Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Animal Science

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. John Barlow


goat milk, milk storage, psychrotrophic bacteria, storage duration


In systems with the sale of milk to a central processor, such as Vermont Creamery, milk quality leaving the farm is critical to cheese production – farmers get paid premiums for achieving excellence in milk quality. Farmers store harvested milk on the farm in a refrigerated tank until the milk processor can pick up the milk in a refrigerated tanker truck for transport to the processing plant. The storage rules differ for cow and goat milk and for milk used for cheese production, so understanding the impact of storage time on the change in milk quality is important. Milk samples were taken from a Vermont goat dairy farm and stored for varying times. The samples underwent evaluation for milk composition, aerobic microbial growth, and subsequent sequencing, throughout varying storage time. DNA extraction proved to be difficult, as goat milk has a very low bacterial biomass. Thermoduric psychrotrophs were prevalent in the samples which increased as duration of storage increased (as seen with a decrease in milk components such as lactose, casein, protein and fat, and an increase in total proteins). This project urged future studies to determine a more efficient and effective way of DNA extraction from goat milk.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, April 25, 2025