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Title: Analysis of microbial quality and safety of camel (Camelus dromedarius) milk chain and implications in Kenya
Authors: Matofari, J. W
Shalo, P. L.
Younan, M., Nanua
Adongo, J. N.
Qabale, A.
Misiko, B. N
Keywords: safety of camel (Camelus dromedarius) milk
Issue Date: Feb-2013
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Camel milk is traditionally consumed raw by the pastoralists in Kenya. However, due to urbanization, population increase, search for alternative income sour- ces, and insecurity in the low lands where camels are concentrated, the demand for camel milk has increased. About 12% of the national milk in Kenya is camel milk. The bulk of it is sold raw in urban markets by informal milk traders (Field, 2001). Milk is an excellent culture medium for the growth of microorganisms. The rate of multiplication of microbes depends mainly on storage temperature and time, level of nutrients and handling conditions. The external sources of microbes include the equipment, the personnel and water. The ability of microorganisms to cause spoilage and disease depends upon the type present, the initial load of contamination of the milk, handling conditions and the time lapse from production before consumption (Bachmann, 1992). Common means of transporting camel milk in pastoral areas from production, about 10 to 20 Km away to bulking or market centres are bicycles, donkeys and occasionally vehicles. The ambient temperature in the production environment is about 39ºC. The milk reachesproduction environment is about 39ºC. The milk reaches the nearest bulking centres in 2 to 3 h and to major markets in cities in 6 to 8 h. The growth of contaminating microorganisms in raw milk therefore poses a threat to consumer health. The camel milk being marketed is of unknown microbial quality and safety to the public. This study investigated the microbial quality and safety and effect of developed acidity on microbial load along the chain of camel milk supply from production to the market. MATERIALS AND METHODS Sampling Composite samples of 10ml of milk were taken from the camel udder at production in the morning and evening at normal milking time. The samples were kept in a cool box maintained at 8-10ºC using iced accumulators. A total of 107 samples were collected at production. At bulking centres, 52 bulk milk samples were taken after pooling milk for storage or distribution to consumers or transportation to distant markets. Fifty nine (59) milk samples were collected from the city market and other sales outlets. All samples were transported to the laboratory within six hours.
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