East African Journal of Sciences

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Opportunities for producing dairy products from camel milk: A comparison with bovine milk

Richard Ipsen


Camel milk is known to differ markedly from bovine milk in terms of its detailed protein composition and colloidal structure. Noteworthy is the lack of β-lactoglobulin, the small content of -casein and high proportion of β-casein in the casein micelles of the milk. The colloidal structure is also different with larger casein micelles and smaller fat globules. The present review presents and discusses current knowledge on the composition and colloidal structure of camel milk, relates this to bovine milk, and points out where research is lacking and what opportunities for processing of camel milk appears to be most promising. Pasteurized camel milk appears straightforward and is used industrially, but UHT and sterilization treatment of camel milk cause protein instability. Hence, research is needed to solve this problem. Acidified milk drinks appear promising as do production of camel milk cheese. Butter and ghee production is possible and camel milk can be made into palatable ice cream. The different colloidal structure of camel milk, compared to bovine milk, means that most processing technology cannot be directly transferred and there is hence a need for suitable research-based adaptations.

AJOL African Journals Online