SEASONAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL VARIATION OF GROSS COMPOSITION OF CAMEL MILK IN SAUDI ARABIA
Keywords:Camel milk, Milk components, Seasonal variation, Physiological stage, Milk yield
Weekly milk samples from ten lactating she camels (Camelus dromedarius) were analyzed regularly for 11 months after parturition. The main values for all samples were 2.54 ± 0.72g/100g fat matter, 3.07 ± 0.30g/100g protein, 4.21 ± 0.37g/100g lactose and 0.76 ± 0.10g/100g ash. Fat content decreased from 3.41% at the first week to 2.29% at 36th week post-partum with rising at the end to 2.95% while protein decreased from 3.44% at week 1 to 2.79% at the end of lactation, and lactose from 4.48% to 3.90%. Ash increased from 0.72% to 0.82% then decreased down to 0.71%. Regarding seasonal variation, maximum level of fat was observed in January (3.46%) and minimum at summer time (2.29% in July). Protein content was maximum in February (3.32%) and minimum in October (2.76%). For lactose, the maximum mean value was 4.38% in February and the minimum in September (3.83%). The ash content was quite variable in January then stable all over the year. All components were highly positively correlated, except between fat and ash content which was not significant. No significant effect of parity, gestation length, calf body weight at birth or adult weight on all milk content. The average total milk production was 1207 L for 11 months range between 875 and 1616 L. The correlation between milk production and milk components are significantly negative.