Composition of Cow, Sheep and Goat Milks

Table 1: Chemical Composition of Milk from different species.

Component Cow (Holstein) Goat Sheep
Fat % 3.5 3.5 5.3
Protein % 3.1 3.1 5.5
Lactose % 4.9 4.6 4.6
Total Solid % 12.2 12.0 16.3

Table 2: Principle fatty acids (g/100g fat) in milk fats from different species.

Fatty Acids Cow Sheep Goat
Short Chain C4:0 3.1 4.0 2.6
Medium Chain C5:0 1.6 2.8 2.9
C8:0 1.3 2.7 2.7
C10:0 3.0 9.0 8.4
C12:0 3.1 5.4 3.3
C14:0 9.5 11.8 10.3
Long Chain C16:0 26.3 25.4 24.6
C16:1 2.3 3.4 2.2
C18:0 14.6 9.0 12.5
C18:1 29.8 20.0 28.5
C18:2 2.4 2.1 2.2
C18:3 0.8 1.4 1.0

Note: The tabled figures above are averages obtained through scientific studies. Milk composition varies according to feed, breeds of animal, stages of lactation and the environment.

Raw Milk

All of the products produced at Meredith Dairy are made using pasteurisation.

Digestion

Cow’s milk and Goat milk have a similar percentage of fat and protein in the milk (see Table 1.). However the differences in the size and composition of the fat molecules in the milk between the two species attribute to easier digestion of goat milk.

When compared to cow’s milk, the fat globules contained in goat milk are much smaller in size. As a result of this there is an increase in the surface area of the fats which are exposed to lipase enzymes within the intestines which allows a more efficient break down (digestion) of these molecules.

In addition to this, there are a greater proportion of medium chain fatty acids in goat milk fat when compared to cow’s milk (see Table 2.). The smaller chain size allows the lipase enzymes to process these compounds more quickly.

Flavour

Some goat milk products have a strong and sometimes offensive flavour. This flavour is due to the presence of medium-chain fatty acids (capric, caprylic and dcaproic acid) combined with bacterial enzymes (lipase) which breakdown these molecules to produce the “goaty” flavour. Matured goat cheese products typically present this flavour attribute, however fresh goat cheese such as the products manufactured at Meredith Dairy (Chevre, Marinated Cheese) should be absent of this flavour. Fresh, correctly treated goat milk usually has a very neutral and clean flavour.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Below is an excerpt taken from the Victorian Government website: Better Health Channel, if you would like further information please follow the link provided and consult your local health professional when seeking medical advice.

Allergy is an immune response

Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a specific part of a food, usually a protein. These proteins may be from foods, pollens, house dust, animal hair or moulds. They are called allergens. The word ‘allergy’ means that the immune system has responded to a harmless substance as if it were toxic.

Food intolerance is a chemical reaction

Food intolerance is a ‘chemical’ reaction that some people have after eating or drinking some foods; it is not an immune response. Food intolerance has been associated with asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Food intolerance is much more common than food allergy.

Milk Allergies and Intolerances

Goat’s milk protein has a similar structure to that of cow’s milk thus goat milk is not suitable for those people with a true cow’s milk allergy (IgE-mediated immune response). Intolerances to cow’s milk based dairy products may be overcome by switching to goat or sheep based products however this will vary from person to person.

If you are unsure whether you are intolerant or allergic to milk products it is best to seek advice from your doctor or health professional before trying new foods.

Pregnancy & Our Cheese

The issue with pregnancy and cheese is the potential harm to the baby & mother caused by food contaminated with a bacteria called “Listeria Monocytogenes (LM) referred to as Listeriosis. You should make yourself familiar with this bacteria and foods which can become contaminated with LM.

There are several strains of Listeria but only the Monocytogenes strain is harmful to health. LM, mostly referred to as just Listeria, has been found in small goods, including smoked fish, dips, salads, as well as soft cheese. There are incidents of LM in both unpasteurised and pasteurised cheeses as the bacteria can be present not only in the unpasteurised milk but in the factory environment. By law any food containing this bacteria must be removed from circulation.

All of the cheeses we make at Meredith are pasteurised, eliminating the presence of this bacteria in the milk for cheese making, but contamination after pasteurisation is a risk and has occurred at other cheese factories.

At Meredith Dairy, we test our cheeses and the factory environment for LM. To date we have not had any laboratory tests indicating the presence of LM in our factory environment or cheeses. This is reassuring for our company, but this bacteria is commonly found in the environment, in soil, wet areas & in animal feed.

Pregnancy is a very special time and the choice to eat processed foods including cheese is a personal one, perhaps avoiding processed foods whilst pregnant is a small price to pay.

Lactose Intollerance

Lactose, literally meaning “milk sugar”, is the primary sugar found in milk from most mammals. Those who have a sensitivity or intolerance toward lactose lack the ability to produce the enzyme (lactase) that is required for the break down and digestion of lactose in the human body.

Fermented dairy products, such as yoghurt and cheese, are manufactured using starter cultures (good bacteria) whose primary role is to convert the lactose present in the milk into lactic acid which forms an integral part of the finished product.

Depending on their sensitivity, lactose intolerant people can better tolerate fermented dairy products due to the action of the starter cultures consuming the lactose in the milk. All products manufactured at Meredith Dairy are considered high-acid thus a high portion of lactose in the product has consumed by the starter cultures making the products more favourable for those lactose sensitive people who enjoy dairy products.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. This Information is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

The marinade

Some consumers perceive canola oil to be bad for health. I have not found any scientific based evidence to confirm that the canola we use is bad. There are references indicating that heating can change the chemical structure of cooking oils, but we use only cold-pressed oil, and don’t use any heating or cooking to make the marinade. Furthermore, cold pressing excludes the use of chemical oil extraction.

The cold-pressed canola we use is GMO free, grown in Australia, has a neutral taste, is free of taints and trans fats. Canola grown in the Northern Hemisphere often is GMO, not so in Australia. Australian farmers who grow GM canola, are listed on a register. We use only GMO free oils. Click here for more info.

We use blended Australian edible oils, Extra Virgin olive Oil (EVOO) & GMO free Canola.

  • Our product tastes better with this blend.
  • The Australian EVOO has a very robust flavour. The unblended Extra Virgin Olive oil overpowers the other flavours in the marinade.
  • Aust grown olives contain high levels of wax and when cold pressed, the wax is retained in the olive oil. At refrigeration temps the EVOO wax solidifies and looks unsightly.
  • The olive oil characteristics can vary due to seasonal conditions. A blended product helps maintain the colour, flavour and texture of the marinade.
  • Australian Canola oil is lower in saturated fat than any other oil, is second only to olive oil with levels of monounsaturated fats. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids which lowers levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. (Omega-3 is known to contribute to heart health, brain growth and development)
  • We use only cold pressed oils. The edible oils are erucic acid free.
  • After extensive sensory analysis we wanted a marinade with a neutral taste, good colour, light, smooth taste, free of cholesterol and Trans fats.
  • We use only GMO free edible oil, grown in Australia.

Plastics

Unfortunately there has been a lot of misrepresentations and generalisations made regarding plastics and their potential to migrate into our foods.

There is some truth in these claims, however these occurrences are only specific to certain types of plastics under certain conditions. The classic case where this issue can occur is with the use of cling film with the offender being the PVC (polyvinylchloride) component.

When this product is in contact with fatty foods (e.g. meat and cheese) and is subject to a heat process such as a microwave this is where the migration can occur. This same issue can be applied to those plastic containers that are not deemed microwave safe. If I could direct you to some further reading on the link below, it will give you a little more insight into the issues at hand.

Migration of chemicals from plastic into food.

References