1. Animal Husbandry

Donkey Milk is an Alternate to Cow Milk

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

From January 1, 2020, dairy owners will have to comply the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), new Scheme - `Testing and Inspection` in their entire value chain. As about 10.4 percent of the total processed milk samples of 2,607 failed to comply with the FSSAI norms as contaminants like Aflatoxin-M1, antibiotics & pesticides were found. The problem of Aflatoxin-M1 is more dominant in processed milk than raw milk. Aflatoxin-M1 comes in the milk through feed & fodder. In terms of quality, the survey found that 37.7 percent of the total sample of processed milk did not comply with quality parameters because the presence of contaminants such as fats, SNF, Maltodextrin & sugar were above the presentable limits.

Donkey milk is fast emerging as an antioxidant and anti-ageing elixir. It was already being used by cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies to make healing as well as therapeutic face creams. It does not contain coagulable casein and very little fat, which is why it is quite easy to digest. In fact is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and iron along with immunoglobulins that boost immunity. This milk can also be consumed by those who are allergic to cow milk.

donkey milk

Alternate milk being promoted in India Considering the multiple benefits of the aforementioned milk alternatives, it is no surprise that several farmers, manufacturers, and even the government are pushing for the commercialization of these kinds of milk. In fact, it was recently revealed that the Modi government is seriously exploring the possibility of promoting donkey milk among the masses. 

Along with it being extremely healthy, the idea behind promoting this milk is also to sustain and possibly grow the dwindling camel populations in the country. The commercialization of camel milk is also aimed at helping camel herders in the desert states earn a steady income in lieu of their diligent contribution towards the protection and breeding of camels. For this purpose, paradigm-shifting camel milk startups have emerged across the country that directly deal with camel herders to procure, process, and sell the milk across multiple markets.

Such an approach to collecting and supplying alternate animal milk will encourage breeders to continue working with these animals while protecting their ecosystem. Startups engaged in the procurement of these milk alternatives are not only promoting breeding by incentivizing it, but also protecting our animals and conserving the vast biodiversity of India.

The popular narrative was that milk makes our bones and mind stronger. A ‘complete food’ in itself, we were told that milk has a host of nutrients that can make us stronger and sharper.

India is the world`s largest producer of milk. The total estimated milk production in the country was 176.35 million tonnes during 2017-18. The Government has targeted milk production of 254.55 million tonnes by 2022.

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