Al Ain Dairy, which claims to be the largest dairy producer and brand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is investing in a new camel milking parlour, supplied by UK-based milk equipment producer Fullwood.
A spokesperson for Al Ain Dairy told DairyReporter.com the firm currently supplies only to the UAE market, where demand far outweighs its current production levels.
“Al Ain Dairy wishes to meet the demands of the local market going forward whilst also responding to the needs of the wider global market where there is tremendous potential for growth,” she said.
Improving mass production
Over the past few years, Al Ain Dairy, said it has been actively supporting the research necessary to radically improve the mass production of UAE camel milk, increasing the size of its herd from 800 to 2,500 camels.
The spokesperson said a boost in production would give the company opportunity to gain entry into the global market.
She also said an increase in awareness for camel milk would stimulate demand for a range of different products.
“In response to this, Al Ain Dairy is currently considering flavoured milks, fermented products such as ice cream, cheese and also powered and long life variants,” she said.
However, she said the prospect of exporting ultra-fresh products did present certain challenges and said this aspect would not be overlooked as the company prepared to grow.
The unit, which is due to be commissioned later this year, consists of a pair of double-12 herringbone parlours which will be equipped with camel stalls and milking clusters.
All associated equipment, including the plant’s milk cooling system, will be housed in cellars below the facility to protect milk and equipment from the intense heat and dust storms that dominate the region.
A full parlour back-up system consisting of standby pumps and compressors is also being installed due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the site.
The unit will improve milk quality and consistency, as well as reducing the number of staff required to milk the herd, claims Fullwood.
The UAE has been seeking EU permission to export camel’s milk in Europe.
However, even if EU export permission is granted, it is unlikely the drink will make a big impact in Europe any time soon, dairy academic Imen Hadded previously told this publication.