When Is Goat's Milk Spoiled?

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Spoiled goat's milk has a distinctive smell.
Image Credit: Elena Medoks/iStock/GettyImages

A simple whiff of a container of goat's milk tells you if its "gone off." It you think cow's milk smells pungent when it spoils, just consider milk times 10 when goat's milk spoils. Sour goat's milk not only smells bad, it tastes worse. Whether the goat's milk is raw or pasteurized, it can be stored in a refrigerator up to 10 days without spoiling, but start checking after three days. If it's left at room temperature, it starts to go off in hours, as the bacteria begin to breed more quickly.


Why Goat’s Milk Spoils Quickly

Goat milk is the most commonly consumed dairy product worldwide. Storage is the key to the milk's longevity. Raw goat milk can only be purchased at a farm and needs immediate refrigeration to prevent spoiling. Pasteurized goat milk, while differing in taste from the raw version, is the safest way to drink goat milk. However, even the pasteurized version starts to turn when left at room temperature for a number of hours.


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If you've ever walked the halls of a hospital, you'll have noticed that the temperature is set to chilly. That's to prevent bacteria from breeding quickly. The same holds true for milk, and goat's milk. It contains bacteria and the best way to tame the breeders is to keep it cold.


Tasting Spoiled Goat Milk

The minute a goat is milked, its product is sweet and clean tasting. There is no strong aftertaste, and it certainly doesn't taste "goaty." How that goat milk is handled depends on the lactic acid within the milk. If it's not refrigerated, that acid starts to affect the taste of the milk and then the "goaty" flavor emerges. Refrigerating it keeps the milk sweet tasting. Some breeds of goat produce stronger tasting milk than others and when females are penned with males, their milk may become stronger.


The Taste of Good Goat Milk

Better Hens and Gardens describes goat milk as creamy, sweet and mild, just as if you're drinking a glass of good cow milk. The 6 to 10 percent butterfat content of the milk produced by some goat breeds results in the creamy texture. When drinking a ten percent butterfat goat milk, the taste is similar to half-and-half.


The butterfat level, the breed of the goat and the individual goat determine the taste of the milk. If the goats are fed an insubstantial diet, the milk will taste goaty and even spoiled. And if your family still wrinkle their noses at the thought of goat milk, just add some chocolate flavoring and the kidlets will forget where the milk came from. And remind them that goats are cute when practicing goat yoga. Cows aren't.



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