Allergies and intolerance to cow’s milk are relatively common, especially in infants. Around the world, equine milk – milk from horses, donkeys, and ponies – is often used as a substitute and nutritional knowledge about this milk is well-vetted. Until now, however, making cheese with it was thought to be impossible.

Normally, milk from horses is considered unsuitable for cheese production because the milk does not form curd when common rennet is added. Now, a food technologist has found that using enzymes from camel milk as a rennet does allow equine milk to form a curd and thus be made into cheese.

Dr. Guiseppe Iannella has developed the Nativity-Equid cheese-making method.

Using the enzyme, Dr. Iannella was able to clot equine milk and create first-round cheeses from both donkey and horse. He believes that the method could pave the way towards commercial production of allergen-friendly cheeses in a way that is much lower cost than current lactose-extraction methods.

Currently, horse milk is often used in yoghurts native to the Netherlands and Mongolia. As are fermented horse milks. These were the impetus for Dr. Iannella finding a way to master cheese making using equine milk.

Iannella began research in 2011 and recently published results in Italy through the Food Science and Technology Research center where he resides.

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