Investigation of Sustainability of Dairy Goat Industry by Innovative Method of Product Development

2000 Annual Report for LS00-114

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2000: $225,470.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $145,796.00
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Young Park
Fort Valley State University

Investigation of Sustainability of Dairy Goat Industry by Innovative Method of Product Development


The U.S. dairy goat industry has faced many challenges for its survival, including the seasonality of milk production, development of superior quality dairy goat products attractive to the consumers, and competition of market share with the foreign imported goat milk products. This proposed three year project is focused on enhancing profitability and sustainability of the dairy goat industry and/or limited resource dairy goat farmers by developing year-round quality goat milk cheeses through an innovative technological approach to processing the surplus goat milk produced during the peak season.

The first project planning committee meeting has recommended some modification of the project activities during the first year, relevant to the following project objectives:
1.) Evaluate food quality and shelf-life of the commercial fresh soft goat milk cheeses produced by the Georgia dairy goat farmers,
2.) Compare the same parameters of the frozen-stored soft goat milk cheeses after 3 to 6 months at –20oC with those of the fresh cheeses for off-season marketing.
3.) Determine microbiological, rheological, nutritional and physico-chemical changes in fresh and frozen-stored soft goat cheeses in relation to the shelf-life and storage quality of the products.
For the subsequent 2nd and 3rd years of the project, more comprehensive studies will be conducted for the evaluation of soft goat cheeses along with one or two developed hard type goat cheeses.

During the first project planning meeting, the project collaborators recommended that the primary focus of the project should be on the quality evaluation of the actual commercial soft goat cheeses marketed by a recently licensed Georgia dairy goat farmer, rather than testing the experimental hard goat cheeses developed at Fort Valley State University pilot plant as originally planned. This proposed research for the first year will enable the investigators to gether practical and applicable research data, which would be highly useful for dairy goat farmers (producers) as well as consumers.

The first study has been initiated to undertake the objective 1. The soft goat cheeses have been purchased from the Georgia dairy goat farmer, and evaluation of food quality and shelf-life has been underway. The study will be repeated three times by testing three batches of cheeses that are manufactured different dates. For objective 2, each batch of the cheese will be subdivided into two portions, and assign them in two treatments (fresh vs. frozen). The fresh cheeses will be stored for 0, 7, 14, and 21 days at 4oC, and determined for shelf-life and food quality parameters of different storage periods. The frozen samples will be stored at –20oC for three months, thawed, and then evaluated for the extended shelf-life in the same way as the fresh samples. Finally, microbiological, rheological, nutritional, flavor and physico-chemical changes occurred in fresh and frozen-stored soft goat cheeses will be determined in relation to the lengths of shelf-life (objective 3).

Sensory evaluation of the goat cheeses toward successful marketing in relation to all other parameters, and economic analysis for the feasibility and sustainability of dairy goat farmers will be integral parts of the project for the last two years.

The outcome of this project is anticipated to provide direct benefits to especially goat farmers as well as consumers and scientists with respect to the feasibility of manufacturing and marketing fresh and frozen-stored goat cheeses, sensory properties, consumer acceptability, and financial analysis on capital returns for the limited resource farmers. The results of the study will be disseminated to the end-users, such as members of Georgia Dairy Goat Breeders Association, goat producers of other states, and consumers through workshops, seminars, goat field day, extension publications and newsletters, and also to the research and academic communities by scientific presentations and publications during and after completion of the project.


David Min

[email protected]
Ohio State University
Dept. of Food Science and Technology
2015 Fyffe Ct.
Columbus, OH 43210-1007
Office Phone: 6142927801
MaryAnne Drake

[email protected]
Assistant Professor
North Carolina State University
Box 7624
Raleigh, NC 27695-7624
Office Phone: 9195134596
Mack Nelson

[email protected]
Fort Valley State University
Agricultural Research Station
1005 State University Drive
Fort Valley, GA 31030-4313
Office Phone: 4788256827
Joseph Frank

[email protected]
University of Georgia
Dept. of Food Science and Technology
Food Science Building
Athens, GA 30602
Office Phone: 7065420994
Diane Van Hekken

[email protected]
Research Chemist
Eastern Regional Research Center, USDA/ARS
600 E. Mermaid Lane
Wyndmoor, PA 19038-8598
Office Phone: 2158363777
Mandy Latimer

Georgia Dairy Goat Breeder's Association
1540 McRee's Mill Rd.
Watkinsville, GA 30677
Office Phone: 7067699460