Camel as a livestock plays an important role in desert ecosystem and its milk has potential contribution in human nutrition in the hot and arid regions of the world. This milk contains all the essential nutrients as found in other milk. Fresh and fermented camel milk has been used in different regions in the world including India, Russia and Sudan for human consumption as well as for treatment of a series of diseases such as dropsy, jaundice, tuberculosis, asthma and leishmaniasis or kala-azar. The present paper aims to explore the possibility of camel milk as an alternative milk for human consumption.
Recently, camel milk and its components were also reported to have other potential therapeutic properties, such as anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and renoprotective potential; and for autism, and has been recommended to be consumed by children who are allergic to bovine milk.
It has also been reported to alleviate oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in rats. Camel milk differs from bovine milk in composition. It contains low total solids and fat; however, proteins and lactose are in equal amount but of higher quality than cow milk. Because of the high percentage of β-casein, low percentage of α-casein, deficiency of β-lactoglobulin and similarity of the immunoglobulins, it become safer for persons who are allergic to bovine milk. It contains protective proteins in higher amount which contributes to its functionality. The fermentation and enzymatic hydrolysis of camel protein produce different types of bioactive peptides which exerts different activity in in vitro and in vivo conditions.
Because of its unique quality and functionality, this milk has potential application in management of different diseases and application in food industries.
Kumar, D., Verma, A.K., Chatli, M.K., Singh, R., Kumar, P., Mehta, N. and Malav, O.P. (2016), "Camel milk: alternative milk for human consumption and its health benefits", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 217-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-07-2015-0085
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