Understanding goat milk powder

The features of goat milk give rise to a number of potential benefits, when compared with cow milk such as:

  • A lower amount of aS1-casein.
  • The same total quantity of essential amino acids.
  • A higher content of medium-chain fatty acids (C6-14).
  • More conjugated linoleic acid.
  • Greater quantities of Ca, P, Mg and Cu.
  • Higher levels of taurine than cow milk.
  • Animal study goat milk fed subjects were found to make better use of nutrients in the milk than the nutrients from cow milk.
  • In particular, the utilization of nitrogen from goat milk proteins was greater than from cow milk proteins.

 

Source: Ceballos et al, 2009

 

Protein Digestion – I

  • Cow milk proteins were digested nearly a third slower than goat milk proteins.
  • Three time more beta-lactoglobulin from goat milk was digested compared to the same protein from cow milk.
  • Casein fraction of the goat milk differs from cow milk as it has a higher level of ß-casein and a lower level of as1-casein, making the casein profile of goat milk closer to breast milk. Lower level of as1-casein produces a softer curd which makes the proteins easier to digest.
  • Goat whey is hydrolysed more quickly than bovine whey.


Source: In vitro studies by Almaas et al, 2006

Pintado & Malcata, 2000

 

Protein Digestion – II

  • Casein from goat milk coagulate to form cheese is softer and more fragile than cheese made from cow milk.
  • Casein micelles of goat milk were one and half times larges than casein micelles from cow milk. This would be enough to explain the loose, more fragile casein curd structure of goat milk.
  • For example, in infant foods, when in the baby’s stomach, this soft curd would be digested more rapidly.


Source: Park, 2007

 

Fat digestion from goat milk

  • In a double-blinded randomized study of 64 infants, there was a 5% greater absorption of fat from the goat milk diet.
  • The infants in the study had digestive disorders and suffered from fat mal-absorption due to gluten defiency. One group was randomized to a diet containing goat milk and butter and the other to cow milk and butter.


Source: Hachelaaf et al, 1993

 

Goat milk better than cow milk? – Non Protein Nitrogen

  • Goat milk infant formula contained 10% non-protein nitrogen, expressed as a proportion of total nitrogen, compared with 7.1% for cow milk formula.
  • Goat follow-on formula contained 9.3% and cow 7.4% non-protein nitrogen.
  • Urea, at 30% was quantitatively the most abundant component of the protein nitrogen fraction of goat milk and formulae, followed by free amino acids at 7%.
  • Taurine, glycine and glutamic acids were the most abundant free amino acids in goat milk powders.
  • Goat milk infant formula contained 4mg/100ml total nucleotide monophosphates, all derived from the goat milk itself.
  • Goat milk has a very different profile of the non-protein fraction to cow milk, with several constituents such as necleotides at concentrations approaching those in human breast milk.


Source: Composition of the non-protein nitrogen fraction of goat whole milk powder and goat milk based infant and follow-on formulae. Presser et al, 2008

 

Oligosaccharides

  • As per one study, goat milk contains between 250 to 300mg/L oligosaccharides (Martinez-Ferez et al, 2006), which is lower than human milk, but 4-5 times higher than the content in cow milk.
  • In a new study published in 2013, goat milk samples were found to contain nearly 4 fold higher levels than these earlier measurements at 1.17g/L (Meyrand et al, 2013).
  • Although the amount of oligosaccharides measured in goat milk were still lower than the amount in human milk, the oligosaccharides found in goat milk shared similar structural elements critical to the bio activity of human milk oligosaccharides.

 

Claim areas

For Adult Nutrition

  • Easy digestibility of goat protein.
  • Better bio-availability of protein (i.e. more lactoglobulin digested).
  • Easy digestibility of goat milk (i.e. as a whole).
  • Higher oligosaccharide content.

 

For Infant / Toddler Nutrition

  • Higher oligosaccharide content.
  • Better bio-availability of micronutrients.
  • Better bio-availability of protein (i.e. more lactoglobulin digested).
  • Easy digestibility of goat protein.
  • Easy digestibility of goat milk (i.e. as a whole).