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<Nomadic cultural tradition: Mongolian dairy products>
International Scientific Symposium. UB.2003
The lives of generations of the Mongols have been closely linked with the camel herd and the provided their food, clothes, housing, labor utensils, transports and fuel needs with what camel yielded.
9,6% of the entire camel herds in the world are Bactrian camels. Over 30% of this kind dwell in the Gobi area which holds 42% of the entire Mongolian territory. The population census and the employment status of 2001 showed that those living in the Gobi area who are engaged in animal husbandry are fully dependent on the camel yields. If we look back at the history of food consumption beginning from the time of Chingghis Khan until today camel milk and camel milk produce constitute more than 50% of the herders in the Gobi region including those who are engaged mainly in camel breeding, Meanwhile the share of fruits, berries and vegetable which are the source of the biologically active substance holds 10%.
According to the table the share of camel milk and dairy produce in the composition of the Gobi population is comparatively high. Out of the food times that are included in the food composition, by the content of the biologically active substance that is needed by the human body the dairy produce lead. The Gobi population obtains the majority of the biological and nutritious substance from the milk and dairy produce. For the nomadic Mongols the camel milk has been not only the source of food and drinks in the severe Gobi-Desert conditions, but also has been the basic means of preventing from illness or of healing diseases.
The number of these animals which have been so much helpful in the lives of generations after generations in Mongolia, has been drastically decreasing over the recent years. /Table2/ There are several factors that had led to this. From among them we can note that the good tradition of milking every she-camel and processing of the camel yields has been disrupted over the recent 30 years, there was unfavorable weather conditions, the breeding, caring, pedigree and selection work was not sufficient. The camel yields much meat and its fat content is low. Having no unusual taste and smell it is most suitable for making sausage. It can be another factor for the decrease in the camel herd since the time when the country moved into market economy. Out of the factors that would prevent the decline in the number of camels we should note that there is a greater need to pay attention to the utilization of camel wool, fleece and milk. His is related to the issue of creating the advanced technology suited to the local areas for processing camel milk basing on the biological and nutritious qualities, arranging the highly demanded new product that are significant for health care and making an adequate use o camel milk in other social areas. The lactation period of camel is 17 months. Depending on the natural, environmental and feeding conditions camel can produce 0,5kg of milk a day on the average and it’s possible to use 500 550 kg of milk a year. If we milk about 80% of the entire she-camel herd of Mongolia and obtain 0.5 liter from a camel it is possible to use million liter of milk a year. The Mongols have a specific technology of processing camel milk, that had come down generation to generation. As we know by now they make over 50 types of dairy products through the traditional method. I have summarized in Table 2 the types of dairy produce that are made through the traditional method. We have reason to say that the technology of making these product has been refined all the way down today and is the most suitable and perfect method in the animal husbandry conditions. But we are facing today the issue of making a technological solution of transferring these traditional methods into the production method. The essence of this method is that one dairy product would proceed from another one. For instance, the camel sour milk is an independent produce itself. But it is further processed to make curd and that would be the raw materials for making other dairy items such as dried curd etc.
The camel milk and dairy products not only meet the Gobi dwellers’ need in food and drinks. They are also widely used for folk medicine. Traditionally, the camel milk is effective for reducing clubbing and are used for curing TB and digestive organ ailments. Also in combination with various herbs it was used for medicinal purposes. I have outlined some result of the research conducted since 1986 for the purpose of defining the biological and nutritious quality of the camel milk on the basis of the research of the camel milk qualities and the traditional method of processing it, and of creating the technology of the health oriented products. I have defined the composition and quality of the Bactrian camel milk with that of the dromedary and showed it in diagram.
When we compared the milk of Mongolian camel to that of dromedary camel, he contents of fat, protein and the total dry substance were high. It is related to the natural and climatic conditions and the animal pedigree. The amount of albumin and globulin in the camel milk is 1,5 – 2 times more than the cow milk, this result of the research is an expression of the biological significance of the camel milk. We have observed on specific feature of the camel milk during the research. The camel milk preservers its freshness longer than that of other livestock. In other words, the sourness of camel milk progresses comparatively slowly. We relate this feature of camel milk to its mineral contents. According to some research material this quality of camel milk was explained in a link with the contents of I’s bactericide content. Also we have established the following specific features of camel milk technology. At the separation of camel milk protein by a production method it took twice as much time for the souring substance (fermentation, acid etc) to act. The moisture of the protein products prepared by the above method was more than the cow milk. There we faced some technological difficulties. There is a ground to consider that this specific feature of camel milk is first o all related to it’s the mineral contents and the ability to connect casein water. Another specific feature of camel milk is that its fat has light color and that comparatively high temperature regime was necessary for extraction. When we made cream and butter with the extracted fat it taste and quality were not as good as those of cow milk. The results of the experience of the use of camel milk fat for the beauty purposes showed that the face cream could increase the nourishing quality and can be significant for enriching it with biologically active substances (A, D, E vitamins, fatty acid etc). we have worked out the technology of new product worked out with pure ferment of L. acidophilus as a result of the experiment made on the production technology of fermented dairy produce, leaning on the peculiar quality of camel milk protein and fat. It has been confirmed during the clinical observation that this particular product is quite suitable for children’s care and health care treatment. The result of the research and experiment have shown that the selection of the technology of using the biologically active substance of the camel milk for the health treatment and children’s nutrition would give an impetus of solving some social and economic problems of the Gobi inhabitants.
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