Al Nassma, which is being claimed as the world’s first camel-milk chocolate, was officially launched in Dubai. ‘Al Nassma’, the Arabic word for a cool desert breeze, is being viewed as a significant development for the UAE’s camel milk industry as demand from the chocolate manufacturers is set to create a need for more camel milk.
The launch took place on Wednesday. “We want to create a brand which has international importance. I believe this product has the power to become the sweet ambassador of Arabia born in Dubai,” Johann George Hochleitner, the man behind the idea, was quoted as saying by Abu Dhabi’s The National.
The idea of creating camel milk chocolate dawned on Hochleitner, who is also a member of the company’s board of directors. Hochleitner, who has already created chocolate made out of sheep and goat milk, spent two years travelling as far as Libya and Kazakhstan, to look for a suitable camel milk producer.
His search ended with Dubai’s Camelicious and it took another two years to develop the product line. The chocolate is produced from camel milk powder made from Dubai-based Camelicious, the brand’s only camel milk provider. An Austrian firm, HM Chocolate Holding, has a 50 per cent ownership in Al Nassma.
Although a traditional staple for the Bedouin, camel milk is not produced on a large scale in the UAE. There are only two camel farms in the country and fresh camel milk continues to be a niche product. General manager of Al Nassma and former manager of the famous Cologne Chocolate Museum, Martin van Almsick, said that although camel milk is produced in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, only Dubai has a facility which enables chocolate makers to produce a quality product.
At the moment, the UAE is not allowed to export dairy, meat and other animal products into the European Union because the country, like many others in the region, has not been declared free of foot-and-mouth disease. This may soon change as studies carried at Dubai’s Central Veterinary Rese arch Laboratory (CVRL) have proven that one-humped camels, the variety native to the UAE, are resistant to the disease.