Milk Products from Minor Dairy Species: A Review
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences (DiSSPA), University of Bari, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (DiSAAT) Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
Department of Veterinary Science (DSMV), University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, Italy
School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 138, Dire Dawa 3000, Ethiopia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 13 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 24 July 2020
Dairy products represent an important food source for worldwide people. The milk used for their manufacturing is mostly supplied from the four major ruminant species (cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo), on which the research has been focused for long time. In recent years, the social transformation underway in poor and developing countries, climatic changes, and increased attention to animal welfare are shining a light on some minor animal species that have a “local dairy importance” such as equines, camels, and yaks. Even though not specifically reared for milk production, they are sometimes regularly milked for the manufacturing of a series of dairy products such as fermented milk, cheese, butter, and other fat- and non-fat-based specialties. The investigations on their manufacturing processes, and on their chemical-nutritional and microbiological properties, are now rapidly increasing, and a robust set of scientific data is beginning to form. These information will help to improve the quality of these products and to spread the knowledge about them all over the world. In the near future, they could represent a source of innovative and functional foods for a wider number of people, supplying an income to farmers and enhancing food biodiversity.