Goat cheese

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“Chèvre” or goat cheese is a food term used to designate cheese made out of goat milk.

Chemical composition[edit]

Goat milk differs from cow milk in a way of being lower in fat. Fat contents represents 4% of the total composition of cow milk when only 3.44% for goat milk.

Chemical components of Goat Milk
Water 900 g/ L
Proteins 30,8 g/ L
Fat contents 34,4 g/ L
Lactose 48 g/ L
Calcium 1,25 g/ L
Phosphore 0,95 g/ L



Goat milk contains 30,8g/ kg of proteins. It is important to quantify it because it represents the casein concentration. Casein is a conjugated protein, it will form micelles by binding with phosphate groups. Those groups will then bind calcium, which is important for micelles structures. The micelles will later form aggregates that is essential to cheese production. Proteins have a preponderant role and are essential to cheese making process. Casein can represent up to 70% of the total amount of proteins in goat milk. But all caseins in milk cannot form micelles as a part of it is lost in the aqueous phase.

Casein can be found in milk under four different types:

- α(s1) – Casein: low concentration in goat milk making it more digestible than cow milk.

- α(s2) – Casein: major casein proteins with (s1) – Casein.

- β- Casein: more hydrophobic than caseins and very sensitive to calcium concentration.

- κ- Casein: it is found on the surface of the casein micelles (hairy layer) and is a huge factor concerning the cheese making process.

Casein micelles structures will lead to aggregation due to several type of interactions:

- Van der Waals interactions will cause aggregation under all circumstances.

- Electrostatic interactions will create a repulsive force that will vary with pH.

- Steric interactions will also create a repulsion force due to κ- Casein on the surface of the micelle. Casein is important to the functional behavior of dairy products.

Whey protein or serum protein[edit]

Whey proteins are the one that will remain after the coagulation of casein micelles. Those proteins will not coagulate but form a liquid during the process of cheese making. They are non-desirables products in cheese. However, they represent 20% of protein in goat milk. Whey contains the most part of lactose.


Fat contents[edit]

Goat milk contains less fat than cow milk. In the process of cheese making, it is necessary to obtain not the largest amount of fat possible as it is for proteins. Instead, the amount of fat needs to be controlled because fat can impact the cheese making process: a concentration that is too low in fat content can be a reason the cheese won’t meet regulations expectations and a too high concentration can limit the process and create a non-usable unit. Fat content in milk is represented by fat globules. Phospholipids forming a tri-layer and associated substances such as cholesterol will create the membrane that retain the triglycerides present in the middle of the fat globule. Triglycerides are fatty acids (saturated and unsaturated) that represent 98% of the total of fat contents.


Lactose is a specific sugar present in the milk. It is synthetized in the mammal and found in equal quantities in cow and goat milk. Its main role is to be a substrate for the lactic bacteria during the cheese making process. Those bacteria dispose of an enzyme, β-galactosidase, which is responsible for the cleavage of lactose molecules in two different and distinct molecules: glucose and galactose. Those sugars will then be used during the formation of lactic acid, responsible for the drop of pH during the cheese making process.

Goat milk is composed of several minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Those are ions that are positively charged. But goat milk is also composed of negatively charged ions such as chloride, sulfates, phosphates. Phosphate and calcium will directly influence the cheese fabrication. They can be found under two different phases, aqueous and micellar (bounded to casein micelles) at equilibrium. The equilibrium can be perturbed by a change in physical and chemical properties. Their concentration will define milk capacity to resist to acidification.

Microbial agents in cheese fabrication[edit]

Goat milk and milk in general contains three different types of micro-organisms.

- Bacteria: some are useful or even necessary for the cheese making process (thermophile and lactic thermophiles) when others are detrimental or even dangerous for the making of a good and regulated cheese.

- Moulds: those that develop in acid environments will act during the aging process (penicilium candidum).

- Yeasts: transform sugars in alcohol and will also be a factor of aging (candida).


Fresh chevre and crackers

Goat cheese, goats' cheese, or chèvre (/ˈʃɛvrə/ or /ˈʃɛv/; from the French word for goat), is cheese made from goat's milk.


Cow's milk and goat's milk have similar overall fat contents.[4] However, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids such as caproic, caprylic and capric acid in goat's milk contributes to the characteristic tart flavor of goat's milk cheese. (These fatty acids take their name from the Latin for goat, capra.)[5]

Goat milk is often consumed by young children, the elderly, those who are ill, or have a low tolerance to cow's milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese.

Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. In the most simple form, goat cheese is made by allowing raw milk to naturally curdle, and then draining and pressing the curds. Other techniques use an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) or rennet to coagulate the milk. Soft goat cheeses are made in kitchens all over the world, with cooks hanging bundles of cheesecloth filled with curds in the warm kitchen for several days to drain and cure. If the cheese is to be aged, it is often brined so it will form a rind, and then stored in a cool cheese cave for several months to cure.

Goat cheese softens when exposed to heat, although it does not melt in the same way many cow cheeses do. Firmer goat cheeses with rinds are sometimes baked in an oven to form a warm viscous form of the cheese.

List of goat's milk cheeses by region[edit]

Chevre with lavender and wild fennel


  • Buche Noir is a fresh pressed goats curd covered in fine vine ash from the Sydney region.
  • Meredith Dairy from the western districts of Victoria.


Eastern Mediterranean[edit]

  • Labneh is a goat, cow or sheep yogurt cheese consumed in many parts of the world including the Eastern Mediterranean. It is often eaten with olive oil, olives, zaatar and fresh vegetables on flatbread for breakfast.


France produces a great number of goat's milk cheeses, especially in the Loire Valley and Poitou, where goats are said to have been brought by the Moors in the 8th century.[6] Examples of French chèvres include Bucheron, Chabis, Chavroux, Clochette, Couronne Lochoise, Crottin de Chavignol (largest produced goat cheese AOC), Faisselle, Montrachet (Burgundy), Pélardon, Picodon, Pouligny Saint-Pierre, Rocamadour, Sainte-Maure de Touraine, Chabichou du Poitou, Valençay, and Pyramide.

It is sometimes served hot as chèvre chaud.



  • Tullyboy goat cheese is a hard mature cheese made from pasteurized milk.




  • Ġbejna is a goat (or sheep) soft cheese. Various types are found which include; fresh (friski or tal-ilma), sundried (moxxa, bajda or t'Għawdex), salt cured (maħsula), peppered (tal-bżar) seasoned (imħawra).


  • In the Netherlands there are several smaller goat cheese farms. In the 'Westerkwartier', the region west of the city of Groningen has a relatively large concentration of biological goat cheese farms and the most famous goat cheese from this region is called Machedoux, which is a brie-like cheese made from goat milk that is sold and served in restaurants all over the Netherlands and in Belgium and northern Germany. In other parts of the Netherlands, goat cheese is usually made in the Gouda style.


  • Geitost, which means goat cheese. It is brown and made from goat milk and whey. You can also buy other brown cheeses, for example Brunost ("Brown cheese") which are made from cow milk whey, goat milk whey or a combination of both.
  • A fresh goat milk cheese is also available, known as Snøfrisk. It comes in different varieties including natural, chanterelles, herbs, and various other additions.
  • Recently a firm white goat cheese was also made available in supermarkets.


Goat cheese from Yeghegnadzor, Armenia



  • Tulum Cheese is a goat cheese made in Turkey.
  • Sepet Cheese and Kaşar Cheese (tr)] are also produced from goat milk and marketing as Goat Sepet Cheese and Goat Kaşar Cheese.
  • Beyaz Peynir ("White Cheese" in Turkish) is a brine cheese produced from sheep, cow, or goat milk and when it is made off 100% goat milk, then it is also categorized as Goat Cheese in Turkey and named as Coat White Cheese.

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]


  • In Venezuela, specifically in the states of Falcón, Lara and the population of San Jose de Turgua in Miranda state, many types of goat cheese are produced using traditional methods.[citation needed] The most common type is Pasta Firme.[citation needed] A variety of artisanal cheeses are manufactured by smaller producers.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pradal, Magali (2012). La transformation fromagère caprine fermière. Lavoisier. 
  2. ^ Park, Young W.; Haenlein, George F.W. (2006). Handbook of milk of non-bovine mammals. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-8138-2051-4. 
  3. ^ Pond, Wilson G. (2004). Encyclopedia of Animal Science. CRC Press. ISBN 0824754964. 
  4. ^ "Content of Milk by Species". havemilk.com. 
  5. ^ "Capric acid," Chemical LAND21.com. Accessed 26 June 2008.
  6. ^ "Get your goat you've pulled...", Impressions Magazine, n.d. Accessed 26 June 2008.
  7. ^ "Gevrik Cheese," practicallyedible.com. Accessed 26 June 2008.
  8. ^ "BBC NEWS – UK – England – Cornwall – Smokehouse emerges as big cheese". 
  9. ^ "Newquay's Finest – Accommodation, Clubs and Surfing Events". 
  10. ^ Idalia De León. "Estampas". El Universal. 

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