Endangered indigenous Kashmiri cow healthier, with more flavoursome milk, than Jersey cow: Study

Endangered indigenous Kashmiri cow healthier, with more flavoursome milk, than Jersey cow: Study

SRINAGAR: In what should come as some regret to Kashmiri society, an endangered breed of indigenous Kashmiri gaav (cow) has been found to be healthier, with better immunity, and having presence of a special flavouring enzyme than the imported Jersey cattle that feeds the people of the state.
This has been found in a study conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-Kashmir). The study has been funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
“We found presence of anti-oxidants in Kashmiri Gaav in quantity that makes it healthier than the foreign Jersey. Our indigenous cow can fight mastitis, a disease that blocks milk supply in cows, better than the Jersey. It also has presence of an enzyme that can enhance its milk’s properties further,” Syed Mudasir Andrabi, PhD, Associate Professor at Shuhama, SKUAST-Kashmir, and one of the contributors of the study, told Kashmir Reader.
The daily consumption of milk in Kashmir comes not from the Kashimiri Gaav but from its cross-breed with the Jersey and other breeds. Mudasir said that the Kashmiri Gaav is almost wiped out from Kashmir and replaced by foreign breeds.
More quantity of milk production is what has made the foreign breeds replace indigenous ones, he added, urging the government to safeguard the Gaav or it will go extinct.
The research study on the Kashmir Gaav was started in 2015 and its findings officially released in December 2018 in a foreign journal.
The study found that fat and protein contents in Jersey cattle ranged from 4.10% to 4.85% and 2.91% to 3.36%, respectively. The corresponding values for the Kashmiri cattle were 3.20% to 3.94% and 2.81% to 3.21%, respectively. However, the milk of Kashmiri cow contained a highly expressive Flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO3) enzyme presence, a natural flavouring agent.
“The flavouring agent can be used in cheese which can be produced for commercial gains,” Mudasir said. “The milk contained Flavin has high marketing potential as farmers in European countries make cheese from goat milk with similar properties. It can be sold at high prices in the international market.”