Goat farming sits among the profitable agribusinesses in Kenya. Despite its growth in recent times, farmers still struggle with the smell and bitter flavour in goat milk.
The milk is more nutritious compared to cows' milk due to its rich amount of calcium and amino acids which are a necessity for healthy bones.
Despite having a revolting strong smell, it has a higher amount of fatty acids, is easy to digest and has low cholesterol levels.
What causes the strong smell?
Most farmers opine that the odour is caused by having the male and female goat in the same pen. Yes, that is true but not the only reason.
The milk has a high amount of lactic acid which multiplies faster especially if storage units exceed temperatures of 380 degrees Celsius. This will, in the end, affect its flavour and smell.
Some goat breeds such as Toggenburg and Oberhasi are known for their pungent body smell that can be present in their milk.
Feeding the animals diets rich in onions and garlic can also cause the smell in the milk. The garlic and onions smell is filtered into the milk they produce.
Also, Mastitis or the inflammation of the udder disease can lead to bitter taste and a nauseating flavour in the milk.
Further, giving the goat water rich in copper or iron can result in a bad flavour in milk.
How to get rid of the smell
Cool the milk to about 170 degrees Celsius after milking to stop enzyme action and prevent the breakdown of fats and other lipids to release fatty acids which later contribute to the odour.
The female goats produce pheromones naturally and when kept close to the males, they get affected and later the odour is passed into the milk. Keep them apart while milking and maybe allow them to be close during the breeding seasons only.
Clean the udder thoroughly with warm water and coat brushed before and after milking.
Avoid foreign matter from the skin or fur gets into the milk. Since some breeds have a natural body odour you can achieve this by building a milk area that is cleaned before and after milking.
Filter the milk and ensure the jars and buckets used for milking are often sterilised.