Camel Milk known to be closest to human milk and easily digested by infants is going to be sold by AMUL. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) one of the major dairy of Asia connecting millions of milk producers across India has announced that it will launch camel milk within 3 months under the brand name AMUL as the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set new standards for camel milk. Till date, there was no microbiological standards for camel milk. The animal husbandry departments of Gujarat and Rajasthan, as well as NRCC, Bikaner, had approached FSSAI to formulate standards for camel milk since these two states have a significant camel’s population. Research studies around the world has also confirmed that camel’s milk has better nutritional value as it exhibits many unique and amazing health promoting properties as compared to cow’s milk. It has been as medicine for centuries by nomadic people because its richness in vitamins, minerals and iron. FSSAI took two years to come out with standards.
Camel milk will first be launched in Ahmedabad in 500 ml bottle and will later launch in other cities said Hardeep Bhanga, Marketing Manager, GCMMF. He further informed that the plant for processing camel milk is ready for operation in Kutch region of Gujarat.
“Now, the new plant at the cost of Rs. 3 Crore is ready in Kutch. We are going to market camel milk in the next three months. Initially, it is will be sold in Ahmedabad through Amul booths in 500 ml bottle,” he said, adding that the camel milk would later be marketed in Delhi and Mumbai.
Camel milk is a rich source of proteins with potential antimicrobial and protective activities; these proteins are not found in cow milk or found only in minor amount. It has more fat and protein than cow’s milk. It contains less cholesterol than cow or goat milk. Its health property was recently discovered is making Camel Milk popular across the world. It is a valuable food with a long history of its use for thousands of years in many cultures. In many countries, camel milk is being given to babies suffering from malnutrition and thus has emerged as a new super food with miraculous health benefits. Ayurveda has also recognized Camel Milk as a healthy food. Ayurveda has referred medicinal value of camel milk under the classification of “Dugdha Varga”. The camel has also been mentioned among the animals as miracle of God in the Quran. It is common practice to let camels to eat certain plants in order to use the milk for medicinal purpose.
रूक्षोष्णं क्षीरमुष्ट्रीणामीषत्सलवणं लघु|
rūkṣoṣṇaṃ kṣīramuṣṭrīṇāmīṣatsalavaṇaṃ laghu|
śastaṃ vātakaphānāhakrimiśophodarārśasām||220|| – Charaka Sutrasthana 27
Milk of the camel is Ruksha (dry), Ushna (Hot), Slightly salty, Laghu (Light to digest), Useful in Anaha (Bloating, Constipation), Krimi (Parasitic Infection), Shopha (Odema, inflammatory conditions) and Arsha (haemorrhoids, piles and other diseases due to the vitiation of Vata & Kapha.).
शोफानाहार्तितृण्मूर्च्छा पीडिते कारभं पयः||१०७||
शुद्धानां क्षामदेहानां गव्यं छागं समाहिषम्|
śophānāhārtitṛṇmūrcchā pīḍite kārabhaṃ payaḥ||107||
śuddhānāṃ kṣāmadehānāṃ gavyaṃ chāgaṃ samāhiṣam|
If the patient of Udara (ascites) is suffering from oedema, Anaha (bloating, abdominal distension because of wind), pain, thirst and fainting, then camel milk is useful
नारी पयः सशर्करमुष्ट्र्या अपि नस्यमिक्षुरसः||३३||
Camel milk mixed with sugar or the sugar cane juice is used for Nasya (inhalation therapy)
Recent research has revealed that it can be a boon to alleviate lifestyle diseases including Diabetes & Allergies due to presence of protective proteins which may possibly play important role in boosting immune defense mechanism
It is not only low in fat and cholesterol but also contains substantial amount of vitamins and minerals. The study conducted by India’s Bikaner Diabetes Care Research Center during 2005, observed beneficial effects of its consumption on type-1 diabetes as it significantly reduced insulin doses required to maintain long-term glycemic, or blood sugar level under control. Several other researchers; Breitling et al., (2002) reported that camel milk contains high level of insulin which can therefore be used to treat diabetes mellitus type I. Similarly Widdel et al., (2004) demonstrated insulin concentration of 32 µU/ ml which were higher as compared to 23 µU/ ml in cow milk. It can be used as an adjunct to insulin therapy as it appears to be safe and efficacious in improving long-term glycemic control and also helps in the reduction of insulin requirement in type 1 diabetic patients (Agrawal et al., 2011). The results of epidemiological, animal experiments and clinical research has revealed that its consumption can help to prevent and treat diabetes.
The milk protein i.e. β-lactoglobulin present in cow and mare milk is responsible for allergies in humans. However, camel milk known to be lacking of this protein and thus do not pose problem of allergies in sensitive individual. β -casein present in cow milk also causes hypersensitivity into humans. Although, camel milk also contains β – casein, but the structure of camel milk protein is very different from the cow milk protein. According to El-Agamy et al., (2009) absence of immunological similarity between camel and cow milk proteins may be taken an important criterion from nutritional and clinical points of view. Therefore, It may be suggested as a new protein source for nutrition for children allergic to cow’s milk.
Extensive investigations have demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a vital role in the pathology of several neurological diseases including autism. The camel milk has emerged to have potential therapeutic effects in patient suffering from autism. The consumption of camel milk in children suffering from autism showed reduction in autism symptoms and improved motor skills, language, cognition, joint coordination and skin health. The previous selected studies evaluated the effect of camel milk consumption on oxidative stress biomarkers using the ELISA technique in autistic children, by measuring the plasma levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and myeloperoxidase before and after 2 weeks of camel milk administration. The all observations reveled that measured parameters exhibited significant increase after camel milk consumption. These findings suggest that camel milk could play an important role in reduction of oxidative stress by increase in antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidant molecule levels, as well as showed improvement of autistic behavior in children (Laila et al., 2013). In a research conducted in King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, Al Kanhal (2010) examined the effect of camel milk against cow milk on 60 children aged 2-12 years old suffering from autism by feeding 500 ml/day of camel milk for 14 days. Out of 60 children, 25 and 24 received boiled and raw camel milk while rest 11 cow’s milk. Hematological analysis reveal low level of antioxidants in all the children’s at the initial stage of study. However, both groups of children fed on camel milk showed less oxidative stress at the end of two weeks as well as gradual improvement in behavioral and cognitive test for camel milk and autism.
It contains various protective proteins, mainly enzymes which exert antibacterial and immunological properties. The presences of these proteins explain some of the natural healing properties of the milk. The known protective proteins such as lysozymes: participates in primary immune system, which is based on targeting of structures common to invading pathogens. Immunoglobulins: These give immune protection to the body against infections. Lactoferrin: Iron-saturated lactoferrin prevents microbial growth of undesirable microorganism in gut. Camel milk apparently contains much more lactoferrin than ruminant (cow, sheep and goat) milk. Lactoperoxidase: It exerts bactericidal activity mainly against Gram’s negative bacteria (Mullaicharam et al., 2014).
It has anti aging effect due to presence of α-hydroxyl acids which are known to plump the skin and smoothies fine lines. Alpha- hydroxyl acids help to shed the outer horny layer of dead cells on the skin (epidermis) by helping to break down sugars, which are used to hold skin cells together. This helps in revealing new cells, which are more elastic and clear. Alphahydroxyl acids helps to eliminate wrinkles and age spots and relieve dryness as they make the outer layer of the skin thinner and support the lower layer of the dermis by making it thick. In addition, liposome occurring in camel milk is applicable for a potential cosmetic ingredient to improve anti-aging effect (Choi et al., 2013).
Anti tumorigenic potential:
Anti-tumor properties of camel milk are due to strong antimicrobial and anti-oxidative activities that help in reduction of liver inflammation. This also has many nutrients that are required for healthy liver function. Korashy et al., (2012) investigated the molecular mechanisms that govern the effect of camel milk on human cancer cells. This study clearly demonstrated that camel milk induces apoptosis in human hepatoma (HepG2) and human breast (MCF7) cancer cells through apoptotic- and oxidative-stress-mediated mechanisms. In addition, camel milk also has antigenotoxic and anticytotoxic effects through inhibition of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) and improves the mitotic index of bone marrow cells (Salwa et al., 2010). Habib et al., (2013) examines the functional properties of camel milk lactoferrin, the main iron binding protein of the milk which showed 56% reduction of cancer growth.
It has higher amount of iron chelating protein known as lactoferrin. This protein removes free iron from joints of arthritic patients thereby improves arthritic.
Camel milk and their products act as good source of nutrients for the peoples living especially in the arid and urban areas. This has valuable nutritional and therapeutic properties as it contains high proportion of antibacterial and and antioxidant substances like vitamin C as well as iron in comparison to cow milk. Regular intake of camel milk helps to control blood sugar levels. This also prevents variety of infection including gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, and cancer. The camel milk also cures severe food allergies and rehabilitates the immune system in children.
It will definitely multiply the income of camel breeders once Amul starts processing Camel Milk. Camels normally 4-7 kg of milk per day, have a long lactation period.