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What is camel milk? 7 facts about the white gold of the desert

So you must be wondering, what exactly is camel milk and how do you get it? 

Camel milk is produced by female camels during the lactation period to feed their young ones. Since camels' domestication circa 3,000 BC, their milk has been a source of food for Bedouins, nomads, and pastoral cultures.

When shepherds carry camels far in dry environments, such as the desert, they survive with their milk alone. Camel milk is commonly found in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

The main food obtained from a herd of camels is milk.

A single-humped camel was domesticated circa 3,000 BC. At that time in southern Arabia, camels were mainly the region's meat and milk source. Camels are still valued as horseback riding, baggage, working animals, and hair, and skin providers. In drylands, camels are a better food source than cattle and are severely affected by heat, water, and feed scarcity.

Camels began in North America when the continent was still united. These animals were not as big as hares. They remained throughout the Tertiary period from the Upper Eocene to the Pleistocene, 40 million year period. Continual evolution has created a vast American camel.

 

Meanwhile, from North America, animals migrated to other parts of the world and disappeared permanently from their  ​​origin. Different species and varieties of camelids are probably the evolutionary adaptation results in the different environments to which animals have been exposed.

The so-called Desert White Gold Camel Milk is more like human milk as compared to any other milk, and unlike other ruminant milk since it contains healthy levels of cholesterol, sugar, and more mineral content (like sodium, magnesium, copper, potassium, iron, and zinc), boosts the effectiveness of vitamin C, and proactive proteins like lysozyme, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and lactoperoxidase.

Comparison with other animals

It has a high protein content, promotes probiotic bacterial growth, and has protective characteristics available in small quantities. It supports the proper development of infants and children in different countries. Also, the content of linoleic acid and polyunsaturated acid is high in camels' milk. Compared to cow's milk, it has a high concentration of fat and protein. It maintains healthy levels of cholesterol, c-reactive proteins, and triglycerides and supports cholesterol metabolism.

It also has high levels of various minerals, immunoglobulins, and vitamins. Moreover, it contains three times more vitamin C than cow's milk, ten times more iron. Lactose is present in a lower amount compared to other animal milk.

Cow’s milk has a protein named as casein. Specifically, it is casein beta A1, a protein that is most likely to cause allergies if you have a dairy allergy. Instead of this beta A1 protein, camel milk contains beta A2, which does not cause these gastrointestinal symptoms.

However, even if you are not consciously allergic to casein A1, your body can react to this protein's ingesting with swelling. Lactose intolerance is more allergy than other allergies caused by milk protein. It occurs when the body does not have enough lactase, an enzyme that helps lactose metabolism.

Most people don’t know that the reduction in lactase quantities with increasing age is entirely average, as evolution did not mean that humans consumed milk beyond infancy.

As a result, lactase levels in the infant decrease when weaning from breast milk. Not everyone notices severe symptoms after consuming dairy products containing lactose, so most adults are unable to metabolize lactose efficiently.

The excellent news for milk lovers is that the lactose of camel milk is more comfortable digesting than the lactose of other kinds of milk. The exception is sheep milk, which is relatively easy to digest.

The comparison of different types of milk are presented in the following table:

 

 

Cow

Goat

Buffalo

Camel

Protein

3.29%

3.56%

4 %

2.2-5%

Lactose

4.7%

4.1%

4.8%

4.8%

Fat

1-3%

3-6%

7-8 %

3-5%

Cross-reactivity of milk protein

Cross-reactivity of casein antibodies with goats and cattle. 2-3% of infants are allergic to milk protein.

Similar to breast milk, it has a different casein structure than cows. People who are allergic to milk may also be allergic to goat milk in about 25%.

Several cross-reactive protein antibodies with goats and cattle. A case of buffalo milk tolerance with an allergy to milk

There is little or no cross-reactivity between the cow and camel milk proteins. May be a safe alternative for children allergic to cow or goat’s milk.

Fat characteristic

Must be homogenized. Otherwise, the fat will rise, and massive fat molecules will tend to aggregate.

More small fat molecules than cow milk, small and soft curd, no cream formation. Since it contains no agglutinin, fat molecules will not aggregate. It is believed to be the reason for easy digestion—essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid, spiders, and upper medium-chain fatty acids.

Small molecules that do not aggregate like cow milk. It has lower levels of agglutinin than milk, but similar digestibility.

Fat molecules do not aggregate because they do not contain enough agglutinin. The size of fat molecules is similar to that of cows.

Butter, cheese making

It contains agglutinin; fat is easily separated, butter is made by stirring, cheese is made in rennet.

 

Lack of agglutinin, challenging to beat butter, many soft goat kinds of cheese are produced without rennet.

 

Traditionally used to make mozzarella cheese in Italy, it excels in color and texture, yogurt is thick and creamy.

It does not contain enough agglutinin to separate the cream effectively. Butter is made using a centrifuge. Cheese made from camel rennet; vegetable rennet has met with little success. Easy to convert to yogurt.

Health

An excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.

Its small fat size and distribution characteristics make it easy to digest. It is also alkaline. Best tolerated by lactose intolerance.

Low in cholesterol and an excellent source of nutrients such as calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

Diabetic friendly. It helps convert blood sugar into energy. It helps support healthy insulin function and normal insulin levels. It promotes overall good health, supports cardiovascular health, and helps in energy metabolism.

Problems

It is associated with milk allergy and intolerance, such as atopic dermatitis, diarrhea, and constipation.

Not suitable for people with lactose intolerance, but generally better tolerated than milk.

It contains lactose that can be a problem for patients with lactose intolerance.

Glucose not converted to energy stays in the body and causes high blood glucose/sugar levels (hyperglycemia)

Flavor

 

Flavour can be vital in comparison

Similar to cow milk

It is light, sweet, and clean with a fresh taste.

 

Nutrients in Camel Milk

Fresh camel milk is relatively nutrient-dense, as you can see in the table below.

Beneficial peptides

Lactoferrin, immunoglobulins

Calories

110

Minerals

Calcium (30%), iron (2%), phosphorus (15%), zinc (4%)

Protein

5 grams

Sugar (lactose)

8 grams

Total carbohydrates

11 grams

Total fat

4.5 grams

Vitamins

Vitamin A (4%), vitamin B1 (70%), vitamin B3 (8%), vitamin D (6%)

 

As you may notice, camel milk is a little thinner than regular whole milk. This is because camel milk contains less fat than regular milk. I don’t mind a small extra calorie from healthy fats, but I don’t think the low-fat milk content negatively affects its taste.

camel milk immunity

Now, here are some things you need to know about the science behind camel milk:

  • Camel milk supports fat metabolism. It combats food intolerances that may inhibit fat loss.
  • Camel milk supports nutrients crossing the blood-brain barrier. It supports mental focus, memory, and concentration with nutrients essential for the brain.
  • Camel milk boosts the effectiveness of Vitamin C
  • Camel milk protein comprises a satisfactory level of essential amino acids than cow's milk. Amino acids are crucial for muscle building, repairing, and strengthening.
  • Camel milk contains lactoferrin, a bioactive protein that plays an important role in the immune system response and helps protect the body against infections.
  • Camel milk facilitates the digestion of lactose.
  • Camel milk has bioactive molecules such as immunoglobulins, antioxidants, vitamins, and immunostimulant factors.
  • Camel milk supports healthy glucose and insulin metabolism. It improves insulin sensitivity and decreases levels of insulin resistance.
  • Camel milk casein is different from cow casein. A2 beta-casein from camel milk is a milk protein that is less allergenic and easier to digest than the A1 beta-casein found in most cow's milk.
  • Camel milk is a safe alternative for children allergic to cow or goat milk
  • Camel milk supports the brain and nervous system for those with special needs as it supports the body in adapting to physical, mental, and environmental stress factors. It temporarily relieves symptoms of irritability, short temper, and tantrums.
  • Camel milk supports a healthy response to environmental heavy metal toxicity.
  • Camel milk balances the effects of free radicals by providing you with high-potency amounts of an exclusive antioxidant formula.  

Health Benefits of Camel’s milk

Camel milk has been consumed for thousands of years, but today it is popular in Australia and the United States. It is believed to be superior to other milk and has many other health benefits. This milk is rich in skin-loving ingredients like alpha - hydroxy acids and vitamins and helps people who cannot tolerate lactose and reduce it. It has an unusually strong immune factor. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using camel milk for various health disorders.

Diabetic-friendly

Camel milk is rich in insulin-like factors, which is essential for human health as it is a vital hormone for our body. A balance of insulin and glucose is necessary to prevent diabetes of both 1 and 2 types. Camel milk research has been shown to keep blood sugar levels within the normal target range. It helps balance out food and glucose levels and can help reduce postprandial glucose and A1C levels. Camel milk contains insulin-like proteins that can cause anti-diabetic activity. Insulin is a hormone that aids control levels of blood sugar.

Studies show that 4 cups of camel milk have approximately 4 cups of 52 units of insulin, which may enhance insulin sensitivity.

In another study, adults with type 1 diabetes who took 2 cups (500 ml) of camel milk daily and exercise, diet, and insulin injections showed low levels of blood glucose and insulin levels compared to those who were not fed camel milk.

Various research papers have established that 2 cups (500 ml) daily is the suggested amount of camel milk to increase glycemic control in diabetics.

Helps strengthen immunity

Camel milk is rich in proteins and organic compounds strengthening the immune system and making us healthy. It contains lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and proteins that give milk immune-boosting effects.

camel milk benefits

May aid brain health

Camel milk contains a high quantity of organic compounds. Daily intake of camel milk helps support the brain and nervous system for those with special needs. Studies have suggested that camel milk has been proven to affect children’s behavioral development and may help support the body’s response to stress. It supports healthy brain function and mood in moms, thus, promoting healthy brain development and vision in growing children.

Stimulate growth

Camel milk contains a lot of proteins that promote the growth and development of bones and organs. It is also crucial for periods of intense physical training and whenever someone is under a lot of stress. In various cultures, it is provided to malnourished children to promote health and wellness and to support healthy bone structure. It delivers growth hormone and IGF-1 that helps increase lean muscle mass. It is also used as food when one has to travel in the areas where there is no supply of food or water.

Promotes blood and mineral circulation

Camel milk contains Lactoferrin that helps regulate iron and reduce fatigue. It has detoxifying properties and improves blood flow to the heart and muscle. It builds better blood and satisfies your body's hunger for oxygen helping your blood retain its overall health. It promotes healthy red blood cell formation, hemoglobin production, and blood function.

camel milk heart health

Promotes heart health

Camel milk promotes heart health. It helps cholesterol balance in the human body through the presence of fatty acids. It acts by supporting cholesterol metabolism, maintaining healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue. It promotes increased cardiac efficiency and lowers stress during exercise.

A better option for those with milk allergies

Lactose intolerance is a common condition caused by a deficiency of lactase. The enzyme required to digest the sugar in dairy products known as lactose causes bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain after consuming dairy products.

The milk of camel supports lactose digestion because it contains far fewer lactose amounts, making it more tolerable for many with lactose intolerance. In a study of 25 people suffering from the intolerance of lactose conditions, only 2 participants had a mild reaction to about 1 cup (250 ml) of camel milk. All the other participants were not affected.

Camel milk also contains an altered protein profile compared to cow milk, which seems more tolerant of those who are allergic to cow's milk. A study of milk allergies in 35 children from 4 months to 10.5 years of age, who were having an intolerance to cow's milk, showed that only twenty percent have an allergy to camel milk.

Besides, camel milk has been used to help keep your digestive system balanced as it reduces the likelihood of occasional diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

Easy-to-add to your diet

Camel milk can, in most cases, replace other animals of milk. It can be used simply for drinking purposes or used for coffee, sauces, tea, smoothies, soups, mac and cheese, pancakes, baked goods, and waffle dough.

The taste of milk is much different depending on which area it is being produced. American camel milk is slightly salty, sweet, and creamy in flavor, whereas camel milk from the Middle East smokey and nuttier flavor.

Products from Camel milk, such as yogurt, soft cheese, and butter, are not generally available because of processing difficulties due to camel milk composition.

It's been around for more than 1000 years

Camel milk donors are long known for their rich supply of vitamins, proteins, and minerals-in some cases to support life itself. Yes, camel milk. People in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have relied on camels for milk for centuries.

Some American consumers, who are continually looking for a magical health stick, use it as the ultimate answer to better health. Some people even advertise it as a new “superfood.” “Trendy” is one more way of explaining it. Its growing popularity can be attributed to camel milk's perceived health benefits.

Many people have resolved their food allergies with camel milk as it helps stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria that helps produce digestive enzymes. You can drink camel's milk without difficulties with digestion.

An eco-friendly milk

In addition to being a more nutritious milk option, there is growing concern about cow's milk in the environmental area. The destructive effects of cattle on the environment are becoming increasingly apparent. The milk of cows causes many ecological problems, including methane/carbon emissions, over-foraging, water pollution, and soil damage.

The solution to this problem is in the camel, which is an eco-friendly animal. Camels evolve naturally and waste nothing in harsh desert environments. Unlike dairy cows, camels release low-carbon, efficient milk producers with little or no harm to the environment.

A side-by-side comparison of the environmental impacts of dairy cows and camels gives unrivaled results. Cows produce more greenhouse gases than 22 million cars, and camels generate less than half of it.

A single cow requires large amounts of feed and consumes eight times the land needed to house them. While Cattle consume 20 pounds to produce one liter of milk, a camel only needs 4 pounds. Cows produce over 120 pounds of wet fertilizer per day. This causes water pollution and environmental damage because of runoff.

Camel fertilizer is so dry that it can be burned immediately as a fuel. Finally, the cows slowly move with stocky legs, damage the soil, and overgraze their habitat. Camels are “cheap feeders” that do not overgraze vegetation, and their “fellow ungulates” do not disturb the soil or vegetation.

Camel Milk Facts

Camel milk comes from camels. It has been used to treat health issues since the old times. It’s more than 50 times more expensive than cow’s milk. It’s not available everywhere, but it is readily available in the Middle East and North Africa. Camel milk is very similar to human milk and has the same advantages.

The camel milk and human milk have the same composition. It has a high concentration of low fat, protein, vitamin C, and iron. Camel milk is also digestible and has a pH of 6.5-6.7.

Camel Milk as A Skincare Product

Camel milk supports skin health. It provides potent and synergistic antioxidant support to combat cell-damaging free radicals that can cause premature aging. It supports healthy and vital skin giving you a vibrant and clear complexion. It helps in removing dead skin cells and giving you a fresh skin look. Camel milk also helps retain moisture on the skin, giving it a firmer appearance.

Dry Skin

Camel milk helps dry, itchy skin. It is rich in skin-loving ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamins that leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. It supports and improves your skin's elasticity giving you a more radiant and clear complexion.

Making a Camel Milk Face Mask

To make a camel milk face mask, you will need one packet of  Desert Farms Camel Milk Powder. Add one tablespoon milk powder and filtered water having quantity equals one tablespoon. Mix the content and make paste material. When it’s ready, apply it on the face and then let it stay for 20 minutes.

After removing the mask, there will be a fresh look on the face. Although camel milk is safe for most of the moist skins, there is a possibility of harboring bacteria in fresh milk. That is why dermatologist’s advice should be taken before the use of milk on the skin.

Camel Milk Hair Treatment 

The popularity is due to the high nutritional value of the milk. It has minerals and vitamins such as B1 and calcium. The delicious dairy product is beneficial to the people who can not digest lactose.

The concept of camel milk is new in North America, but its demand is increasing day by day due to its benefits. The price of camel milk is higher than the other milk. On average, a camel gives 6 liters per day compared to the 15 liters by an average cow.  

 Australia is the largest hub of the wild camels in the world. They are using this milk in many superfoods, cosmetics, chocolate, and soaps. According to the Australian camel industry, the vitamin C level is five times higher in camel milk. That’s why this milk is becoming a favorite in Australia and the USA.

In the United States, the demand for camel milk is also on the rise. The increase in demand is also encouraging the establishment of AI dairy, which is increasing the supply very fast. In the USA, camel milk was made legal in 2012.  

Camel Milk in High Demand

People around the world are making changes now. Due to low cholesterol levels, boosts the effectiveness of vitamin C, and protein, people are choosing camel milk over cow milk.

The global camel milk market has increased dramatically since 2011. It is estimated that in 2024 the growth will increase by 8% compared to the present level although camel milk is more expensive than cow milk.

In Australia, the market is also expanding. The 50,000 liters production increased to 1,800,000 liters in just three years. It has been observed that there will be a significant increase in the camel market in the coming future. New suppliers are joining the industry with every passage of the day.

The camel is also attractive to immigrants from Ethiopian and Somalian countries. The major strength of camel milk is that it has plenty of nutritional values and can be easily classified as a superfood. It is being sold in food and cosmetics items.

Other than Australia and the USA, the other countries are also developing their taste for camel milk. New Zealand, Singapore India, and the UK are among some of the top consumer’s camel milk countries. They are getting this product mostly from the Australian dairy industry. Due to the high cleaning standards, the Australia industry has gained popularity in the dairy industry, and the demand for the supply is increasing day by day.

How does it taste?

The description of its taste varies. Some people say that camel milk is sweet and delicious. Others say it’s delicious, but has hints of saltiness. Some say that they will be able to drink whatever they want, starting with a shot to get used to.

Some say it tastes terrible. Also, some people say it tastes like milk. Of course, regardless of milk type, much of the taste depends on what the animal is eating and how the animal is being treated. Besides, the taste is affected by hygienic milking, processing, and storage facility conditions.

In addition to pasteurized, raw, powder form, camel milk is also utilized to manufacture products like edible fats called hump fats, fermented kefir, lotions, soaps, lip balms, face washes, bath soaps, masks, and more like bath bombs and face masks.

Camel Milk Purification Processes 

Camel milk contains approximately the same extents of fats and proteins and lactose like that of bovine milk. However, the relative distribution, molecular structure, and composition of milk components are different compared to other kinds of animal milk.

Proteomics analysis of whey proteins was carried out of varying specie's milk like camel, goat, cow, buffalo, and yak; it was shown that whey proteins in camel milk were grouped hierarchically differently from other species. Camel milk is difficult to formulate and is generally said to be suitable only for drinking as fresh or sour milk.

However, it is now reported that a variety of products can be produced from camel milk, including soft cheese yogurt, and butter. Also, camel milk has traditionally been recognized for its medicinal properties. It also states that camel milk has high levels of electrolytes and diabetic friendly properties.

Processing of Cheese

Making camel milk into cheese has been considered difficult and even impossible. The relative amino acid composition and distribution are different from casein from camel milk, which is different from other animals' milk.

Processing of Butter

Camel milk has a fat content of 1.2-6.4%, comparable to bovine milk. Still, butter is not a traditional camel dairy product, and it is challenging to produce and use the same technology as bovine milk butter.

Though, butter can be generated from camel milk under optimal conditions of stirring temperature and stirring method. This allowed the butter to be extracted from camel milk with a fat recovery efficiency of 80% with conventional fermented camel milk in a vertical direction and with traditional relatively high temperature stirring (22-23°C).

Processing of Yogurt

It has been reported that it is difficult to make yogurt and other fermented products from camel milk. The problem with camel milk yogurt is the thin and weak texture of the product. Yogurt consistency is a critical parameter that affects appearance, texture, and overall acceptability.

Camel milk has been reported as not readily fermentable due to its antibacterial properties, primarily due to protective proteins. Still, it has been shown to allow commercial starter culture growth on camel milk. However, the acidification rate of camel milk was lower than that of bovine milk.

The Cons of Camel Milk

While camel milk certainly has some advantages, it also has some drawbacks that you should be aware of. The only con is that some people might be allergic to it but it is very rare.

Also, camel milk that has not been pasteurized containing bacteria and may cause several bacterial infections.

    Where to Buy Camel Milk

    You can buy camel milk and camel milk products from Desert Farms' online store. You can also buy camel milk near you at certain locations.


    Ammar Pervez
    Ammar Pervez

    Author



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