Cow milk differs from buffalo milk in richness and composition. Buffalo milk has lower cholesterol but more calories and fat compared with cow's milk. Buffalo milk is consumed in south Asia, with India, China and Pakistan being the biggest producers.
|Buffalo Milk||Cow Milk|
|Properties||100% more fat content than cow's milk; can be preserved for longer||Lower in fat than buffalo milk; preserved for less time.|
|Nutrition||Buffalo milk is extremely rich in calcium, and is a good source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.||Cow's milk is rich in a variety of minerals, vitamins, and proteins, It is also an excellent source of calcium.|
|Health benefits||Less cholesterol, more fat, more calories. It is good for healthy bones, dental health, cardiovascular health, and weight gain.||More cholesterol, less fat, fewer calories. It is beneficial for healthy bones, dental health, reducing obesity in children, protection from thyroid diseases, and cardiovascular health.|
|Uses||Produces thick and creamy dairy products suitable for the manufacture of traditional milk products like yogurt and cottage cheese (called "paneer" in South Asia), as well as indigenous milk products like khoa and ghee.||Dairy products: curds, sweets, cheese – but less thick and creamy|
|Top consumers and producers||Buffalo milk is popular in South Asia (India, Pakistan) and Italy.||Cow's milk is consumed all over the world, including regions that also consume buffalo milk.|
|Calories||237 (1 cup, about 244g)||148 (1 cup, about 244g)|
|Total Fat||17g (26% daily value) (in 1 cup)||8g (12% daily value) (in 1 cup)|
|Saturated fat||11g (55% DV)||4.6g (22% daily value)|
|Sodium||127mg (6% DV)||105mg (9% DV)|
|Total Carbohydrate||13g (4% DV)||12g (4% DV)|
|Protein||9.2g (18% DV)||8g (16%)|
A cow produces around 15 to 20 liters of milk, whereas a buffalo yields anywhere between 7 to 11 liters of 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.
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.
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.
Many people who are lactose intolerant or have an intolerance or mild allergy to cow's milk find that drinking buffalo milk helps and alleviates any problems—such as eczema or psoriasis—that were rooted in their dietary allergies. However, the evidence is anecdotal rather than established through rigorous scientific research.
Some people also report better tolerance of cow milk when the protein is A2 rather than A1. Milk contains β-casein proteins; depending upon the cow breed this is either of mostly A1 type or mostly A2. The a2 Milk Company in Australia popularized the differences between A1 and A2 proteins and claimed that A2 is healthier. Reviewing allegations by the company that A2 protein is unhealthy, the European Food Safety Authority conducted an investigation in 2008 and issued a report that concluded that there is no evidence that A2 milk is bad for health.
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.
Cow's 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 in some Western countries for the production of buffalo mozzarella cheese.