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Effects of heating colostrum in a microwave oven on Immunoglobulin G concentration

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We have established a guideline for heating colostrum in a microwave oven, which is hygienic and avoids denaturation of Immunoglobulin G (IgG). The use of the guideline results in colostrum with a temperature of 40-42°C, which is ideal for feeding the newborn calfs. In the analysis of IgG, we took into consideration that the dry matter content of colostrum varied from 15 to 35%. Before heating 30% of the samples had less than 50 mg IgG/ml, which is the threshold of good quality colostrum. The generally low level of IgG in colostrum indicates that it is important for the health of newborn calves, not to denature IgG during the heating process. Therefore the established guideline will help the dairy farmer to supply the newborn calf with sufficient IgG and thereby improve the health of the calf. Furthermore, we demonstrated that heating thawed colostrum gave a more homogeneous result than heating frozen colostrum.

Keywords: Colostrum; Immunoglobulin G; calf; microwave oven

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Research Centre Foulum, Institute of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark 2: Danish Agricultural Advisory Service, Department of Nutrition and Health, Udkaersvej, Aarhus N, Denmark

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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