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Camel meat

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Camel meat

Meat sources had been developed during the last decades; so the production throughout the world increased in such a way that an overproduction is observed in many developped countries. The scientific progress in the field of animal breeding and feed industries had brought the meat production to a very high level relatively to the other food products. However, meat sources were not well investigated to make a uniform production and distribution throughout the world. Therefore, in the African and Asian countries feed shortness is hard to overcome by the local production or by feed ingredients importation. In these countries local meat sources, which are well adapted, should be developped, if a food strategy could be adopted to solve the problem of proteins shortness in these countries. In fact, camels can be grown in these countries for varying the source of meat and also for taking advantages from the characteritics of this kind of meat. The one humped camel (Camelius dromaderius) is a very interesting species for meat and milk production (Fay et al, 1995).

In Morocco as well as in many other African and Asian countries, the food customs would include camel meat as a very popular meat. People in these countries are used to eat this kind of meat. Moreover, it is preferref in some countries to meat from other species.

In most Arab countries meats are consumed as fresh, and little is known about some local meat products. Our research focused on camel meat for more scientific characterization and for innovating new products from these countries. In the present study microbiological characteristics of camel meat were studied to elucidate more and more its quality.

In the present study samples of camel meat (Camelius dromaderius) were collected from two slaughter houses. All the samples were taken from carcasses after the set of the Rigor-Mortis the same day they are slaughtered. Samples were analysed for their microbiological characteristics which included Plate Count (PC), total and fecal coliforms, enterococci, staphylococci, SalmonellaClostridium. Temperature and pH were also measured before the analyses. Results showed that the microbial profiles were relatively low for all the microorganisms studied. The average PC was 7.5×106 cfu/g, coliform numbers ranged from less than 10 to 3.6×102 cfu/g. Enterococci reached an average of 4.5×102. Staphylococci were the most abundant microorganisms in the product and ranged from 105 cfu/g to 2.2×107 cfu/g. Salmonella was not detected in any sample. 47 % of the staphylococci isolates were revealed DNAse positive and phosphatase positive. Proteolytics and lipolytics were also present in high numbers in most samples with averages of 1.3×106 and 1.2×106 cfu/g respectively.

Dairy products

Food systems being now processed with modern technology and sophisticated microbiology such as cheeses and fermented dairy products, had been manufactured through centuries by the traditional procedures. The technology of numerous fermented foods was transferred as men moved from one country to another.

Laban

‘Laban’ or ‘leben’ is an Arabic word, which has the same meaning as the Armenian word ‘yoghurt’. Laban is a fermented churned and defatted dairy product obtained from the coagulation of whole raw milk. Laban is widely consumed in Morocco and other countries. Now, it can also be found in some European countries. Even if this product is widely consumed and is also easy to handle, standards do not exist since the process had not been defined yet and a wide variation in its characteristics is usually observed. This variation is due to the species involved in the fermentation and to the conditions the fermentation had been achieved.

The natural fermentation of milk to prepare laban had lead to a variability in the characteristics because the ambient temperature used may vary widely from one country to another. In Asia and the Meadle-East, ambient temperatures are higher than 30°C and in North Africa these would not exceed 20 to 24°C. In the first case thermophilic lactic acid bacteria are the most active in the fermentation and in the second case, strains of lactococci and Leuconostoc are the most responsible.

All the works carried out on laban in Morocco were focused on lactococci because the traditional fermentation would occur under mesophilic temperatures. Thermophilic strains of lactic acid bacteria had been never investigated. Laban can not be neglected as an important dairy product since its consumption is higher than any dairy product. However, no industrial process exist for the product and a lot of similar products are prepared by the traditional procedures which are similar to laban but the microflora had not been characterized for defining the suitable starter cultures to be used in laban manufacture

Laban composition and physico-chemical characteristics have been studied. These studies showed a marked variability among the samples. However, some average values may be given: pH 4.2 to 4.4, acidity 0.75 to 0.82 %, dry matter about 88 g/l. The fat content whose average value is close to 9 g/l, varies from 2 to 18 g/l. The lactose, chlorides and total nitrogen amounts have been determined also, as well as the volatile compounds, i.e. acetaldehyde, ethanol, acetone, diacetyl and acetoin.

On the other hand, the hygienic quality of laban and other products had been investigated. This study showed that Salmonella and Clostridium were absent in 25 ml and 10 ml of laban respectively. The presumably pathogenic staphylococci are either absent or present in low level from 10 to 104 CFU/ml. However, the faecal coliforms reach an average number of 2.85 x 104 CFU/ml, among which 88 % are Escherichia coli and the Enterococci average population is 1.85×103 CFU/ml.

Thus, the high variability of the physico-chemical characteristics on one hand, and the doubtful hygienic quality of the commercial laban on the other hand, lead us to investigate the possibility of making a product with similar organoleptic properties and better hygienic quality using pasteurized fresh whole milk which would be inoculated with selected lactic acid bacteria belonging to the genera Lactococcus and Leuconostoc. The use of fresh milk in laban making cannot be applied during the season of milk shortness and the use of reconstitued milk seems convenient for the industrials to supply the market with this product. That is the reason why we decided to undertake a new work in order to make laban from reconstitued milk inoculated with strains of Lactococcus.

Smen, a fermented fat made from butter by natural fermentation, remained a family art passed on from one generation to the next. Preparation of smen in the home is considered as a household art. Certainly it does occur, and the traditional procedure is based on age-old experience.

A new process for laban making by the use of thermophylic lactic acid bacteria (Bennani et al., 2000).

Laban or leben is a fermented churned and defated dairy product. Laban is widely consummed in Morocco (Tantaoui et al, 1983a; Boubekri et 1984) and other countries (Abdelmalek et al, 19975; Abo-Elnaga et al, 1977; Baroudi and Collins, 1975) Now, it could be also found in some European countries. Even if this product is widely consummed and is also easy to handle, standards do not exist since the process is not defined yet and a wide variation in the characteritics of the product is observed. This variation is due to the species involved in the fermentation. The natural fermentation of milk to prepare laban had lead to a variability in the characteritics because the ambient temperature used may vary widely from one country to another. In Asia, ambient temperatures are higher than 30°C and in North Africa these would not exced 20 to 24°C. In the first case thermophilic lactic acid bacteria are the most active in the fermentation and in the second case strains of lactococci and Leuconostoc are the most responsible.

All the works carried out on laban in Morocco (Tantaoui et al, 1983a,b) were focused on lactococci because the traditional fermentation would occur under mesophilic temperatures. Thermophilic strains of lactic acid bacteria had been never investigated. Laban can not be neglected as an important dairy product since its consumption is higher than any dairy product. However, no industrial process exist for the product and a lot of similar products are prepared by the traditional procedures which are similar to laban but the microflora had not been characterized for defining the suitable starter cultures to be used in laban manufacture.

In the present work, a process laban making  by the use of selected thermophilic lactic acid bacteria strains was investigated.

Up to now all the research works carried out on laban in Morocco have been focused on Lactococcus because the traditional fermentation is usually realized under ambient temperatures which may range between 22 and 28°C in Morocco. Thermophilic lactic acid bacteria had not been investigated yet. Laban is a dairy product widely consummed in North Africa, Asia and some European countries but no industrial process exist for the product. Various similar products are prepared by the traditional or modern procedures. Thermophilic strains of lactic acid bacteria belonging to Streptococcus thermophilus were isolated from natural fermented raw milk. Milk samples from non treated cows and not fed on industrial feeds were incubated at 45° il curdling. 5% (v/v) of the coagulum were used to inoculate a sterilized milk which was incubated at 45° il curdling. This operation was repeated 4 times. The last subculture was used to isolate strains of the species S.thermophilus. 57 isolates were collected, characterized and selected for their acidifcation properties of milk at 45°C. The most efficient strains were used in laban preparation at a high scale and the obtained product was compared to the traditional laban and to laban from the retail market by a sensory evaluation. Results indicated that most of the strains were identified as S. thermophilus and that these strains were different from those used in laban from the retail market. The sensory assessments showed that the product was higher in scores than the traditional laban and the products exhibited in the retail market.

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