News A2A2 milk, something special in terms of digestion and processing. Website launched with scientific literature and practical advice


On January 31, 2023, Boerenbond, ILVO, UZ Gent and the Steunpunt Korte Keten will launch a website on A2A2 cow's milk. This will publish all the knowledge they have gathered over 2 years in an operational group. Among other things, the partners investigated the properties and possibilities of this milk variety, which contains a presumably more easily digestible alternative of the milk protein. In addition to a comprehensible overview of the potential advantages and disadvantages of this milk, the possibility of separate marketing was also examined. The website is of interest to both dairy farms - which might consider a separated milking system - and consumers. As soon as a female calf is born it is possible to determine genetically whether it will later give A1A2 or A2A2 milk.

A clear framework

The potential benefits of A2A2 milk have been speculated about for decades by all sorts of parties. There are many sources but the overview of the many properties therefore sometimes gets lost. The project created a handy summary of the main conclusions found in literature so far, fully tailored to farmer and consumer needs. "The main difference from ordinary milk is in the milk protein beta-casein," says Sophie Marchand, coordinator of the Center for Healthy Nutrition and Dietetics at UZ Gent. "This differs in only one amino acid from the regular milk protein, which results in different breakdown products in our gastrointestinal system compared to the classic cow's milk protein. Literature suggests a link with a reduction in gastrointestinal discomfort, but the relationship certainly needs further elucidation."

In addition to potentially increased digestibility, the project allows for several other benefits to be noted. "Sources also note interesting processing properties, such as easy foam formation. This could open up prospects for A2A2 milk for use in products such as ice cream, whipped cream and mousses, for which good foam formation is important," adds Barbara Duquenne, ILVO researcher.

Opportunities for farmer and consumer

If the accumulated benefits materialize, A2A2 milk does offer a new revenue model. "If you consider that the necessary gene for the production of A2A2 milk is estimated to be already present in 30-40% of the Flemish livestock, some opportunities remain underexploited today. By isolating A2A2 milk, farmers can tailor their products to, for example, consumers facing digestive problems. Today, this rarely happens and this milk is often collected together with regular milk. That's a shame, both for the farmer and for the consumer with intolerances," says Patrick Pasgang, Farmers Union consultant.

Milk for everyone

To make a bridge between the farmer and the buyer, the partners are already launching a new website. An Detelder of the Steunpunt Korte Keten explains: "Via, farmers who produce A2A2 milk can make themselves known to both consumers and processors. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the benefits of this milk thus has direct access to the source. In addition, the website is also used as an accessible information channel. The most important research conclusions and facts about A2A2 milk are collected here."

More information

Patrick Pasgang (Boerenbond consultant for short chain and broader marketing): +32 473 86 00 16
Greet Riebbels, ILVO communication, +32 486 260014


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Greet Riebbels

Communications manager at ILVO