Milk in India is largely safe and free from adulterants, says an interim report released by Food Safety and Standards Authority ofIndia (FSSAI). However, it said that the quality issues persist.
The FSSAI report of the National Milk Quality Survey, 2018, said to be the largest systematic study of milk, both in terms of sample size (6,432 samples) and number of parameters. It found that only little less than 10 per cent samples (638) had contaminants (mainly from poor farm practices and quality of feed) that make milk unsafe for consumption. Whereas, over 90 per cent of samples were found safe.
According to FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal “Milk in India is largely free from adulterants which render it unsafe for consumption. Merely 12 out of total 6,432 samples had adulterants that affect the safety of milk.” The occurrence of such adulterants is statistically insignificant considering the sample size in the survey, he added.
The survey tested for 13 adulterants including vegetable oil, detergents, glucose, urea and ammonium sulphate. Milk samples were also tested to check level of contaminants like antibiotic residue, pesticide residue and aflatoxin M1.
Agarwal said there is “no concern” at all due pesticides residues. Only 1.2 per cent of the samples failed on account of antibiotics residues above tolerance level and it was mainly due to oxy-tetracycline used to treat animals with bovine mastitis. The survey found that non-compliance on fat and SNF (solid non fat) quality parameters is higher in raw milk (sourced directly from milkman) than processed milk.
“Non-compliance on quality parameters in processed milk is quite large, even though it is lower than raw milk. This is a matter of concern and needs to be addressed through various measures,” Agarwal said. He, however added that high percentage of non-compliance samples does not suggest that proportionate volume of processed milk is non-compliant.