Al Ain Dairy has launched a range of camel-milk ice cream in six flavours – date, saffron, cardamom, chocolate, caramel and “lite” raspberry vanilla with sauces and nuts for a Middle Eastern flavour – and they’ll soon be available in local hypermarkets.
The company, which introduced the Camelait brand of milk products in 2004, offers a 125g tub of camel ice cream for Dh10, while a one-litre tub costs Dh70.
“This is a premium product, which forces us to raise the price,” says Shashi Kumar Menon, the chief executive of Al Ain Dairy. “The demand for camel milk is also driven by Emiratis and Arab expatriates, so we are targeting that segment.”
The farms now produce 5,500 litres of camel milk everyday.
The company has also expanded into manufacturing camel-milk powder using spray-drying technology from Denmark. The powder has a one-year shelf life and costs from Dh63 for a pack of three 25g sachets.
An increasing body of research is pointing to the health benefits of camel milk and pitching it as an alternative for those with lactose intolerance.
A research by United Arab Emirates University last year showed that camel milk has three times the amount of vitamin C compared with cow milk, while drinking camel laban helps reduce hypertension. Other studies have noted camel milk to be beneficial for diabetics because of its high insulin levels. Camel milk also has less fat – an average of 2.5 per cent (cow milk that has 3.5 per cent). Anecdotal reports show a positive result of camel milk on children with autism.