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Animals that produce dairy foods: Camel

Alhadrami G., Faye B.. 2016. In : Reference module in food science. Amsterdam : Academic Press, p. 1-12.

Camels are known for their ability to produce milk, in comparison to other species of Camelidae. Milk production from camels is mainly practiced in pastoral migratory systems but the intensive camel dairy farming is increasing in many countries. Dairy camels can be classified into three groups, high, medium, and low, based on their milk production. Only the high and medium milk-producing camels can be considered as true dairy camel types. Lactation length varies from 6 to 18 months. Infection by bacterial or mycotic pathogens is the main cause of mastitis. Socioeconomic constraints, longer calving interval, and hand milking hinder progress in improving milk production. Camel milk production from intensive systems has started to become a reality, and has shown promising results. The peak of lactation in camels tends to decline more steeply than in dairy cows; nevertheless, camels are much better providers of high-quality protein than cows, sheep, and goats to the people living in the arid and semiarid areas. The gross composition of camel milk is similar to that of cattle and goat milk but high differences were described in the fine composition (fatty acids, vitamins, type of proteins). Camel milk is generally opaque white and low in carotene. It has a sweet and sharp taste, but sometimes can also be salty. Most of the camel milk is consumed as fresh milk. However, surplus milk is processed into naturally fermented products. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : composition chimique; rendement laitier; reproduction sexuée; sélection; distribution géographique; régime alimentaire; chameau; dromadaire; fromage; lait de chamelle; production laitière; camelus bactrianus

Thématique : Elevage - Considérations générales; Traitement et conservation des produits alimentaires; Composition des produits alimentaires

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