Quality Scale (summary)

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The Institute of Colostrum Research (ICR) has undertaken to establish a criteria by which colostrum products can be evaluated.

ICR has undertaken this task as to educate the consumer as to how to judge colostrum products from different distributors.

In this way the consumer can make a more educated choice as to what colostrum product is best.

Simply it is a method by which one can quantify (measure) the quality of a colostrum product. Different manufacturers use various processes to manufacture their colostrum products. They also source their colostrum from different suppliers. In addition manufactures vary as to what additives and ingredients they add to their colostrum products.

The ICR Quality Scale is designed to measure or quantify the quality of colostrum products.

Key Quality Indicators (KQI's)of colostrum are as follows:

Figure 1

Figure 1. Comparability study of commercially available Bovine IgG standards quantified for IgG content by RID using the individual companies RID test kit standards.


This is a crucial step in any commercial dairy process. Do not purchase any colostrum product that has not been pasteurized. There are alternative methods that employ other means of sterilization but these must meet the same International Standards as pasteurization.

Low Temperature Processing

It is imperative that colostrum be processed in such a way as to avoid prolonged exposure to heat. Colostrum which is processed in low heat is preferred.


Does the manufacturer or distributor give immu noglobulin values for IgA, IgM, as well as for IgG. Is the value reliable? Is the assay standardized? Is the value determined using an appropriate type of assay?

Growth Factors & Immune Factors Does the colostrum product have values for Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Interleukin, Interferon, Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF), Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF), Transforming Growth Factor (TGF), and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF).

Enviromental Factors

The enviroment from which the colostrum is sourced is key to the supply of good quality colostrum. Is the colostrum sourced from a temperate climate? Are the cows healthy, disease and antibiotic, pesticide free? Are the cows pasture fed as to be exposed to a wide variety of naturally occurring microbes?

Additives Various manufacturers add any one of a number of additives to their colostrum products. If additives are added to the colostrum are they of benefit or do they hinder the product?

Quality Manufactured Product Is the colostrum manufactured to the highest standards? To make sure only government certified colostrum producers and processors should be used.


Solubility is an important issue to consider. This is especially true since poor solubility can reflect poor bio-availability of the product.

Science Many claims by some distributors of colostrum products are confusing, incorrect or clearly misleading. Does the manufacturer or distributor of the colostrum back their product with proper science. Is the scientific and technical information associated with the product correct.

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