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Sheer nutrition in your hands

Nisthula Nagarajan
Filed on June 1, 2021 | Last updated on June 2, 2021 at 12.24 pm

Celebrate the nutrient-rich drink that is a staple in every cuisine across the globe


For the last two decades, June 1 has come to be known as World Milk Day, a day coined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to support the contributions of those working in the dairy sector. The day connotes sustainability, economic development, livelihoods and nutrition.

Milk is a diet staple of most families in the world due to its high nutritional content and is depended upon at all ages- from young children who boost their bone development with milk to the elderly that drink milk for sufficient energy and strengthening of the body. This day brings attention to the importance of this nutrient-rich liquid and how it is such an integral part of our diet and how the dairy industry adds to the livelihood of thousands of people around the world. For 2021, the focus is on sustainability with messages about the environment, nutrition and socio-economics related to the dairy sector. The FAO plans to reintroduce dairy farming to the world.

The complete meal

Milk is believed to be one of the most nutritious drinks out there, loaded with nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, and D, potassium and magnesium. Every culture has imbibed milk into its cuisine. Be it in the everyday cup of tea and coffee or shakes, smoothies and ice cream, the multifunctional drink can be enjoyed in different forms.

Milk contains all the food groups - protein, fat, carbohydrates, various vitamins and minerals required for sustaining good health. It is full of proteins such as casein, albumin and globulin, which are essential for building tissues and repairing damaged cells in the body. Milk is a good source of vitamin B12, which promotes healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and B3, which may help to stabilise weight and energy expenditure. Calcium improves the metabolism of fats and reduces the risk of hypertension. Goat and sheep's milk can even help with raising good cholesterol.

Al Ain Farms, the oldest dairy farm in the UAE promises that all their cows' milk travels from farm-to-table within 24 hours. All packaging is done at the source as well guaranteeing freshness and optimum nutrition.

The presence of probiotics in certain milk drinks also aid in digestion and improving immunity. Yakult is a fermented milk drink containing a unique strain called 'Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota' (LcS), which stimulates the function of Natural Killer cells, which help fight infectious diseases and the reoccurrence of cancer cells.

If you're diabetic, enjoy a glass of this wonder beverage for its palmitoleic acid, which prevents insulin resistance. As temperatures continue to rise in the UAE, milk is a great coolant. Enjoy it as a smoothie, sherbet or cold coffee.

UAE dairy market shift

Due to the increasing population, development of retail opportunities, rising tourist inflow and the popularity of new product lines such as flavoured milk and yoghurt, the dairy sector in the UAE is booming. The country is the second-largest producer of milk and dairy products in the GCC region and its dairy market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.73 per cent by 2026.

The increase in health-conscious consumers across the country has led to a shift in eating preferences. Availability of high nutritional value is the key factor that has led to the increased adoption of functional dairy products, stimulating the UAE dairy market growth. For example, Al Rawabi offers functional milk products, including Vitamin D milk and Super Milk, to boost the milk product demand with significant shelf life.

Traditional home cooking is also majorly preferred and as a result, milk is widely used for cooking, where many Arabian dishes, especially desserts, require milk in their preparation. The population is shown to leaning towards milk products with a longer shelf life available in tetra packs due to their improved storability.

Milk for everyone

Skimmed, non-fat or full fat, always include plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium in your diet. Must-have foods include canned salmon and sardines; green leafy vegetables; and nuts and seeds, including almonds and sesame seeds.

There are different kinds of milk available for consumption. For children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for the first six months of life - then continue to breastfeed alongside the introduction of solid foods. From the age of one, whole cow's milk can be drank, semi-skimmed after two and skimmed after five.

Another option is evaporated milk, which has a higher nutrient concentration than fresh cow's milk, which gives it its characteristic-rich and creamy texture and can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. Nutridor Abevia is known for producing this unique, protein-rich product with a natural milk taste as well as others like sweetened condensed milk, drinking yoghurt, and other dairy ingredients.

Fonterra Anchor's Fortified Full Cream Milk Powder from grass-fed cows has added vitamins and minerals that support growth and development, with no added preservatives or colours, making it best suitable for every family's daily use.

Besides regular cow and buffalo milk, camel milk is also a popular and culturally important drink in the Middle East with high levels of vitamin C and is suitable for those with lactose intolerance.





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