Equidae, Camel, and Yak Milks as Functional Foods: A Review | Abstract
Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Equidae, Camel, and Yak Milks as Functional Foods: A Review

Nikkhah A

Milk is considered the most nutritious natural fluid. Milk from livestock provides a nearly ideal food for humans of all ages. Thus, effective education is a foremost policy in enabling the public to become adequately cognizant of the health implications of milk especially from less-known species. The objective is to describe nutritional and health implications of milk produced by camel, equidae, and yak. Camel milk has about 11.7% total solids, 3.5% protein, 4.5% fat, 0.8% ash, and 4.4% lactose. Camel milk has greater Na, K, Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, niacin and vitamin-C, and relatively lower thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, vitamin-A, lysine and tryptophan than cow milk. Camel milk is more similar to goat milk and contains less short-chain fatty acids than cow and buffalo milks. An emphasis is being increasingly placed on jenny and mare milks as nearly optimal substitutes for human and cow milks. Jenny and mare milks are very similar with low fat (1.1-1.3%), total solids (8-10%) and protein (1.5-1.8%), and high lactose (6-7%). Jenny milk protein is asonably high in lactose, ?-lactoglobulins, and peptidebound and essential amino acids. Equidae milk immunoglobulins inhibit Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, has high quality proteins and very low fat and cholesterol. Equidae milk can alleviate allergies in very young infants and the elderly. Yak milk contains 16.9-17.7% solids, 4.9-5.3% protein, 5.5-7.2% fat, 4.5-5.0% lactose, and 0.8-0.9% minerals. Colloidal and soluble calcium and phosphorus make yak milk highly suitable for cheese making. Yak milk fat obtained at very high altitudes is richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleioc fatty acids. As a result, yak cheese and dairy products have value-added nutraceutical functions. With the important nutritional and health implications of equidae, camel and yak milks highlighted, systematic education must persistently continue to enable sufficient and efficient use of such non-cow milks by humans worldwide.