Influence of feeding on some physicochemical and biochemical characteristics of camel milk (Camelus dromadarius)
Composition of camel milk changes according to the type of farming systems; (i) the traditional system based on the consumption of grassland natural plants and (ii) the “modern” system with feeding based on barley and alfalfa. Among components, we did not reveal any significant effect of farming system on either: pH, density, Dornic acidity, total dry extract, fat-free dry matter content, ash content, total protein content and fat content. However, a significant effect (P <0.05) on the vitamin C content was observed. The concentration being higher in the milk from camels in extensive system than in semi-intensive system. Although the diameter of the fat globules was comparable in both cases, a better dispersion was registered in the milk from the camels in the extensive system. If no difference occurred on the global fatty acid profile (proportion of short/medium/long chain fatty acids), lauric acid (C12: 0) and two fatty acids with 2n + 1 carbon atoms (C15: 0 and C17: 0) were present only in the lipids of milk from camels exclusively fed with Saharan rangelands plants. These results suggested that feeding would have consequences on the characteristics inherent in camel milk and partly responsible for its properties.
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