Benefits and Uses of Camel Milk (As Opposed to Other Dairy Products)
November 13, 2018
Not many are aware of the beneficial aspects that come with camel milk. From drinking it to using it in items such as cosmetics, baked goods, cheeses, and even lotions and shampoos, camel milk has been utilized far beyond our time in Raika, a city in India, and other desert communities. You can also find it heavily used in ancient Ayurveda medicinal texts by Indian communities.
As previously mentioned, camel milk is used in a wide variety of products. Camilk offers many of these products including original camel milk and dried milk. They are currently working on many other beneficial products such as chocolate, cheeses, and more. Being one of the largest and reasonably priced camel milk dairies in the world, Camilk is expanding their business to countries where camel milk has never been an option before.
Places such as Australia have already adapted to using camel milk much more than many countries that have not even heard of it as an option. Most countries still are unaware of the immaculate nutritional value that camel milk holds. However, that could all change very soon.
While there is no proceeding indication that the world will make the switch over cow’s milk, camel milk is slowly becoming a widespread popular alternative with many uses beyond consumption.
Common Uses for Camel Milk
Other uses of camel milk vary to great extents, one of the most common uses being turning it into cheese. Even though cheese made from camel milk is much more difficult to make than cheese from the milk of any other dairy animal, it is arguably worth the effort. Based on nutritional data alone, camel cheese (if you will) is progressively becoming more popular for obvious health reasons. The protein content of cheese made from camel milk is much higher than the protein content found in other cheeses such as cow or goat milk. Some reasons for the difficulty in the process of creating the cheese is because the milk does not coagulate as easily, and bovine rennet (a complex of enzymes produced in the stomachs of some mammals. Chymosin, the key component of rennet, is a protease enzyme that curdles the casein found in milk. This helps young mammals digest their mothers’ milk. Rennet is also used to separate milk into solid curds for cheesemaking and liquid whey. In addition to chymosin, rennet contains other important enzymes such as pepsin and lipase that fails to coagulate the milk effectively.) In camel herding communities, camel milk cheeses undergo spontaneous fermentation, to achieve a sour, thick curd. In Sudan there are camel farms, occupied by the Rashaida Indians, that use this method to store surplus milk in the rainy season, pulverizing the dried curd and adding water to make it consumable in the dry season. In Mongolia camel milk is consumed by many as a product at various stages of the curd-making process. Recent advances in cheese making technology have made it possible to coagulate camel milk with a vegetable rennet and camel rennet. Through collaboration between Mauritanian camel milk dairy Tiviski, and professor J.P. Ramet of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie et des Industries Alimentarius (ENSAIA), European-style cheese was created. Curdling is then produced by adding calcium phosphate and vegetable rennet to the milk. One subsequently produced cheese, Caravane, is sold in supermarkets in Nouakchott and is a product of Tiviski. While EU restrictions currently prevent this product from being sold in the EU, and difficulties with the cold chain and economy of scale prevent the camel cheese from being sold in the United States, the market for the product is quickly becoming more available to individuals all over the world, including the United States of America and Great Britain. As previously mentioned, camel milk is also used for medicinal purposes.
Camel Milk and Autism
Although there has not been sufficient evidence compiled on the matter, some people cite anecdotal evidence that camel’s milk has also been linked to improvements in brain development of people with autism. Livestrong.com cited a study published in the 2005 edition of the International Journal of Human Development, citing anecdotal evidence of improvements in young autistic patients who switched from cow’s milk to camel’s milk. The study used for the research, while not having proved sufficient evidence as well, shows that the possibility of the camel milk was the initial and highest cause for the progress made in various patients. In a study previously addressed involving eight children with food allergies, camel’s milk was shown to help the subject overcome severe food allergies, which were primarily milk related. The article was soon after published in the Israeli Medical Association Journal. A1 beta casein is broken down into an opioid-like peptide called beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7). BCM-7 has been shown to suppress the immune system, cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to arterial plaque formation, Chong explained. “It has been implicated in the development of Type 1 diabetes — probably related to its immune suppression and role in GI tract inflammation.” Camel’s milk contains this (A2 beta casein). Most milk in the United States is made from Holstein and Friesian cows, which produce milk that primarily contains A1 beta casein rather than A2 beta casein, Chong noted. Nutritionally, camel’s milk is lower in total fat and saturated fat, but equal to cow’s milk in total calories and protein, “Camel’s milk also has more iron and vitamin C than cow’s milk, but cow’s milk was never a good source of these nutrients”, claims Adoob, a respected professional in the nutrition of camel milk. It is said that one of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets was bathing in a tub full of camel’s milk. That being said, milk is making its way to places far beyond consumption and health purposes. Many cosmetic companies have taken it upon themselves to utilize this great product. EU certification is now allowing imports of camel milk, by commercial quantities and its by-products, into Europe. Camel milk has been shown to provide protection from the harsh desert sun, but commercial quantities of camel milk were not available until a few years ago. “We’re picking and choosing only premium cosmetics makers in Europe, not mass-market producers of beauty products,” said Kirsten Lange, director of communications at EICMP. Camel milk has kept Bedouins healthy despite their harsh environment, and studies in India show that regular consumption of camel milk reduces the need for insulin injections by diabetics. “The vitamin C found in camel’s milk provides antioxidants, and the fatty acids in the camel milk help protect human skin,” said Lange. “This milk is a spring of beauty and well-being and contains many substances that help fight wrinkles — such as lanolin, a natural moisturizer, providing a soothing effect on the skin.”
The Growing Popularity of Camel Milk
While there are not many camels in the United States yet—the U.S. has an imported population of 5,000 camels—forward-thinking companies like Camilk are currently working on producing and selling higher levels of camel milk in the States. One of the main reasons for the slow-moving revolution is because the cost of producing a quart of camel’s milk is considerably higher than that of producing a quart of cow’s milk; approximately fifty times more expensive. This has not stopped Camilk, and other companies from trying to expand the knowledge and nutritional facts behind the superiority of camel milk, as opposed to other dairy products. These companies are looking towards the future of medicinal purposes, health, cosmetics, and foods, and it is strongly encouraged that the public look into the option for themselves.