Quality and safety of camel milk along the value chain in Eastern Ethiopia

Mulugojjam Adugna, Eyassu Seifu, Ameha Kebeded, Reiner Doluschitz


The safety of camel milk was assessed along the value chain in Erer, eastern Ethiopia. A total of 24 camel milk samples were aseptically collected from producers in Erer (n=12), and wholesalers and retailers (n=12) along the chain. Milk quality parameters were analyzed following standard procedures. The mean (±SD) total bacteria (TBC), Enterobacteriaceae (EC), coliform (CC), spore-forming bacteria (SFBC) and yeast and mould (YMC) counts of the milk samples analyzed were 5.2 ± 1.90, 3.2 ± 2.30, 2.9 ± 2.27, 2.1 ± 2.41 and 2.7 ± 1.61 log10 cfu mL-1, respectively. The TBC, EC, CC and SFBC of milk samples obtained from retailers in the final marketing sites were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those obtained from producers and wholesalers in Erer. Salmonella spp. was detected in milk samples collected from all sites. Other microorganisms isolated from camel milk samples include Staphylococcus aureus (16.2%), Entrobacter spp. (14.9%), Streptococcus spp. (13.5%),Escherichia coli (8.1%), Acinetobacter spp. (7.4%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (6.8%), Klebsiella spp. (6.1%), Bacillus spp. (5.4%), Corynebacterium spp. (5.4%), Micrococcus spp. (4.7%), Lactobacillus spp. (4.1%), Listeria spp. (4.1%), Pseudomonas spp. (2%) and Shigella spp. (1.4% ). The quality of camel milk produced in the study area was generally poor and microbial contamination of camel milk occurs along the value chain while it is transported from the production site to the market. This calls for strict hygienic measures along the entire value chain in order to improve the quality and safety of camel milk produced in the area evaluated.


Camel milk; Public health; Safety; Value chain

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