The camel is raised in the arid and semiarid zones where feed resources are frequently scarce. it possesses remarkable abilities to exploit these limited resources as it is extremely well-suited for life under such conditions. It can endure hot climates and are active longer without water than any other domestic animal. The feed requirements of camels are modest, and, under drought conditions, they can reduce both their food intake and metabolism. Furthermore, they provide milk almost all the year round in quantities greater than other domestic animals living under the same conditions. The camel is also a means for transportation for many pastoralists, and provides meat and in some areas also hair and hide. In spite of these economic and ecological advantages the virtues of the camel are almost unknown outside the communities where it is used, and until now it has received less attention than other domestic animals. Much of the work on camels has been carried out by individuals with little institutional support. Topics such as anatomy, physiology, behaviour and, to a lesser extent disease, have attracted some attention while others of practical importance such as reproduction, breeding and husbandry have been largely neglected. This book attempts to fill a gap which exists in the literature. It provides a synthesis of existing knowledge on the chemical properties and physical characteristics of camel milk as well as technological problems associated with the utilization of camel milk. This has not been done before and it is true to say that no book of this nature, dealing especially with chemistry and technology of camel milk, has yet been published. The book is concerned entirely with the onehumped camel (Camelus dromedarius). The term "camel" should, therefore, be taken to refer to this species unless specifically stated otherwise,
Before going into details on camel milk, a summary on the origin, distribution, physiological adaptation and traditional management of the animal itself is given. For comprehensive information on these aspects see Cauvet (1925), Schmidt-Nielsen (1964), Bulliet (1975), Gauthier and Dagg (1981), Wilson (1984), Yagil (1985) and Schwartz and Dioli (1992).