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Goat's Milk

Goat's Milk

Goat's Milk
© Denzil Green

Goat's Milk has a slightly sweet and salty taste to it. It can even taste particularly funny if the female goats have been eating onions, or they have been near a male goat or can smell one nearby.

Unlike cows, goats don't produce milk year round, only at the start of summer. Still, in proportion to their body weight, goats produce five times more milk than cows, and four times more than sheep. A goat can yield on average 2.5 to 3 litres of day a milk. [1]

Goat's Milk doesn't need to be homogenized, as does cow's milk, because the fat in it won't cluster together and rise to the top as cream, as would happen with cow's milk. Though it's about 10% higher in fat than cow's milk, it doesn't contain "agglutinin", as cow's milk does. Without the agglutinin, the fat does not cluster together as easily into globules. As far as making cheese goes, this means it forms a softer, less dense curd. Goat's Milk also has more short-chain fatty acids than cow's milk, making for smaller milk particles that are easier to digest.

When making cheese, Goat's Milk curdles twice as fast as cow's milk.

You can buy Goat's Milk fresh, instant powdered, evaporated or as sterilized UHT milk in cardboard cartons. Goat's Milk sometimes takes on a carmelized taste when heat treated, as happens with evaporated or UHT treated versions, so those forms are best saved for more robust cooking or baking.

In North America and Britain, Goat's Milk was only really available in health food stores up until recently, but is now finding a small bit of shelf space in some supermarket chillers.

Cooking Tips

When using Goat's Milk in recipes, owing to its higher fat content, you may be able to cut back slightly on other fats in the recipe such as butter or shortening.


Goat's Milk is marginally lower in lactose levels than cow's milk (4.7 percent in cow's milk versus 4.1 percent in Goat's Milk), and its fat doesn't cluster together as easily. It's on this basis that some people say Goat's Milk, and cheese, yoghurt, and butter made from Goat's Milk, are easier to digest by some people who are intolerant to cow's milk.

Some studies are showing, however, that people who are allergic to cow's milk will probably be just as allergic to Goat's Milk. 93 to 98% of children who are allergic to cow's milk were found to be also allergic to milk from goats and sheep [2]. Proponents of Goat's Milk disagree with the studies.

Some people advocate feeding Goat's Milk to infants instead of cow's milk. However, because it's lower in folic acid than cow's milk (only has about 1/10 of the folic acid that cow's milk does), folic acid supplements may be needed for someone feeding it to an infant in place of cow's milk. In fact, as of 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics is still advising against making it a steady diet for infants. Some commercial Goat's Milk packaging will say on it that folic acid has been added to bring it up to the levels of cow's milk.

Storage Hints

Goat's Milk sours more quickly than cow's milk, so it needs to be refrigerated constantly. It is far less forgiving of times outside a chiller either at your home, at the store, or during transit. Aficionados advise not to even keep it in the fridge door -- keep it right inside the fridge on a shelf.

Freezes well.

History Notes

The first milking machine for goats may have been that developed by the DeLaval company in 1949. [3]


[1] Alcock, Joan P. Milk and its Products in Ancient Rome. In: Milk: Beyond the Dairy : Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1999. Harlan Walker, editor. Oxford Symposium. 2000-08-01. Page 31.

[2] Matthias Bessler et al, Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 4(2): 119-24 (2002).

[3] DeLaval milestones. DeLaval Coporate site. Web. Retrieved February 2010 from http://www.delaval.com/About_DeLaval/TheCompany/History/DeLaval_milestones.htm

Reflections: A history of DeLaval. DeLaval International AB. 2005. Page 52

See also:


Almond Milk; Buttermilk; Chocolate Milk; Clabbered Milk; Cream; Evaporated Milk; Goat's Milk; Gold Top Milk; Ice Milk; Koumiss; Milk Cellar; Milk Frother; Milk; Oat Milk; Raw Milk; Rice Milk; Scalding Milk; Scald; Soy Milk; Yoghurt

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Also called:

Capra hircus (Scientific Name); Lait de chèvre (French); Ziegenmilch (German); Latte di capra (Italian); Leche de cabra (Spanish); Leite de cabra (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Goat's Milk." CooksInfo.com. Published 01 March 2003; revised 03 October 2013. Web. Accessed 03/20/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/goats-milk>.

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