Scientists from Madrid are pioneering research on the properties of mare’s milk
The chronicles say that Genghis Khan conquered Central Asia with an army of 200,000 soldiers who managed to keep their strength in battle by eating grain and drinking a drink called kumis. This drink made from fermented mare’s milk, which is still popular in Mongolia and other countries, has piqued the interest of the research group of the Madrid Institute for Rural, Agricultural and Nutritional Research (Imidra).
The Community of Madrid, along with Catalonia, is one of two places in Spain, where there are farms whose activities are aimed at obtaining mare’s milk. Scientists from Madrid are participating in a pioneering project to evaluate this nutritious and exclusive product. A year-long study has shown that mare’s milk is very similar to human breast milk in its properties and composition, and is high in protein and lactose.
“In European culture, there is no tradition of consuming this type of milk, but it has a high ability to strengthen the immune system. It is also very valuable with its low fat content: only 1.1% versus 3.1% in cow’s milk, ”explains the study director, Eugenio Miguel. Experts from the Imidra Institute’s Dairy Department believe that this project for the development of mare’s milk production, dubbed “Ecolácteos de yegua”, has great potential in the market.
The mare’s milk is reported to be partially used for the production of cosmetic products. Laboratory testing is aimed at enhancing scientific knowledge about this drink, increasing its shelf life and developing dairy derivatives. In terms of taste, the researchers say that mare’s milk is sweet due to its high lactose content and is completely unlike cow’s milk. Its taste is more reminiscent of plant-based milk, such as almond milk.