A scientific potential

The results of studies recently carried out on the characteristics of Donkey's milk production, both in the cosmetic and the food environment have revealed that it would be totally feasible to have an "Donkey's milk" industry.

Dairy she-asses that are part of the Eurolactis Group and their foals have quickly adapted to experimental conditions and the average productive level has increased significantly the second year of the study and during the day, while the study concerning nutritional characterisation has highlighted the slightly reduced content in fractions of allergenic proteins and an interesting acid pattern of the lipids.

Donkey's milk has proved to be hypolipidic; however improving breeding techniques, standardising the milking routine, developing nutritional strategies as well as genetic selection will be able to help raise the lipid level of Donkey's milk and thus its nutritive value.

On the other hand the hygienic and sanitary aspect of the milk produced has proved to be good; the high level of lysozyme observed could not only contribute to the good microbiological quality of the Donkey's milk but would also represent a possible explanation regarding the use, acknowledged since the beginning of time, of Donkey's milk in dermatology.

In terms of reintroducing antique traditions and food and safeguarding alternative species for breeding, realising an innovative "Donkey's milk" operating system appears particularly interesting in central and Mediterranean Europe where indigenous species that are extremely hardy and today fewer in number, could represent a zootechnic resource of noteworthy interest for hilly regions, regions at the foot of mountains and for our islands, especially if associated with such initiatives as rural tourism or hippotherapy for example.