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4 Myths about Pasteurisation of Colostrum & Calf Milk

4 Myths about Pasteurisation of Colostrum & Calf Milk

4 Myths about Pasteurising Colostrum & Calf Milk.

  1. “Pasteurising “kills” Antibodies.”

SOMETIMES WRONG!  Excess temperature and/or heating time will damage the good antibodies ( also known as Immunoglobulins)  in colostrum.

However, the settings used by our machines do not significantly damage the colostrum antibodies. The settings and accuracy of the temperature control are important to prevent overshooting the target temperature.

Research from Godden, Smolenski et al. in J. Dairy Sci 95:4029-4040 on 1071 calves showed higher antibody levels and lower disease in the calves fed pasteurised colostrum, compared to raw colostrum.

  1. Pasteurisation doesn’t kill Johnes Disease.”

WRONG in the case of specialist pasteurisers. Research from Godden, McMartin et al. in J.Dairy Sci. 89:3476-3483 showed that MAP (Johne’s bacteria) was not detected after pasteurisation in the pasteuriser made by DairyTech Inc.

A decade has passed since then and improvements have been made in the accuracy of the control systems. We have datalogger reports showing very accurate temperature control in the machines we supply. It is possible some MAP survive, buy are low numbers significant?

The settings and accuracy of the temperature control are important to prevent “yo-yo ing” of the target temperature.

  1. “Calf Milk Replacer is safe.”

NOT ALWAYS CORRECT. The dairy elements of calf milk replacer are pasteurised faster than it would be on farm, on a commercial scale. Pasteurisation is not sterilisation.

Interestingly, researchers in Madison & Belfast, Kinkel, McGuirk et al. showed 12.5% of Calf Milk Replacer samples to contain live Johne’s bacteria. Previously researchers had shown 44% of powdered milk products to be positive for Johne’s. But is the level significant?

  1. “Pasteurisation of calf feeding milk is a recent innovation.”

WRONG-

  1. Crichton & Biggar , Rowett Research, Aberdeen showed benefits in TB control in calves from pasteurisation in 1938
  2. M’Candlish & Black (1935) West of Scotland Agricultural College showed improved growth in calves fed pasteurised milk
  3. Wilson, Minett & Carling in 1937 showed benefits in TB control in calves fed pasteurised milk over raw milk.

CONTROL OF JOHNES’S DISEASE IS A “NUMBERS GAME”, IN SUCH THAT EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE TO LOWER THE INFECTIOUS DOSE AVAILABLE TO THE CALVES.

PASTEURISATION IS ONLY A PART OF A CONTROL PLAN. COLOSTRUM & MILK ARE NOT THE ONLY ROUTES OF INFECTION. CALVES CAN EVEN BE BORN WITH THE INFECTION.

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