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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Co-operation

We are a co-operative, owned by the farmers who supply goat milk. We believe in the enduring value of the co-operative model and our objective is to grow the wealth and security of our farmer shareholders, while at the same time providing consumers with a world-leading premium quality product.

Co-operative is also a word we use to describe our business style, which is built around sustainable and long-term relationships with our partners.

We believe that goat milk is the best base from which to make infant formula. It is not the cheapest, or the most commonly available, but we do believe it is the best.

We take our responsibility seriously to deliver safe and effective nutrition to infants and young children all around the world, and to deliver brands and products that parents trust.

Animal Welfare and Health

New Zealand has a strict Code of Welfare for Goats. It specifies what is considered to be optimal animal welfare and how this may be achieved for goats farmed under New Zealand conditions. DGC farms are required to follow the New Zealand Code of Welfare for Goats as well as DGC’s own Code of Farm Practice.

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

Spray Drying

DGC’s spray drying plant has been designed specifically to process goat infant formula.

Spray drying is the process of removing water from the milk, producing the beginning of the fine powder that is eventually found in the finished product.

Our spray dryers are kept meticulously clean and the most recent, second spray dryer was built in 2015.