A Professor in KSA made yogurt from 100% pure camel milk – Here is the whole story

Camel’s milk (CaM) has a similar composition to that of bovine milk and sequence homology between milk proteins for both kinds of milk is in the range of 60–90%. The relative composition, distribution, and molecular profile of milk constituents are different. In fact, β-lactoglobulin (potential allergen for infants), whey proteins, is absent in CaM. Due to its higher amounts of Beta-casein (β-CN), CAM is similar to human milk and also has better digestibility and lower infants’ allergic incidence, compared to bovine milk. In fact, β-CN is more degradable by peptic enzymes than α-CN https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814620318562

Yogurt made from the 100% camel milk
A thick yogurt from the camel milk.

It is well documented that CaM is technically more difficult to process into fermented products (such as yogurt) than its counterparts from other livestock. In this regard, appreciable research works have been dealt with many trials in making yogurt from CaM. The manufacturing of yogurt from CaM, however, ended in a texture problem where the final product was not a typical yogurt texture and had an unpleasant taste. Furthermore, the product’s viscosity did not change during the gelling process compared to the milk of other dairy species. In other words, the final product is described at best as a drinking yogurt. In fact, such technical difficulties clearly explain the lack of industrial production of CaM yogurt at the present time. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/4/1045

Recently, yogurt could not be made from CaM unless the dromedary milk samples were fortified with combinations of cow’s milk constituents (micellar casein, whey protein, and sodium caseinate) in the presence of microbial transglutaminase. Others added commercial chymosin along with gelatin, starch, and skim milk powder. However, the final product deviated from standards of identity for yogurt traditionally made by acidification (no cheese coagulant) by selected lactic acid bacterial starters.  Instead, the resulted CaM fermented product could be best described as a yogurt-like one. https://link-springer-com.sdl.idm.oclc.org/article/10.1007/s40003-020-00535-7

It is noteworthy to mention that our developed CaM yogurt could be manufactured, at the industrial scale, as that from cow’s milk will not add up extra costs in its production. CaM yogurt was made from 100% CaM (pasteurized) with no need for fortification with caseins, skim milk powder, whey proteins, or treatment with commercial enzymes (chymosin/ transglutaminase) or gelatin.

Most important, the developed CaM yogurt meets the standard of identity outlined by the Codex Alimentarius of the FAO/WHO for yogurt. It is also an added-value product from CaM with more nutritious and functional values. The CaM yogurt, developed in our laboratory, could be considered a safer alternative for those allergic to cow’s milk. It is typical yogurt made from CaM which is spoonable (see photo below) with longer shelf life without added preservatives. If you are interested in the industrial production and marketing of CAM yogurt, please contact me at the below e-mail address.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. ABDUL RAZIQ Kakar for giving me this opportunity in posting my article in CAMEL4All. Dr. Raziq has already written about the camel milk yogurt, which you can find in the link https://camel4all.info/index.php/2022/03/16/it-is-now-easy-to-make-yogurt-from-camel-milk/

Prof. N. Al-zoreky

King Faisal University

Saudi Arabianalzoraky@kfu.edu.sa (zoreky@yahoo.com)

Fermented Camel Milk (Shubat)

Shubat is centuries old and the firsthand fermentation method of Central Asian nomads to preserve and enrich the milk, especially the camel milk. The camel milk Shubat is safe and usable for 3 days without cooling/refrigeration. Shubat is the very traditional dairy cosine of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian nations. It is not only considered as food but a very strong healing agent. Shubat is also called Chal in some Turkik dialects.

Chal, or shubat (Kazakh: шұбат, pronounced [ɕʊˈbɑt]), is a Turkic (especially Turkmen, Uzbek, and Kazakh) beverage of fermented camel milk, sparkling white with a sour flavor, popular in Central Asia — particularly in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chal

Methodology of Shubat

Shubat is homemade fermented camel milk by a semi-continuous or fed-batch fermentation process. Traditionally prepared by raw camel milk or diluted camel milk with warm water that is inoculated with one-third to one-fifth of previously soured milk and incubated at 25–30 °C. The milk coagulates in 3–4 h and is left at the same temperature to continue for 8 hrs in order to obtain the typical taste. Shubat could also be improved by adding starter cultures such as Lactobacillus caseiStreptococcus thermophilus, and lactose-fermenting yeasts inoculated in milk and incubated for 8 h at 25 °C, and then for 16 h at 20 °C.

Each nomadic or camel community have their own taste and methodology. Some give smokey while the others give oily taste. The smoke of juniper leaves gives a special aroma to the Shubat. Some rub the fat tail of sheep with the inside of the container for shubat. Some women add risen, dried apricot, and other locally available fruits, etc. The shubat has a very strong sour taste and long-fermented one has an acidic taste.


Camel milk has anti-aging effects due to the presence of α-hydroxyl acids which help to shed the outer horny layer of dead cells on the skin, eliminate wrinkles and age spots and relieve dryness. Presence of high vitamin C in the camel milk as strong antioxidant has protective activity on skin tissue, produces collagen protein, helps the growth of cells and blood vessels and consequently imparts strength and firmness to the skin.

Vitamin C and anti-oxidant peptides that are produced from the digestion of camel milk proteins also protect the skin from free radicals which causes some skin problems such as wrinkles and dryness. The application of crème containing 40% raw camel milk showed very good results in psoriasis patients.

You can refer to my review article in the following link; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344787532_Article_Review_Camel_Milk_as_an_Amazing_Remedy_for_Health_Complications_A_Review

A beautiful scene with the camels and campfire

CHAL~ A Traditional Camel Milk Product of Turkmens’ Cameleers

Turkmen! A Traditional Nomadic Community of Central Asia

Turkmen is a native community of central Asia, predominantly live in Turkmenistan but a sizable number is also found in Afghanistan, Iran, followed by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Turkmens are very traditional and have strong connections with livestock and animal agriculture. They are a strong and long traveling nomadic clan of Central Asia and the custodian of the precious sheep, goat, cattle, and camel genetic resources. A major portion of the community is settled in the towns and some are in transition but still, a sizable portion of the community still loves livestock keeping in nomadic style. The community is practicing camel nomadism for ages and owning a very famous and good milking camel breed, the Aravan.

Importance of Camel Milk in Turkmen Community

The Turkmen Cameleer Nomads love camel and camel milk. They, like other camel keepers of the world, have their own traditional camel milk product called CHAL written in Turkmen is CALY.

Chal, the fermented camel milk production, traditionally prepared by Turkmen nomads.

The author reported this story from the Northeaster Iran, dominated by the Turkmen nomads. For more interest, one can read the country camel report of Iran, prepared by Mahnaz Salehi https://arkbiodiv.com/2016/06/19/the-multipurpose-camels-of-iran-world-camels-day/amp/


The Turkmen cameleers use fresh camel milk to prepare Chal. It is actually sour camel milk prepared traditionally. It is the same as Shubat in Kazakhstan. After preparation, it has a white color like other milk products but having a strong sour taste. Chal is a summer staple food, the nomads eat bread while taking sips of the Chal. They think Chal is cold in nature and provide a cold environment to the body from the inside. The traditional cameleers also consider Chal as anti-infectious and virucidal.

Also, a camel farm with the size of 500 Arvan camels is producing Chal, Agaran, and cream with the brand name Gudratly önüm. https://business.com.tm/post/4301/turkmen-farm-supplies-fresh-camel-milk-to-consumers. So, it means that Chal is not only made by the Turkmen community but also prepared even at a larger scale in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Making method

There are certain processes, which are considered as the major steps to make the Chal. The processes are given below in ensuing lines.

  • The fresh camel milk is sourced in a skin bag, mostly sheep or goat skin or a ceramic jar (a modernized container).
  • Add already soured milk (more old, more and more strong culture to make Chal). The sour milk maybe from camel or other livestock, mainly cow, followed by goat and sheep.
  • The mixture is stored in the container as mentioned above, get airtight, shaken to properly mix and store to get fermented.
  • In the meanwhile fresh camel milk is added on different intervals for the next 2 to 3 days. But the chal can be used after the 8 hours of fermentation, though more time means more stronger and delicious Chal.
  • Camel milk fermentation needs longer time period then the other milks, i.e. the cow milk needs 4 hours to be fermented but for the same amount the camel milk needs double time, 8 hours at 30 centigrade temperature.
  • If the weather is cooler, then it needs more time to be fermented as camel milk needs more than 72 hours at 10 C temperature to be fermented.
  • If strong and highly sour milk is used for fermentation, then a thick layer appear on the surface of the Chal, which is known as AGARAN (fermented fat).
  • After the removal of the AGARAN, the leftover is called as Chal which is also called DOUGH in Persian.
  • But if we want it be sourer and more tasty we can leave it again for 4 or 8 hour s in 20 to 25 c to be more carbonated.
Turkmen Cameleers with their famous Aravan Breed

This fermented product of camel milk is very beneficial for gut and colon health; reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure and even has anti-diabetes effects. Also, like mentioned above, the nomadic community believes that it works as anti-infectious and antiviral. https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/value-of-camel-milk-in-central-asian-traditional-medica/amp/

You can see the composition of plain camel milk and Chal which will give you more clarity about the value of the Chal. The link is provided here to know further about the Chal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chal

Homemade Butter from Camel Milk

Making yogurt from camel milk is a challenge and so is the separation of butterfat. After a lengthy effort and trying different modules, ultimately we succeeded to make yogurt, separated butter, got whey (Shlombey, شلومبئ).

Whey made from camel milk

Shlombey is darling drink of the Pashtun Afghan people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is also called as Pashtun’s wine. In subcontinent, it is called Lassi. It is made from the yogurt while separating the butterfat and adding water. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/215639450_Characterization_and_significance_of_Raigi_camel_a_livestock_breed_of_the_Pashtoon_pastoral_people_in_Afghanistan_and_Pakistan

Whey (Shlombey) made from camel milk

Soon, we will be able to have Qurooth (dried hard cheese) from Shlombey. This Qurooth is made with the method of Kararra (کراڑہ، کراړ‎ہ)۔

Butterfat made from camel milk

The methodology is still confidential. We made it at home after a longer efforts. We used traditional method to make it possible. Later, I shall share the methodology, once it is repeated many times with the same results.

I call this achievement as the camel milk revolution.