Gastric digestion of cow and goat milk: Impact of infant and young child in vitro digestion conditions

Food Chem. 2018 Apr 15:245:275-281. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.10.028. Epub 2017 Oct 7.


Many infants and young children are fed nutritional milk formulas. Although products are commonly based on cow milk, goat milk provides an alternative. We directly compared digestion of cow and goat milk proteins, varying pH, enzyme concentrations and incubation times to simulate infant and young child gastric conditions. Protein digestion and peptide formation were evaluated using electrophoresis and chromatography. Digestion of higher molecular weight whey proteins increased with decreased pH and higher enzyme concentrations of young child gastric digestion conditions compared to infant conditions. β-lactoglobulin was poorly digested under all gastric digestion conditions. Caseins reacted to pH changes differently compared to whey proteins, with less digestion of casein at pH 3.0 than at pH 5.0. Caseins from goat milk tended to be more efficiently digested compared to caseins from cow milk and peptide profiles from goat milk were distinct from cow milk.

Keywords: Cow-milk; Gastric digestion; Goat-milk; Milk protein.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caseins / analysis
  • Cattle
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Digestion*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Goats*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Lactoglobulins / analysis
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity
  • Stomach / physiology
  • Whey Proteins / analysis


  • Caseins
  • Lactoglobulins
  • Whey Proteins