Cow milk differs from buffalo milk in richness and composition although they’re both secretions from mammary animals of the bovine family.
Cows and buffaloes are both large domesticated cattle animals of the bovine subfamily, but differ in their tribe and genus. A good cow gives around 15 to 20 liters of milk, whereas a good buffalo gives anywhere between 7 to 11 liters milk per day.
Buffalo milk contains higher total solids than cow milk, which makes it thicker. Buffalo milk has 100% more fat content than cow's milk, which makes it creamier and thicker. Due to high peroxidase activity (family of enzymes that are a catalyst for reactions), buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period. Buffalo milk contains more calcium, a better calcium to phosphorous ratio and less sodium and potassium which makes it a better nutritional supplement for infants. Cow’s milk is extremely rich in iodine. It has good amount of minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus.
edit Top consumers/producers
India followed by Pakistan is the top producer of buffalo milk. China and Italy follow. India is the top producer and consumer of cow and buffalo milk. Western countries consume mostly cow's milk.
edit Health benefits
Higher total solids in buffalo milk also provide for more calories than cow milk (100 calories are derived from 100g of buffalo milk while 70 calories from 100g of cow milk). Buffalo milk contains less cholesterol (total cholesterol 275 mg and free cholesterol 212mg per 100 g of fat) compared to cow milk (total cholesterol 330 mg and free cholesterol 280mg per 100 g of fat) Buffalo’s milk is good for healthy bones, dental health, cardiovascular health and weight gain.
Buffalo milk produces thick and creamy dairy products suitable for the manufacture of traditional (indigenous Indian) milk products like khoa, dahi, paneer, kheer, payasam, malai, kulfi and ghee. Cows milk being less creamy and thick is better used for sweets that are chenna based products like sandesh, rasagolla, chumchum and rasamalai. Buffalo milk is used widely in western countries for the production of buffalo mozzarella cheese.