FSSAI Survey shows milk is largely safe

Contrary to the general perception, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) study has found that there is no large scale milk adulteration in the country.

The survey done by the agency found that only 12 out of 6,432 samples of milk were adulterated which meant that only 12 samples were unsafe for consumption. Six samples were found adulterated with hydrogen peroxide, three with detergents, two with urea and one sample was found to have neutralizers. No samples were found with boric acid and nitrates, the other two possible adulterants.Out of 12 adulterated samples, nine were in Telangana, two from Madhya Pradesh and one from Kerala.

Another finding in the survey was the presence of Aflatoxin M1 residues beyond permissible limits in 368 (out of 6,432) samples, that is 5.7% of the samples. “This is the first time that such a detailed survey of presence of Aflatoxin M1 in milk has been done in the country. Aflatoxin M1 comes in the milk through feed and fodder, which are currently not regulated in the country. Amongst the top three States with highest levels of Aflatoxin M1 residues are Tamil Nadu (88 out of 551 samples), Delhi (38 out of 262 samples) and Kerala 37 out of 187 samples). This problem is more dominant in processed milk rather raw milk,” according to a release from the FSSAI.

The survey further showed that 77 (out of 6,432) samples, that 1.2 % of the samples had residues of antibiotics above the permissible limits. Amongst the top three States with highest levels of Antibiotics residues are Madhya Pradesh (23 out of 335 samples), Maharashtra (9 out of 678 samples) and UP (8 out of 729 samples). Only one raw milk sample in Kerala was found to contain pesticide residue above the permissible level.

Overall, above 93% of the samples that is 5976 (out of 6,432) samples were found to be absolutely safe for human consumption. This is undoubtedly good news for the Indian consumers. The survey however shown that about 41% samples, though safe, fall short of one or another quality parameter. Both raw and processed samples were found non-compliant on account of low fat or low SNF (solid not fat) or both.

This Milk Survey was conducted from May, 2018 to October 2018 covering all States and UTs with the objective of monitoring safety and quality of liquid milk in the country. A total of 6,432 samples of milk were collected from 1,103 towns/cities with population above 50,000, representing both organized (retailers and processors) as well as non-organized (local dairy farms, milk vendors and milk mandis) sectors. Number of samples collected was linked to population at the sampling locations and covered different types of milk (raw and processed of various types).


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