FAR-M camel milk coagulant clots donkey milk too, says Chr Hansen

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

The discovery, Chr Hansen claims, opens up "new business opportunities for cheese producers all over the world." (Image: Flickr/bagsgroove)
The discovery, Chr Hansen claims, opens up "new business opportunities for cheese producers all over the world." (Image: Flickr/bagsgroove)
Chr Hansen's FAR-M camel milk coagulant also has the ability to clot donkey milk, says the Danish natural ingredients supplier.

Extremely low levels of kappa-casein - a milk protein key to the cheesemaking process - in donkey milk have previously made coagulation "impossible,"​ according to Chr Hansen.

But using FAR-M, which was developed to aid the production of cheese from camel milk, Dr Guiseppe Iannella, an independent food technologist, was able to produce fresh donkey milk with a "very mild taste" and a "semi-rigid" ​texture.

Ripened for a few weeks, the donkey milk cheese produced using FAR-M broke "like parmesan"​ and had a "more distinct, piquant flavour and an after-taste characteristic of the donkey milk."

"The idea to produce cheese came to me through an Italian owner of a farm breeding donkey and who wanted to explore the employability of donkey milk,"​ said Iannella.

"Through my research, I discovered that casein micelle present in this milk is efficiently coagulated with FAR-M and this has resulted in the first cheese produced with donkey milk using rennet coagulation."

The "low levels of fat and protein in donkey milk" ​mean yield is "limited" ​at around 3%, he said.

"...but the result is a good and tasty cheese,"​ Iannella added.

This discovery, Chr Hansen claims, opens up "new business opportunities for cheese producers all over the world."

FAR-M - pure camel chymosin (an enzyme found in rennet) produced by fermentation - was developed by Chr Hansen to aid the production of cheese from camel milk.

camelber_medium
Camelbert anyone?

With camel milk, the use of traditional coagulants results in weak curd formation or in some cases the complete absence of clotting when producing camel cheese.

FAR-M is the only know option for coagulation of camel milk, due to its high milk clotting specificity combined with a reduced proteolytic activity.

In February 2014, Chr Hansen unveiled a number of cheese recipes for camel owners, including one for soft, ripened cheese they called Camelbert.

Related topics: Ingredients, Cheese

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