Cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels provide the majority of the world’s milk, with buffalo milk being the second most consumed variety after cow’s milk.
Buffalo milk, like cow’s milk, has a high nutritional value and is used to make dairy products such as butter, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream.
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of buffalo milk, as well as how it compares to cow’s milk.
Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are mammals, which means their mammary glands produce milk to nourish their young. They are milked for commercial reasons in various places.
Despite the fact that there are many different types of buffaloes, the water buffalo contributes the most to global milk production.
Water buffaloes are classified as river or swamp buffaloes. The river buffalo produces the bulk of milk, whereas the swamp buffalo is mostly employed as a draught animal.
India and Pakistan generate over 80% of all buffalo milk produced globally, followed by China, Egypt, and Nepal, where dairy buffaloes outnumber cows.
Dairy buffaloes may also be found throughout the Mediterranean, particularly in Italy, where their milk is mostly used to create cheese.
Buffalo milk has a high protein and fat content, resulting in a thick and creamy texture that is ideal for making butter, cream, and yogurt.
Buffalo milk is a creamy dairy product that is mostly made from water buffaloes. Worldwide, India and Pakistan produce the most buffalo milk.
Both buffalo and cow’s milk are very nutritious and abundant in vitamins and minerals, however buffalo milk has more nutrients and calories per serving.
The following table compares 1 cup (244 mL) of buffalo milk to entire cow’s milk.
Whole cow’s milk has less protein, fat, and lactose than buffalo milk.
Milk with a greater protein content makes you feel fuller longer. This may help you lose weight and body fat by reducing your meal consumption throughout the day.
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, may be preferable if you wish to minimize your fat intake or have minor lactose sensitivity.
Buffalo milk is also higher in vitamins and minerals. It contains 41% of the daily value for phosphorus, 32% of the daily value for calcium, 19% of the daily value for magnesium, and 14% of the daily value for vitamin A, compared to 29%, 21%, 6%, and 12% in cow’s milk.
It’s also worth mentioning that buffalo milk is whiter than cow milk because buffaloes are more adept at turning beta-carotene — an antioxidant with a unique yellow hue — into vitamin A.
Finally, since buffalo milk has less water but more fat, it has a thicker texture that is suited for the manufacturing of fat-based dairy products such as butter, ghee, cheese, and ice cream.
Buffalo milk has more fat, protein, lactose, vitamins, and minerals than cow milk. It’s also whiter and thicker in consistency, making it ideal for the manufacturing of fat-based dairy products.
According to research, buffalo milk may provide a variety of health advantages.
May support bone health
Buffalo milk is abundant in calcium, a mineral required for bone formation. It also contains casein-derived peptides, which may enhance bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by bone weakness and a higher risk of fractures.
Casein is a significant protein present in milk, accounting for about 89% of the total protein content of buffalo milk.
Some casein-derived peptides have been shown in animal studies to increase bone density and strength, improve bone formation, and minimize bone resorption — the process of releasing minerals from the bones into the blood.
Though these findings are encouraging for osteoporosis treatment, further study is required to confirm these findings in people.
May provide antioxidant activity
Buffalo milk, like other dairy products, has antioxidant effects owing to its vitamins, minerals, and bioactive components.
Antioxidants are molecules that combat free radicals, a class of substances that have been related to a variety of ailments.
According to one test-tube investigation, the total antioxidant content of buffalo milk varied between 56-58%, compared to 40-42% for cow’s milk. The greater antioxidant capacity of buffalo milk was attributed to its higher monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content.
Another research discovered that buffalo milk fat contains trace levels of phenolic compounds and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, both of which have antioxidant characteristics.
May improve heart health
Buffalo milk contains beta-lactoglobulin and potassium, which may help lower blood pressure.
Beta-lactoglobulin is a whey protein that is high in bioactive molecules that have been linked to health benefits.
According to one test-tube research, beta-lactoglobulin in buffalo milk inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme — an enzyme that raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels — lowering blood pressure levels.
Furthermore, potassium is an important element in blood pressure regulation, and buffalo milk has a high potassium content, delivering 9% of the daily value (DV) per 8-ounce (244-ml) consumption.
Buffalo milk contains bioactive substances that may benefit bone and heart health as well as protect the body from oxidative stress.
The research on the negative effects of consuming buffalo milk is still ambiguous.
Some people feel that if you have a cow’s milk allergy (CMA), buffalo milk may be an allergy-friendly replacement, but others disagree.
Casein and alpha- and beta-lactoglobulin are common cow’s milk allergies. Other proteins, such as immunoglobulins (Ig) and bovine serum albumin, may also induce allergic responses in some people.
According to one research that compared the casein concentration and composition of cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, and buffalo milk, structural variations between cow’s and buffalo milk rendered the latter less allergic.
However, studies on IgE-mediated allergy — a form of Ig — to cow’s milk protein may imply different, since a study of 24 persons with CMA found that buffalo milk tested positive for IgE-mediated responses in 100% of the instances.
Older study shows that this is due to cross-reactivity between the two kinds of milk, since human antibodies that cause cow’s milk allergy may also detect buffalo milk proteins, causing them to respond.
Overall, additional study on this area is required.
People who are allergic to cow’s milk may also be allergic to buffalo milk, while evidence is still unclear.
Though buffalo milk is not as popular in the United States as cow’s milk, it is the primary source of milk in several South Asian nations.
It has a higher nutritional value than cow’s milk, offering more protein, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, it includes medicinal chemicals that may provide antioxidant protection as well as better bone and heart health.
It is, however, heavier in fat, lactose, and calories than cow’s milk and may elicit comparable allergic responses if you have CMA.
Buffalo milk may be found in a range of popular dairy products, including butter, ghee, a variety of cheeses, and ice cream.