Is Your Colostrum Supplement On Target ?

Categories: Calf
Tags: , ,

Is Your Colostrum Supplement On Target ?

“Composition of colostrum can vary considerably, and not just in the immunoglobulin content. There are still improvements that can be made in its feeding and management,   especially on smaller dairies that do not have the resources of larger dairies. Larger dairies, however, are challenged to be consistent in their feeding and management of colostrum.” Dr. Al Kertz, board-certified, independent dairy nutrition consultant.

How is the raw colostrum processed?

In order to receive maximum benefit from your Colostrum Supplement it is important to know the advantages of various processing techniques used by the manufacturer. The goal of any Colostrum Supplement should be to mimic the real product.

Is the processing facility designed for colostrum processing only?

Was the plant designed for the sole purpose of producing the best quality colostrum and colostrum fractions? Many products are produced in old dairy factories which were not originally set up to process colostrum. This can lead to colostrum been overheated during pasteurization, which can cause denaturation of the proteins in the colostrum and destroy the efficacy of the end product. The colostrum should be collected fresh and stored below 40°F before processing. If frozen the colostrum should be thawed and homogenized to restore the casein micelles, which prevents damage to the proteins.

Why do companies only discuss IgG levels? What about the level of Proline-rich Polypeptides (PRP) and other critical components?

Immunoglobulin (IgG) levels are generally considered to be the primary measure of colostrum quality and effectiveness for gut health.  IgG levels should be tested and certified at all stages of production, measuring not only levels of IgG but bioactivity as well. This is important as many commercial types of colostrum have very low bioactivity for their IgG due to poor processing procedures.  Other than gut health, it is the importance of the content and quality of the PRPs to the overall health of the body.  These are precursors to immune and cytokine modulators in the body, and have a profound effect on the animal’s ability to fight off viral and bacterial infections.  The Colostrum Supplement should contain the maximum possible levels of PRPs.

Defat or not defat?

The only reason to remove the cream is to increase the levels of Immunoglobulin’s in the final powder.  Some believe that leaving in the cream is an important component of the colostrum that contains oil soluble growth factors and other bioactive nutrients.  Leaving the cream in the colostrum, however, may cause significant problems. The cream can turn rancid, giving the colostrum an unpleasant odor and degrading its effectiveness.  A company using a proprietary method of processing has been able to stabilize the colostrum cream and prevent the colostrum from going rancid.  It has been known for some time that rancid fats can deactivate some of the biologically important components of colostrum, such as Vitamin A.

Is colostrum from first and second milking only? 

The first and second milkings after calving are the richest in immunoglobulins, growth factors and protein peptides. Only the first milking should be collected after the calves have had their colostrum. Manufacturers should not accept watered down or third and fourth milking.

Antibiotic free?

All of the colostrum collected should be from US Grade A dairies and certified antibiotic free. Every batch should be tested to ensure a standard quality.


The Colostrum Supplement should be agglomerated to ensure consistently sized particles which will dissolve rapidly in liquids.

What quality assurance is guaranteed?

Is the Colostrum Supplement processed using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and is it Health Certified with the USDA? Is the facility registered with the FDA, and is the laboratory registered with the US Government as a clinical laboratory? How often is a microbiological analysis conducted on each batch prior to shipment, and does the product pass through a metal detector and powder sifter according to FDA HACCP parameters?