Effective traditional handling of camel milk in Kenya

Pastoral communities in Kenya use smoke from certain herbs to disinfect milk-handling containers and preserve camel milk. This imparts a characteristic desired flavour to the milk. The aim of the study “Antimicrobial effect of smoking milk handling containers’ inner surfaces as a preservation method in pastoral systems in Kenya”, published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice (2016 6:17), was to determine the antimicrobial effect of smoke on plastic milk-handling container surfaces and determine the efficacy of smoking as a preservation method in an area where daily temperatures are high and the cold-chain or processing infrastructure is poor. The study was carried out with containers from pastoral households in Isiolo County. The traditional smoking method was compared with washing with hot water (“negative control”) and disinfecting the vessels with a chlorine-based agent (“positive control”). The authors concluded that smoking of milk-handling containers can be recommended as an effective method for disinfecting the containers and thus preserving camel milk in the drylands of Kenya.

Posted on 30 April 2017 in Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition