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Low-tech goat milk pasteurization system 0809

Page history last edited by ecop 13 years, 10 months ago

The Double-Boiler: A Cheap and Effective Way to Pasteurize Goat Milk




 By: Caroline Proctor



Description and Rationale



A few years ago, goat’s milk was not in large demand, but all of that is changing. Today, goat farmers in the Philippines are raising their own goats in their backyards. Some people keep the milk to feed their families, while others sell the milk to make a profit. But some of these farmers’ goat milk is not safe to drink.



     What is the most important factor for selling goat milk to the general public? Is it the proper method of pasteurization? For the small-scale farmer, is pasteurization something that is needed? If the milk is not pasteurized, will innocent civilians become horribly sick? Could this process be sustainable? Or would the work and expenses be too much to handle? If this was manageable, what would be the least expensive means for a farmer to pasteurize his milk?



     Might there be a cheap, convenient way for a small-scale goat farmer to effectively market his product? The Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) has found a way to construct an efficient, self-pasteurization system that is inexpensive and easy to manage (Brian Proctor). They also recommend substituting goat milk for cow or sheep milk. What exactly makes goat milk a better choice than cow or sheep milk? It has been proven that there is a higher bioavailability of iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in goat’s milk. These minerals help reduce the threat of anemia and bone demineralization. But there are many harmful pathogens that are in goat milk, and, if the milk is not pasteurized, they can cause one’s health to deteriorate (Science Daily). If goat milk is the healthiest alternative, what would be the best way to communicate the necessity of pasteurization to the small-scale goat farmers of the Philippines?



     The initial purpose of this project will be to research the process and benefits of a self-pasteurization system that can be easily built and installed in an average Filipino environment through an extensive search of literature, as well as interviews with people in association with the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center. These findings will help guide the experimental phase, where key variables in the pasteurization process and construction of the system will be further explored.  



It is hoped that the Filipino farmers will adapt to the idea of this system and will be able to invest and make a good income in the business of goat farming through a more informed understanding of a helpful, cheap resource.



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Common Names and Synonyms



The Capra aegargrus hircus is also called the domestic goat. It is known as the

domestic goat since farmers, and even average people at times, raise them and breed them. Other synonyms include: billy,if male, and nanny, if female (US); and Kambing (Philippines).






Kingdom: Animalia

            Phylum: Chordata

            Class: Mammalia (mammal – gives birth to its young)

            Order: Artiodactyla (an even number of functional toes)

            Family: Bovidae (hollow-horned ruminants)

            Genus: Capra (bearded, straight-horned)

            Species: C. aegagrus (wild)

            Sub-Species: C. a. hircus (domesticated)

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Morphology and Physical Description




External Anatomy



The goat can grow up to 42 inches (around 107 centimeters)

tall at the shoulder. Long, thick and furry coats protect them from the cold.

Some goats resemble sheep, but, on closer inspection, one may find that the

tail of a goat is pointed upwards at most

times, whereas, a sheep’s tail would be

hanging downward. In addition to their

thick abundance of fur, all goats, both

male and female, have beards that protrude

under their chins, as well as waddles that

dangle from each side of the neck.



Most male goats have horns jutting out

from their upper foreheads. The horns are

usually made up of living bone enclosed

with proteins such as keratin. A goat

usually uses its horns in cases of defense,

dominance and territoriality.  Female

goats have an udder for extracting milk.



Internal Anatomy



Goats are known as “ruminants”. This means that they have a four-chambered stomach. These four chambers are called: the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum.



The rumen (also known as the “paunch”) is the first and largest of the four stomach chambers. The rumen can hold from 3 to 6 gallons of substance, depending on what that  substance is. Many microorganisms, such as

bacteria and protozoa, survive in the rumen

and create enzymes to break down food and

other substances that the goat ingests. The

rumen supplies at least 80% of the goats’

energy requirement.



The reticulum (also known as the “hardware

stomach” or “the honeycomb”) can contain

0,25 to 0.50 gallons. It is located just under

the esophagus.



The omasum (also known as “manyplies”)

is created by folds of tissue. This tissue

grinds up feed and removes water. It can

hold approximately 0.25 gallons.



The abomasums (also known as the “true stomach”) has the similar function of a human stomach. It breaks down food and sends it to the small intestine. The abomasum also contains hydrochloric acid and enzymes to help break down the food. The absmasum can hold 1 gallon.  


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Getting Food



Goats are herbivores. This means that they only eat plants. The normal method of acquiring food that goats use is grazing. Contrary to belief, goats are very particular about what they eat. They usually eat the highest quality of hay, greens and concentrates (barley, oats, etc.). Goats will, however, eat an extensive variety of fibrous plants. Young thistles, brambles and bark from trees seem to be goat’s favorite things to nibble on.



The story has been that goats love to eat anything. Many tales depict goats eating trash or clothing. However, this is not true. Goats tend to be extremely curious about their surroundings. They “examine” things around them, such as buttons or garbage, with their upper lip and tongue. This gives some people the impression that the goats are eating their belongings.



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Goats reproduce through internal fertilization (or sexual reproduction). This birthing process is known as kidding. Right before this process the female will seem agitated and restless.



Once the kid is birthed, the mother will produce a kind of milk called “colostrum”. Colostrum contains antibodies that protect the kid temporarily from harmful infections. This will occur for one week, and then the normal milking process will begin again.



During the first month of life, the kid suckles, or drinks the milk from its mother. About the second week of life, the kid begins to eat the vegetation around it. The goat becomes mature enough to reproduce during the fourth to the sixth month. After the first year, the male goats isolate themselves in small groups. It is recommended on a farm that the bucks be kept away from the females, especially during the milking period, since they tend to affect the milk, giving it a more sharp flavor. A normal lifespan of a goat is around 10 to 20 years.



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Environmental Factors



The goat usually spends most of its time outside in an environment that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Goats are known to be peaceful creatures and therefore have no open competition with any other species. They do, however, sometimes fight with each other.



There are several parasites that use the goat as a host and cause them to get ill. Some of these illnesses are: Milk Fever, Common Colds, and Udder Inflammation (Mastitis).



These parasites can also infect humans who have close contact with a goat carrying the parasites. These sicknesses include: Rabies, Tuberculosis, Toxoplasmosis and Brucellosis 


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Origin and Distribution



The goat was first recorded to be seen in the Neolithic Era. This was the period of time in the Middle East when the development of basic human technology began (around 9500 BCE). The Neolithic farmers kept them for easy access to their milk, meat, and dung, which they used for fuel and fertilizer. After their goats died, the farmers would then use their bones, sinew and hair for clothing and tools.



It is believed that goats reached the Philippines through extensive trade throughout the Middle East and the South East Asia regions. Goats were introduced into the Philippines and became one of the staple industries of the country.



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Importance to People



Goats have a tremendous importance to the world today. Agriculture industries and farms raise goats for their meat, milk, and wool.



Goat’s meat tastes very similar to lamb’s meat, which is very popular. It is sold around the world for cheaper prices than lamb meat, though. One of the biggest uses of the goat is its milk. It can be used as a substitute for sheep or cow milk if one is allergic. However, it still contains lactose and can cause gastrointestinal problems for those who are lactose intolerant. Goat milk can also be used to create cheeses and butters. The final key use of goats is their wool. A certain breed of domestic goat, called Angora, has long, curly locks of fur called mohair. The mohair can grow up to 4 inches long. Twice a year, these goats are shorn and their wool is used to make clothing such as cashmere, down, and pashmina.



These are several intriguing ideas about using goats as an abundant resource. There is a farm down in Davao, the largest city on the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines, that has been constructing their own milk pasteurizing system, as well as making their own low-fat, cost-efficient goat cheese and butter.



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Survivability and Endangered Status



The average domestic goat is in no danger of becoming extinct. There are, however, certain breeds of goat that are becoming endangered, such as the Irish goat. Goats are used for everyday resources and are usually bred by farmers. Therefore, they generally have no threat to their species. The resilience of domestic goats is high. It has a minimum population doubling time of around 3 years.



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Potential Solutions



     Is the double-boiler a practical way to create a home-based industry? Research so far says that, with the correct equipment and resources, a reasonably stable profit can be achieved. However, the location of the business would have to be taken into account. Research shows that small, home-based industries located nearer to roads tend to be more effective. There seem to be several possibilities to help these people, as well as others in less fortunate areas, to set up a successful business that guarantees a stable income for the individual or family. Below are three possibilities with the analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each.  


Possibility 1 - The Jeepney Magazine


The Jeepney Magazine is a magazine that reaches out to Filipinos who are less fortunate. The articles help make people aware of the things that are happening in these people’s lives and give them a chance to make a difference.  Writing to this magazine and suggesting that an article about the double-boiler be included could be beneficial.






1.      Readers could be encouraged to reach out to the squatters of the Philippines and use the double-boiler to help them generate a more sustainable income. Many squatter families have children involved in drug trafficking and the local sex industry. A more stable source of money can ensure the safety of the children.





2.      Securing an article in Jeepney Magazine would mean a more wide-spread

audience and result. Rather than reaching only a small village of people, the article would be read by many, and these people could have the resources to make a difference in a number of people’s lives.








1.      The chances of securing a spot for this article would be small and would take a lot of time. First, a convincing argument would have to be made to get the staff to consider placing the article in the magazine. Also, lots of initial and extensive research would have to be done, and would consume an excessive amount of time. The research itself would probably take up more time than was given for the project. The idea could also be rejected, which would bring everything back to square one, with no time to spare.





Although the article would reach many people, and they could help others, there would not actually be any face-to-face interaction with Filipinos, which is a requirement for this project.



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Possibility 2 - Instructional Videos



The Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) focuses on things such as the welfare of Filipinos who are in poverty. One of the MBRLC’s cost-efficient milk pasteurizing systems is called the double-boiler, which is the main focus of this project. Mr. Steve Musen, who works with humanitarian aid company ARLDF, makes regular trips to the farms that MBRLC owns. It is there that much of the pasteurizing takes place. It would be possible to ask that an instructional video for the double-boiler be made by the staff at the farm and then distributed among the Filipinos.






1.      The video would be made by individuals who are knowledgeable in the subject of goats and the function of the double-boiler. These people could ensure the proper explanation of the construction of the double-boiler and the correct process of pasteurization needed, as well as the basic methods of raising and caring for goats.





2.      These videos could be widely distributed throughout the country, thus ensuring that the Filipino community has been reached through the means of this project, as well as the MBRLC. It also might be possible for the MBRLC to sell their videos to other companies or organizations and use the profits to help other, less-fortunate Filipinos.






1.      The MBRLC might not have the means to create this video, such as computers, cameras and time. Also, I would not be actively involved in the action step itself, which somewhat defeats the whole purpose of the project.





Once again, even though the video would be very beneficial, there would be no definite face-to-face interaction with the Filipino community.



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Possibility 3 - Present to Children


    Mr. Rufo Pong is a pastor who helps out at the barracks for the workers around Faith Academy. He has started up a church where many of these men, along with their families, attend. These are some people that could benefit from the double-boiler. I decided that it would be more enjoyable and less awkward to speak with some of these families’ children. I partnered up with Elizabeth Hardeman, another 10th grader at Faith Academy, to present my case to these children. We believed this to be more beneficial since our topics seemed to be very similar. Liz was presenting on goat cheese, while my specific product is goat milk. At 3:00 on May 5, 2009, Pastor Pong gathered up about 10 kids and brought them to the Faith Academy gate and Liz and I were there to greet them. We explained to them about how we had a project to do, and how it could help their family and friends. I made a booklet explaining the basics of the double-boiler (how it is put together, the materials needed, and how to pasteurize milk). Once I was finished and had handed out my booklets, making sure the kids’ parents would receive them, I helped Liz pass around samples of goat cheese, while she presented her brochure. Afterwards, both of us handed our extra brochures to Pastor Pong, to use them however he wanted.









1.      Pastor Pong can translate these booklets into Tagalog and distribute them among the workers and squatters around the Faith Academy area. They can also be used as a way for him to get to know people better so he can invite them to his church. At the same time, it will also help the squatters to start an effective business.




2.       Working with Liz enables the squatters and workers to receive two booklets, both about the benefits of having goats. This way, with the goat milk and cheese, they can set up a kind of double industry, using half the milk to make cheese and ultimately gaining more profit.




3.      One of the most recurring themes in the New Testament is poverty. Christ wanted those who had the power, to help the poor. By using a common Filipino resource, such as goats, helping the squatters is not only possible, but we are honoring God’s wishes in a personal, practical, and efficient way.








1.      Although face-to-face interaction is achieved, it is only to a small, local group and there are no guarantees that the booklets will reach a wider audience.





             2.  Speaking to children hinders the parents, in a way. If they had any questions, they would not be able to ask me in any way. They would have to                     go to someone like Pastor Pong, who would not know as much on the subject.   

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Anonymous. 2003. Goat Anatomy. April 8, 2009. http://www.animalcorner.co.uk/farm/goats/goat_anatomy.html.



Anonymous. 2005. Pasteurization: Definitions and Methods. April 8, 2009. http://www.idfa.org/facts/milk/pasteur.cfm.



Anonymous. 2009. Goat. April 7, 2009.




Anonymous. 2009. Ruminant. April 7, 2009.




Jaudas, Ulrich. (1989). The New Goat Handbook. Hauppage, NY: Barron’s Educational

            Series Inc.



Musen, Steve. Telephone Interview. 18 April 2009.



Palmer, Jon. (1997). How to Raise Goats for Food and Profit. Kinuskusan, Bansalan,  

            Davao del Sur: Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center.



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