There are many good reasons to pasteurize colostrum :
- To lower bacterial count
- To lower disease transmission risk
- To have good quality consistancy
The most common method of pasteurizing colostrum is to heat it to 60 degrees Celsius for 60 minutes. In order to do this, you absolutely must use a pasteurizer. It is impossible to do it by warming up your colostrum bottle in a sink full of hot water. The colostrum will heat up too quickly around the edges of the container, and the middle will remain cold. There are two types of pasteurizers on the market:
These pasteurizers can hold up to 100 liters of liquid. It works well and the result is pasteurized colostrum of good quality. This pasteurizer is designed more for milk than colostrum . If you only put 4 liters of liquid in it, it is not enough to work properly. Few farms have 25 calvings a day to be able to pasteurize 100 liters of colostrum at a time. For this reason it is probably not the right choice for our farms.
This pasteurizer is smaller than the previous one. It can hold from 4 liters (not recommended – there should be more) to 24 liters. If you only have 4 liters of colostrum to pasteurize, it may become too hot, destroying the all important antibodies and thus produce a bad quality colostrum. There are many different models on the market of varying sizes…. The most important thing is to remember is that in order to pasteurize colostrum, it must be warmed at 60 Celsius degrees for 60 minutes!
For the disease transmission… pasteurization WILL NOT guarantee a disease free colostrum! Do not buy a pasteurizer to eradicate disease in your herd, it is not a safe way to do it!