Advances in Agriculture, Food Science and Forestry

Evaluation of the nutritional composition of camel milk and human milk


Mohammad Mehdi Kasiriyan

Camel and human milk samples (twenty individuals’ samples each) were analysed for fat, total protein (casein, whey protein), lactose, minerals as well as vitamins; B1, B2, niacin and C. Meanwhile, amino and fatty acid compositions and, antimicrobial factors namely; lysozyme (LZ), lactoferrin (LF) and total immunoglobulins (Igs) were determined. Results indicated that camel milk contained higher fat, protein (especially casein), ash, Ca, Mg, P, K, Na, Fe, and Cu but lower in whey protein, lactose and Zn than human milk. Vitamins C and niacin were higher in camel milk than human milk. Camel milk proteins contained satisfactory balance of essential amino acids. The ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids was 0.93 and 1.07 in camel and human milk proteins, respectively. Camel milk was characterized by higher ratio of Igs but lower in both LZ and LF than human milk. General pattern of camel milk fatty acids indicated that short chain fatty acids (C4 –C12) were present in very small amount, but higher than in human milk fat. On the contrary the concentration of C14:0, C16:1 and C18:0 are relatively high in camel’s milk fat as compared to human milk fat. Appreciable amounts of essential fatty acids were present in camel milk. It can be concluded that camel milk can be considered as a good food of high nutritive and therapeutic applications. Meanwhile, the high content of antimicrobial agents in camel milk may explain its potential as an antiviral activity specially against diarrhea-causing viruses.


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