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The surprising benefits of camel milk.

G. M. DeMers


The surprising benefits of camel milk.
G. M. DeMers*, D. R. Olver. Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA.

With an ever-growing list of alternatives to traditional cow milk being offered in grocery stores everywhere, there is a new contender in this evolving market: camel milk. In fact, a leading food and beverage website declared camel milk to be one of the top 5 trends shaping the international dairy industry in 2019. With a flavor profile more similar to cow milk than other many other choices (such as plant-based alternatives), camel milk contains many of the essential nutrients associated with cow milk while retaining the true “milk” title. Two species of camels, Dromedary and Bactrian, produce milk that offers additional nutritional benefits attractive to some segments of consumers. Studies of people consuming camel milk have demonstrated lower instances of lactose intolerance reactions, lower blood sugar levels with improved insulin sensitivity, and increase immune support. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, typical camel milk contains 3.1% protein and 3.5% fat. However, there is considerable variation in composition data for some constituents. High levels of camel milk components such as lactoferrin contribute to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. In addition to these benefits, camels are very efficient animals that can produce more milk from poorer quality feedstuffs compared with other species. One disadvantage of camel milk is that traditional dairy products such as butter and cheese are more difficult to manufacture, leading to a mainly fluid-based market. Camel milk is primarily produced in Africa and Asia, with Somalia being the largest producer of camel milk worldwide. In the United States, several Amish and Mennonite farms have begun marketing camel-based dairy products. As the availability of camel milk continues to grow, it has the opportunity to become a growing contender in the dairy aisle.

Keywords: camel milk, diabetes, immunity.

Biography: I will be a senior at Penn State, majoring in Animal Science. I am active in the Dairy Science Club, the Penn State Blue Band, and Delta Theta Sigma Social-Professional Agricultural Fraternity. Last summer I completed an on-farm internship in Chester County, Pennsylvania and this following summer I will be a semen processing intern at Select Sires, Inc. in Plain City, Ohio. I currently work with Dr. Chad Dechow in his dairy genetics lab. My future plans include pursuing a veterinary or graduate degree.