NB: Click here
for the full Quality Scale document
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.
What is the ICR Quality Scale?
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
The ICR Quality Scale is designed to measure or
quantify the quality of colostrum products.
Key Quality Indicators (KQI's)
are as follows:
Value - levels of IgG, IgA, and IgM
Factor Values - IGF, TGF, TNF, EGF
Factors - Lactoferrin, Cytokines, Lysozyme, Lactoperoxidase
Factors Influencing Quality
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 immunoglobulin 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).
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?
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
Solubility is an important issue to consider. This is especially
true since poor solubility can reflect poor bio-availability of the
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.