Whey Protein in Baby Formula

April 05, 2019 Updated on August 18, 2022 2 min read

Protein is a critical macronutrient for babies and is required for the proper growth and development of muscles, bones, teeth, hair, and the immune system. Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula contains naturally easy to digest goat milk protein and an adapted whey:casein ratio, which may improve digestibility even more. Read on to learn about whey protein, why it may be in baby formula, and how it may help to ease tummy troubles in little ones. 

Image of a stomach with whey liquid and casein.

What is whey protein?

There are two main groups of proteins found in milks: whey and casein. Whey dissolves readily during digestion and remains liquid in the gut. Casein must form small spheres (called micelles) to be digested and coagulates to form a curd in the gut. Liquid whey is emptied from the stomach into the intestines more quickly than the casein curds, making it easier to digest.

While goat milk casein has been shown to be easier to digest than cow milk casein due in part to less alpha-s1 casein and the A2 milk casein component, whey also plays an important role in digestibility, particularly in baby formula. 

Why do some baby formulas add whey protein?

Cow and goat milk both contain significantly less whey than casein, with a ratio of 20:80. However, whey is easier to digest than casein and a ratio that is whey dominant may be more desirable. Also, research has shown that baby formulas with high casein may be more difficult to digest. For this reason, baby formula manufacturers often add whey protein, resulting in an adapted whey to casein ratio. Adding whey protein to baby formula may help to reduce tummy troubles in little ones.

Goat milk whey is digested more quickly

Interestingly, not all sources of whey may be broken down equally. β-lactoglobulin, one particular subtype of whey protein, is structurally different in goat milk whey compared to cow milk whey and may be less resistant to digestion. Research has shown that goat’s whey is degraded even faster than cow’s whey.

How do I know if a baby formula adds whey protein?

Baby formula ingredients are listed in order of amount by volume. Baby formula with added whey will list whey protein on the ingredient list. This results in an adapted whey to casein ratio.

In North America, it is common to add cow whey protein in cow milk formula; the amount of whey used varies, so formulas will have different whey to casein ratios. Some goat milk formulas available in the US contain an adapted whey to casein to ratio, but not all.  Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula adds goat whey protein concentrate and results in a more desirable whey to casein ratio, which may make it even easier to digest. 


Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula may be an option for little ones during feeding transitions, such as weaning and supplementing, or those with minor issues associated with cow milk sensitivity*.

*Not suitable for children with confirmed cow milk protein allergy