New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has said sales of its colostrum and Stolle specialty milk brands have risen significantly in key Asian markets, following the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) earlier this year.

Stolle milk sales have risen 50% in the Taiwanese market, while colostrum sales have increased considerably in the Chinese market.

Stolle milk and colostrum are two of Fonterra’s specialty milk products. Stolle milk is obtained from cows which are immunised to induce the formation of antibodies in their milk. Liquid colostrum is taken from the first four milkings (48 hours) after calf birth from pasture fed, non-immunised cows. Asian consumers believe use of these products can boost immune systems and prevent disease, Fonterra said.

Patrick Geals, Fonterra general manager of health and nutritional solutions, said the SARS outbreak has boosted sales of colostrum well above forecasted levels.

“The unfortunate outbreak of the SARS virus has boosted Chinese market demand for Fonterra’s colostrum product by over five times forecasted figures,” said Geals.