Digestion

Casein produces a curd when in the stomach. It is well known that goat milk produces a very loose curd structure with a high proportion of water and is easily broken apart.1 A loose curd structure promotes the digestion of milk proteins.2 The structure of the curd is in turn influenced by the individual casein proteins.

There are 4 casein proteins – αs1-, αs2-, β- and κ-casein. In cow milk, αs1-casein makes up around 25% of the total protein.3 In goat milk from New Zealand αs1-casein makes up only 5-10% of the total protein. Similarly, around 5% of the total protein of human is αs1-casein.4Instead as1-casein, β-casein makes up 70% of casein in goat milk compared to 69% in human milk casein and 43% in cow milk.5

Low levels of αs1-casein are associated with a loose, more fragile, curd structure.6 It is probably the fragile curd of goat milk that changes how it is digested within the stomach and therefore how the infant may react during this process.

{section.alt}
  • 1Storry et al 1983; Ambrosoli et al 1988; Remeuf et al 1989; Park 2007; Mestawet et al, 2014
  • 2Ye et al, 2016
  • 3Martin et al. 2002; Caroli et al, 2009
  • 4Martin et al, 1996; Poth et al, 2008
  • 5Marletta et al, 2007; Cebellos et al, 2009; Salem et al, 2009; Ham et al, 2010
  • 6Pierre et al 1995; Martin, Ollivier-Bousquet and Grosclaude 1999; Park et al, 2007

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Allergy

There is a common belief that goat milk is a sound alternative for infants or children with cow milk protein allergy. This has resulted in the promotion of goat milk and goat milk products for relief of allergy. However, scientific studies show that goat milk is not always an effective substitute for cow milk in children who are already sensitised to cow milk protein and have a rapid onset, IgE-mediated reaction to cow milk proteins. Only extensively hydrolysed formulas should be used for the dietary management of infants with diagnosed cow milk protein allergy.1

There are several lines of evidence that the strength and type of the immune response to goat and cow milk might still differ. For example, children allergic to cow milk required nearly five times more goat milk to trigger an adverse reaction.2 In another study, 25% of children allergic to cow milk did not react to goat milk at all.3 Children with allergy to cow milk proteins had a lower response to goat milk containing low amounts of αs1-casein.4 Similarly, studies with animals have also shown that lower levels of αs1-casein in goat milk resulted in fewer allergic reactions.5

Further research will help to understand how people might respond differently to goat or cow milk.

Until such studies have been completed, it is important that goat milk infant formula is not promoted as a remedy for infants with severe reactions to cow milk.

1 AAP 2000; Koletzko et al, 2012
2 Bellioni-Businco et al 1999
3 Infante et al 2003
4 Ballabio et al, 2011; Albenzio et al 2012; Lisson et al 2014
5 Bevilacqua et al 2001; Hodgkinson et al 2012

Can Filling

The DGC can filling facilities are world class. On any day at DGC we can manufacture over 150,000 cans and fill over 90,000 cans. These are then sent to our warehousing and distribution facility where they await final safety tests before being released for export worldwide.

For Families

DGC is of the land, because we are a co-operative of goat farmers who live and breathe by the rhythms of nature. From sun up to sundown, in all kinds of weather, we are caring for our goats – cutting and serving fresh forage for their breakfast, lunch and dinner, milking at day’s break and day’s end, checking the bedding, and generally keeping a watchful eye over the welfare of all, from the littlies to the biggies.

It’s everyday family care. This is appropriate since DGC is itself a family, and we work together with a single focus, on making a better infant formula for the world. Whether it is at 5.30am milking Saturdays and Sundays, or in our labs developing world-class research, or packing our cans safely.

We are proud to be farming a natural food and managing its production all the way to market. And that’s why we feel good about putting our name on it, knowing it is going on to feed and nurture families just like ours.

An infant goat milk formula made without palm oil

The fat content of formula must be modified to include several essential fatty acids. Many formulas are based on skim milk where the milk fat is replaced by vegetable oils, including palm oil.1

DGC has adopted an alternative approach, using whole goat milk to retain milk fat. Vegetable oils are still added to top up the essential unsaturated fatty acids in goat milk, but it is not necessary to use palm oil if milk fat is included in the formula.

Our research has also shown that there is also no need to use highly modified ingredients such as OPO.2

1 Delplanque et al, 2015
2 Prosser et al, 2010