It is estimated that Worldwide more people consume products made from goat’s milk than they do cow’s milk. This likely relates to the historical domestication of the goat which may have occurred as far ago as 8000 years B.C. This is obviously not true in the Western countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States were cow’s milk drinking still predominates. However, in recent times goat’s milk has become more widely available in Western countries and is now stocked by most supermarkets. In addition France, Greece and the Netherlands now produce a range of goat’s cheese that is also widely available throughout Europe. Goats milk has a slightly sweeter taste that cow’s milk, but its reputation for being sour like goat’s cheese is not deserving. Some evidence suggests that allergies are less common with goat’s milk consumption and the nutritional characteristics of goat’s milk might make it more easily digested.
Goats milk shares many of the characteristics of many mammalian milks. In this respect goats milk does not differ significantly from that of cow’s milk. Goats milk is a good source of protein, and as with other milks contains the disaccharide sugar lactose. This can make the consumption of goat’s milk problematic for those with lactose malabsorption, although the levels are lactose are slightly lower in goats milk compared to cow’s milk. As with all milk, the fat content of goat’s milk is low in essential fatty acids as the bacteria in the stomachs of ruminant destroys these fats before they can be absorbed and incorporated into the milk. However, goat’s milk does contain slightly more short and medium chain fatty acids compared to cow’s milk. The mineral content of goat's milk is very similar to cow’s milk, with slightly higher concentrations of potassium and calcium. Goats milk is also a good source of the B vitamins riboflavin and biotin.