Most milk sold in India adulterated

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Powdered milk

70% of Indian milk is contaminated with water, detergent and more, a survey has found
70% of Indian milk is contaminated with water, detergent and more, a survey has found
A national survey in India has revealed almost 70% of the milk sold and consumed in India is adulterated by contaminants such as detergent and skim milk powder. But water was the biggest contaminant.

The National Survey on Milk Adulteration 2011 conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had a dual objective to identify the common adulterants in milk in rural and urban areas of different states, and to identify the non-conforming samples in loose and packed milk.

The authority concluded that the addition of water to milk is most common adulterant, which not only reduces the nutritional value of milk but contaminated water may also pose health risk to the consumers.

The survey saw FSSAI researchers randomly select and analyse 1,791 samples from 33 states, with the maximum samples collected from the state of Andhra Pradesh (75), and the least from Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim (18).

Researchers then sent the samples to government laboratories where the samples were tested for the presence of common adulterants such as fat, non-fat solids (SNF)neutralisers, starch, glucose, urea, salt, detergent, formalin and vegetable fat.

Milk sold in urban areas more contaminated

According to the survey, a total of 565 of 31.5% of all the samples conformed to FSSAI standards, while 1226 or 68.4% samples did not conform to the same standards.

The survey further found that samples collected from rural areas showed the maximum non-conformity with 381 samples, out of which 64 samples were from packaged milk products and 317 were loose samples.

In urban areas, 845 samples did not conform to the FSSAI standards, out of which 282 samples were from packaged products and a further 563 samples were from loose milk.

The survey revealed deviation in samples was found highest for fat and SNF in 574 samples of the total non–conforming samples, with the authority stating that this was because of dilution of milk with water.

The second highest parameter of non-conformity was the skim milk powder, which was found in 548 samples, which includes presence of glucose in 477 samples.

“Glucose would have been added to milk probably to enhance SNF. The presence of skim milk powder indicates the reconstitution of milk powder. Detergent was also found in 103 samples,”​ the survey said.

Related topics: Markets, Food safety, Dairy, South Asia

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