Special Issue "Raw Milk Consumption, Health or Hazard?"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal System and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ton Baars
Guest Editor
Department Immunopharmacology, Utrecht University, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands
Interests: raw milk; animal welfare; milk and human health
Dr. Anna Catharina Berge
Guest Editor
Berge Veterinary Consulting BVBA, Vollezele, Belgium
Interests: raw milk; safety; zoonotic diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There are divergent opinions, scientific evidence, opinions, and beliefs regarding milk and raw milk consumption. The aim of this issue of Animals is to focus on human health in relation to consumption of raw milk and products thereof, as well as the environmental and social impact of raw milk production systems. Recent research has raised the question of whether milk and milk products should be part of the human diet. At the same time, milk, milk products, and especially raw milk have been shown to be health-promoting in a wide range of immune-related noncommunicable diseases, like asthma and allergies. Research has recently focused on changes in the milk matrix after pasteurization in relation to health. Solutions to prevent the potential, negative impact of raw milk consumption in relation to zoonotic diseases should be tackled as well as information to reduce the negative image of raw milk for children, people with a reduced immunity, and pregnant women. All three groups could benefit of the consumption of safe, raw milk and raw milk products.  

Milk fat composition is also important for the health of the consumers. Milk fat contains high levels of saturated fat, but grazing animals produce a milk fat composition, which is more favorable for human health than that of animals that are raised on high levels of concentrate and maize silage. However, there are environmental impact initiatives that aim to increase the production per animal using maize silage and concentrates rather than grazing fresh grass and forage. The quantities of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids plus the ratio of n6 to n3 fatty acids are influenced by these feed systems.  

Consumers that seek out raw milk are concerned about numerous aspects of raw milk production, including local production, healthy animals, and sustainable environmentally respectful production. Therefore, the raw milk production systems need to focus on systems where antibiotics are not used to prevent disease, and treatment of clinically sick animals is rarely needed. Studies that evaluate how the environment affects animal health in terms of hygiene, feeding, grazing and barn type are sought.

Original research manuscripts that address any aspects of the theme are invited for this Special Issue. Topics should either address the conflict situation of dairy consumption or show how raw milk and raw milk products can be part of a health strategy for children or adults and how a healthy holistic dairy production system can contribute to the overall welfare of our societies.

Prof. Dr. Ton Baars
Dr. Anna Catharina Berge
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • raw milk
  • fermented milk products
  • ruminant species
  • grazing
  • emissions
  • production per animal
  • animal health
  • human health
  • local production

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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