K., & Kost, N. (2017). Systematic Review of the Gastrointestinal Effects of A1 Compared with A2 β-Casein. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 8(5), 739–748. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.116.013953