AgResearch, one of New Zealand’s most noted research institutes is reportedly about to begin a clinical trial that will test the benefits of sheep milk for human consumption. According to Dr Linda Samuelsson, the test results should be available in 2019.

During the trial, AgResearch scientists will be working with scientists from the Liggins Institute of Auckland University along with the support of Spring Sheep Milk Co and Blue River Dairy.

AgResearch’s study demonstrated that sheep milk can offer advantages to those who suffer from digestive issues stemming out of cow’s milk. Reliable sources quoted Dr Samuelsson to say that there is no human clinical trial that measures the digestibility of sheep milk. Dr Samuelsson will be working with a group of people who experience difficulty in digesting milk. These people will be asked to consume a specific amount of sheep milk and their digestion will be assessed using breath and blood test.

According to Andrea Wilkins, innovation and marketing director, Spring Sheep Milk Co, a recent study found that sheep milk proteins are more easily digestible than cow milk protein and sheep milk is certainly a better source of amino acids.

In New Zealand 16 producers milk more than 20,000 sheep and a significant investment has been made towards milk processing and supply to markets in Asia such as China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. Incidentally, the dairy sheep industry is at an expansive stage in New Zealand.

Gareth Lyness, supply chain and marketing manager, Blue River Dairy, said in a statement that there is a latent awareness about the benefits of sheep milk among Asian consumers. They express this knowledge of benefits by noting how much less heat the milk produces in the human body. It is understood that since sheep milk produces less inner heat it is more easily digested and gentler on the entire digestive system.