Colostrum (also beestings, bisnings or first milk) is the first milk after the birth of mammals. Colostrum provides the newborn with antibodies crucial to life. Due to the unique combination of immunoglobulins, growth agents, antimicrobial ingredients, minerals and vitamins, colostrum fortifies the body's own defense of the new-born animal.
Ruminant animals have what is known as a placental barrier. That means, unlike in humans, they do not pass any immune agents to the newborn via the placenta. Colostrum is crucial for the survival of calves as a result. It includes immune agents of up to 40 times higher concentration until we can proof them in the blood of people. Bovine colostrum is thereby an incredibly valuable raw material and used individually. The effectiveness of the immune agents is thereby not limited to ruminant animals but in general is cross-species, as the 2007 study by Cesaronne, among others, shows. Here the positive effect of bovine colostrum on the progression of an illness by people infected with the flu was proven. There were similar studies for different veterinarians.
A cow produces approximately 20 liters of colostrum in the first 24 hours after the birth of her calf. The calf drinks and requires approximately three liters of this. The amount which the calf does not need is milked from the cow and used as a valuable nutritional supplement. Colostrum is not only used as a supplement in animal feed but also in foodstuff for humans.
Colostrum has been categorized as a foodstuff for years in accordance with Ordinance (EC) no. 1662/2006 of November 6, 2006. Since 2010, colostrum is approved upon application of Veracus GmbH also a foodstuff according to the positive list for individual foods (DLG). The same strict regulations required for the processing of raw milk apply in terms of obtaining the substance and processing it. However, colostrum represents its own food which is separate from raw milk.