Camel milk consumption patterns and perceptions in the UAE: A cross-sectional study

Leila Cheikh Ismail, Tareq M. Osaili, Maysm N. Mohamad, Hala Zakaria, Aaesha Ali, Asma Tarek, Alizeh Ashfaq, Mohamed A. Al Abdouli, Sheima T. Saleh, Rameez Al Daour, Radhiya Alrajaby, Lily Stojanovska, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Camel milk has been consumed for centuries due to its medicinal and healing properties. The present study aims to investigate the consumption patterns of camel milk and perceived benefits and risks among adults in the United Arab Emirates. A self-administered online questionnaire was developed in English and Arabic languages and was completed online by 852 adults. Socio-demographic characteristics, camel milk consumption patterns and perceived knowledge of the benefits and risks of camel milk were investigated. About 60 % of the participants have tried drinking camel milk, but only a quarter (25·1 %) were regular consumers. The most consumed camel milk products after fresh milk were yoghurt and flavoured milk. The most popular additions to camel milk were honey, turmeric and sugar. Most consumers had less than one cup of camel milk per day (57·0 %). Camel milk consumers preferred it over other types of milk due to its nutritional value (66·4 %) and medicinal properties (39·3 %). Among consumers, 58·4 % reported consuming unpasteurised camel milk. Reasons included the belief that it is fresher (87·2 %), better for the immune system (41·6 %), and higher in nutrients (39·2 %). Overall, participants had inadequate knowledge about the health benefits of camel milk (7·11 ± 5·3 out of 25). Males and camel milk consumers had a significantly higher knowledge about the health benefits of camel milk compared to females and non-consumers (P < 0·05). Although positive perceptions were common, misperceptions appear to be prevalent among non-consumers. Consuming unpasteurised camel milk is a major public health concern, thus national regulations are essential.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2022

Keywords

  • Food safety
  • Health benefits
  • Knowledge
  • Nutritional value
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Unpasteurised milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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