Then thought of only as a farm animal and meat source, the Philippine water buffalo now proves is also a source of extra income in high quality milk and cheese, says experts at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).
A potential source of additional income for farm families who have to sideline farm work to allow a birthing carabao the respite to nurture the young, carabao milk has been proven to be a good income source, according to PCC veterinarian Dr. Gondolino Bahinting.
To highlight on the viability of carabao as milk source, the PCC at the Ubay Stock Farm (USF) says other than giving off a calf, a mother carabao can also be a good source of high protein, low cholesterol, mineral and calcium rich milk that could be suitable for mozzarella.
Compared to other milk, a 200 milliliter glass of carabao milk contains about 9 grams of heat resistant protein.
“Because it doesnt break down easilly, the body tends to get more from it,” explains a dietician when asked about heat resistant proteins.
And carabao milk contains low cholesterol and is ideal milk for persons with diabetes, dyslipidermia, hypertension, kidney diseases, polycystic ovarian disease and obesity, PCC claimed.
Known to have high fat percentage and is thicker than other kinds of milk, the heavy carabao milk has been identified as good for healthy weight gain and is excellent for cheese and ice cream making, says PCC information officer Leniefe Libres.
In Bohol schools now, carabao milk supplemental feeding program supports the province’s goals of wiping malnutrition.
Besides, carabao milk is extremely rich in calcium and is a great source of minerals like potassium, magnessium and phosphorus which is great for building bone and bofy strength, Libres added to highlight its nutritional prowess.
“Experiments showed that carabao milk has very good stretching and melting characteristics that make it ideal for mozzarella,” PCC claimed.
“The native carabao however could only produce about 6 liters in two milking sessions a day compared to 12 liters from foreign breeds, but with a calf to add to the profit, it should be just okay,” a PCC carabao loan porgram beneficiary posed in comparison.
A farmer with a milking carabao however has to wean the calf early and induce the milking to harvest enough to feed the calf and process more milk.
With the provision of carabao milk as alternative, the PCC nears in its mission to make available locally produced affordable and high quality fresh dairy products while uplifting the socioeconomic status of dairy farmers as well ad improve nutrition and lives of Boholanos.
Along this line, the PCC has been tending a carabao ranch, a milking shed and has produced 200 liters of milk a day to prove milking can be viable for farmers.
“We do not do this for profit. We are doing this for farmers to imbibe as livelihood,” Dr. Bahinting claimed as he explained to tourists at the PCC farm tour.
From its processed milk, PCC and its supervised Bohol Dairy Cooperative makes pasteurized fresh milk, chocomilk, mango flavored milk, yoghurt, banana loaves, milk cakes, torta, pastillas de leche, vinegar-based white cheese, caramilk ice cream and its nutri packaged milk bars. (PIA)