A survey on dried and salted camel meat (Kadid): A traditional meat by-product of southern Algeria
Keywords:Camelus dromedarius, dried and salted camel meat (Kadid), preparation and conservation techniques, quantitative ethno nutritional survey, southern Algeria
AbstractAlgeria ranks 14th among camel-breeding countries in the world, with more than 417,322 camels, according to data from the Agricultural Services Department of Bechar (DSA). However, camel meat represents just 3% of red meat production in Algeria. Camel meat is the most protein-rich animal product consumed in arid regions. To preserve this perishable product, the inhabitants of southern Algeria prepare dried and salted camel meat (Kadid). This practice of drying and salting camel meat could safely and successfully extend the product’s shelf life for several months at room temperature as well as improve its nutritional and sensory qualities, thereby helping to ease food insecurity. This study investigates the preparation and storage techniques used in the production of Kadid. A quantitative ethno-nutritional survey was conducted on a sample of 60 households from different regions of southwestern Algeria to investigate traditional practices used in the preparation of dried and salted camel meat. The survey revealed several recipes for Kadid based on adding salt, spices and drying in the open air, which reflects the level of cultural diversity of the inhabitants of southern Algeria. The benefits of this ancient preservation method, combined with an increasing consumer demand for products that preserve health and the environment, raises the potential for a camel meat drying industry and the promotion of camel breeding. This know-how and tradition should therefore be preserved as a rich and diversified cultural heritage.