Bachelor's thesis

Starter Cultures for Camel Milk Fermentation

Project goal

The study aimed to produce a set of starter cultures that acidify camel milk and reduces the risks associated with spontaneous camel milk in Somaliland.


According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), there is around 35 million camels across the globe. The largest camel population are found in the continents of Africa and Asia. More precisely in Africa due to the fact that Kenya, Somalia and Mali are the world’s largest Camel producers.

Camels have a considerable significance for pastoralists living in dry areas, as they can survive up to 30 days without water. The milk in Africa is typically consumed raw or as a spontaneously fermented product. They do not use starters, and the acidification of the milk develops after a few days. The result of spontaneous fermentation is a product with low hygienic quality that can cause several infectious diseases [3].

Studies show that it is difficult to ferment camel milk because of the high content of anti-microbial components. Therefore, there is a need for effective starter cultures that are bioprotective and can extend shelf life [4].

[3] Farah Z, Fischer A. Milk and Meat from the Camel: Handbook on Products and Processing. Vdf hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich; 2004. P 25-60

[4] Berhe T et al. Comparison of the acidification activities of commercial starter cultures in camel and bovine milk. LWT- Food Science and Tecnology. 2018; 89: p. 123-127


In this project, a bioprotective starter culture was developed. The synergy for this starter culture was tested along with commercial culture from Chr. Hansen. The project aimed to generate a set of starter cultures suitable for the production of fermented camel milk products in Somaliland.