frequently asked questions about colostrum

On this webpage we have compiled and answered the most frequently asked questions about colostrum for you. The overview corresponds to the order of the text below.


  • Doesn't the calf come short on colostrum?
  • Who can take colostrum?
  • Can I give colostrum to toddlers?
  • How does New Zealand colostrum differ from Swiss colostrum?
  • What is the difference between organic colostrum and colostrum from conventional farming?
  • Why are farmers interested in supplying colostrum?
  • How is colostrum processed microbiologically?
  • How is colostrum dried?
  • Why is QuraDea colostrum not degreased?
  • Why is QuraDea colostrum not decaseinated?
  • What is colostrum?
  • Is colostrum free of harmful substances?
  • Why does QuraDea colostrum contain no or partial lactose?
  • Who can benefit from colostrum?
  • Can I give colostrum to small children?


Doesn't the calf get too little colostrum?

No, never ever - there are two important reasons why we can collect colostrum:

  • Humans have bred sheep, goats and cows for centuries and increased their milk yield manyfold. Thus they not only produce more milk but also a multiple of colostrum.
  • Every farmer knows that a calf can only survive if it gets its share of colostrum; it needs about 6 litres of colostrum in order to build up its own immune system. That's why every responsible farmer feeds his calves in the first place before he releases any surplus colostrum for sale.


Who can take colostrum?

Colostrum as a natural food supplement is suitable for people of all ages. There are small and subtle differences between the individual colostral milks which are explained here: Which colostrum is suitable for me?


Can I give colostrum to toddlers?

If your child gets sick every now and then you could give it a try with sheep colostrum. This is our general recommendation for children up to kindergarten because sheep colostrum is very well tolerated especially if someone is allergic to cow milk proteins.


How does New Zealand colostrum differ from Swiss colostrum?

The basic difference lies in the size of the farms and the degree of industrialisation of the dairy industry. In Switzerland the average herd size is 18 cows while New Zealand farms have up to 1000 animals and more. These enormous farm sizes can only be managed with industrial measures. The individual care for the cows has been sacrificed to massive milk production, artificial feeding and antibiotic medication.


What is the difference between organic colostrum and colostrum from conventional farms?

Organic agriculture produces colostrum on the basis of environmentally friendly production methods, taking ecological and environmental issues into consideration: no synthetic pesticides, growth promoters, mineral fertilizers or genetic engineering. As a result organic products are less contaminated. The SwissBioColostrum farms are all certified by Bio Suisse and thus subject to the highest standards throughout Europe.


Why are farmers interested in supplying colostrum?

For SwissBioColostrum fairtrade with our farmers is a fact; it's the only way to build trustfull and long lasting business relationships. Despite contracts, controls and regular analyses the actual relationship to the farmers is the basis for good raw colostrum quality.


How is colostrum processed microbiologically?

Colostrum is a sensitive agricultural product whose production and distribution is strongly regulated and controlled by law. Two methods are mainly used to preserve the milk:

  1. pasteurisation is a process used to sterilise colostrum. Low temperature pasteurisation (LTP) gently sterilises colostrum, preserving almost all of its bio-activity.
  2. liquid colostrum products available on the market are produced by microfiltration where bacteria, fat and proteins are filtered out. The result is a clear serum that no longer resembles raw colostrum. Fat-soluble vitamins and large-molecular proteins, such as the important glycoproteins, are filtered out - yet the enzymes remain active.


How is colostrum getting dried?

Two methods are generally being used to dry colostrum:

  1. spray drying is an industrial process that is mainly used for the production of milk powder. The procedure needs high temperatures of 120°C and also high pressure to get the thick colostrum through those very hot jets.
  2. freeze drying is mainly used in the pharmaceutical industry and stands for a more gentle approach of drying. This process offers the advantage that small quantities can be dried.

At SwissBioColostrum a maximum of 10-15 milkings are processed together and gently freeze-dried.


Why is QuraDea colostrum not degreased?

SwissBioColostrum Ltd. offers products that have been modified as little as possible as nature has formulated the best possible colostrum composition anyway. For that reason we do not extract any components. In the vast majority of commercial colostrum products fat and casein are eliminated from the whey because these fractions would clog up the spray drying jets. QuraDea colostrum contains the physiologically important fat component for the following reasons:

  • Colostral fats contain important unsaturated fatty acids.
  • The fat has a protective effect during the processing of raw colostrum.
  • In the acid stomach fat protects essential ingredients from the decomposition.
  • The Basel allergy study PARSIFAL shows that only the consumption of raw and pasteurised milk has a preventive effect on allergies and asthma for children. Whereas this does not apply to defatted or homogenised milk (Waser et al. Basel).


Why is QuraDea colostrum not decaseinated?

The protein fraction of milk or colostrum is composed of caseins and whey proteins. The high nutritional value of these proteins together with their physiological properties are very good reasons indeed to leave them where they belong. Wholesome colostrum is more than the sum of the individual parts. Just recently there's been a scientific study published by Aejin Lee et al. that proves this fact to be very true!


What is colostrum?

"Colostrum is the secretion produced by the milk glands of dairy cows up to five days after birth. It is rich in antibodies and minerals and precedes the production of raw milk." This is the official definition by the Swiss Federal Department for Foodsafety from the 1.4.2008.


Wikipedia states: "Colostrum is the first milk for mammals produced by the female mammary gland in order to optimally nourish the newborn during the first few days. It is also known as immune milk and consists of proteins, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, growth factors, amino acids and antibodies. In this way the immature immune system of the newborns are getting supported".


Is colostrum free from harmful substances?

Colostrum comes from cows, goats and sheep that also produce milk. The entire milk production is strictly regulated and controlled. Colostrum as a by-product is basically safe. Organic agriculture in particular produces food on the basis of environmentally friendly production methods taking into consideration ecology and environmental protection. As a result these products are less polluted.


The use of hormones is strictly prohibited in Switzerland. Antibiotics may only be used on organic farms if prescribed by a doctor. The cows of our contractual partners must be free of antibiotics for at least one year. This requirement is a prerequisite for best colostrum quality.


Why does QuraDea colostrum not contain lactose?

QuraDea colostrum should be as natural as possible. For that reason neither fat nor casein are separated. Only the lactose gets reduced because many people struggle with the enzymatic digestion of milk sugar. The exception are our two bio-dynamic products cow colostrum optimal and cow colostrum with LichtYam which are completely natural and contain lactose. After fermentation our cow colostrum special still contains about 50% of the milk sugar.

 

Who can benefit from colostrum?

Colostrum is officially considered as a food of animal origin and can be taken by everybody.


Can I give colostrum to babies?

A healthy baby does not need foreign colostrum. It should be breastfed by the mother. In special cases it might be appropriate to give some sheep colostrum. Please discuss the matter with your paediatrician.


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