Scientific opinion on an alternative method for the hygienic treatment of bovine colostrum through a series of filtration steps.
An alternative method to the HTST treatment (High Temperature Short Time pasteurisation at 72 °C for at least 15 seconds or equivalent pasteurisation effect achieving a negative reaction to a phosphatase test), approved for the treatment of bovine colostrum (Category 3 material), was assessed. The purpose of the alternative method, based on a series of filtration steps, is the production of Colostrinov, a product whose main ingredient is bovine colostrum, to be used for foal nutrition. Since the filtration techniques used are known to eliminate particles of the size of bacteria, fungi and protozoa from liquids, it is reasonable to assume that the microfiltration process reduces these contaminants to a level at least equivalent to the treatment required by the legislation. Owing to their small size, viruses are not retained by the mechanical effect of the filters but they may be retained by physico-chemical interactions with the surface of the filter, depending on the surface properties of the viruses and those of the filter, as well as on the properties of the surrounding liquid. From the information provided by the applicant, it cannot be concluded whether or not the microfiltration process reduces the relevant viral contaminants to a level at least equivalent to a single HTST treatment as required by the legislation.