CaM yogurt Camel milk products

Believe it or not: Typical yogurt made from 100% camel’s milk

Camel’s milk (CaM) has a similar composition to that of bovine milk and sequence homology between milk proteins for both kinds of milk is in the range of 60–90%. The relative composition, distribution, and molecular profile of milk constituents are different. In fact, β-lactoglobulin (potential allergen for infants), whey proteins, is absent in CaM. Due to its higher amounts of Beta-casein (β-CN), CAM is similar to human milk and also has better digestibility and lower infants’ allergic incidence, compared to bovine milk. In fact, β-CN is more degradable by peptic enzymes than α-CN

The power of camel milk

It is well documented that CaM is technically more difficult to process into fermented products (such as yogurt) than its counterparts from other livestock. In this regard, appreciable research works have been dealt with many trials in making yogurt from CaM. The manufacturing of yogurt from CaM, however, ended in a texture problem where the final product was not a typical yogurt texture and had an unpleasant taste. Furthermore, the product’s viscosity did not change during the gelling process compared to the milk of other dairy species. In other words, the final product is described at best as a drinking yogurt. In fact, such technical difficulties clearly explain the lack of industrial production of CaM yogurt at the present time.

Beauty of the camels
The Beauty of the camels

Recently, yogurt could not be made from CaM unless the dromedary milk samples were fortified with combinations of cow’s milk constituents (micellar casein, whey protein, and sodium caseinate) in the presence of microbial transglutaminase. Others added commercial chymosin along with gelatin, starch, and skim milk powder. However, the final product deviated from standards of identity for yogurt traditionally made by acidification (no cheese coagulant) by selected lactic acid bacterial starters.  Instead, the resulted CaM fermented product could be best described as a yogurt-like one.

One of the world’s best camel breeds – KHAWAR Camel of Oman. The main habitat is the Dhofar region.

It is noteworthy to mention that our developed CaM yogurt could be manufactured, at the industrial scale, as that from cow’s milk will not add up extra costs in its production. CaM yogurt was made from 100% CaM (pasteurized) with no need for fortification with caseins, skim milk powder, whey proteins, or treatment with commercial enzymes (chymosin/ transglutaminase) or gelatin.

Raigi camel breed of Kakar Khurasan

Most important, the developed CaM yogurt meets the standard of identity outlined by the Codex Alimentarius of the FAO/WHO for yogurt. It is also an added-value product from CaM with more nutritious and functional values. The CaM yogurt, developed in our laboratory, could be considered a safer alternative for those allergic to cow’s milk. It is typical yogurt made from CaM which is spoonable (see photo below) with longer shelf life without added preservatives. If you are interested in the industrial production and marketing of CAM yogurt, please contact me at the below e-mail address.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. ABDUL RAZIQ Kakar for giving me this opportunity in posting my article in CAMEL4All.

Prof. N. Al-zoreky

King Faisal University

Saudi (