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National milk sample safety quality survey

Topics Covered:

  1. Economics of animal rearing.


National milk sample safety quality survey


What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings of the survey and overview of chemical contaminants found.

For Mains: Concerns raised and ways to address them.


Context: National milk sample safety quality survey has been released by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).

  • This is the first-of-its-kind comprehensive survey FSSAI has conducted through a third-party agency.
  • It covered both organised (retailers and processors) as well as non-organised (local dairy farms, milk vendors and milk mandis) sectors.


Key findings:

  1. Around one-tenth of processed milk samples have safety issues, while over a third of the samples, even those of major brands, failed to meet one quality standard or another.
  2. In the survey of 2,607 processed milk samples, 10.4% had safety issues while another 37.7% missed at least one quality standard.
  3. Both raw and processed samples were found non-compliant on account of low fat or low SNF (solid not fat) or both. Proportion of fat and solid non-fat in milk varies widely by species and depends on breed as well as quality of feed and fodder.
  4. In the survey of 3,825 raw milk samples, about 47% missed one quality parameter or another, while another 4.8% had safety issues.
  5. On an average only, 7% of the milk had safety issues, and that most of the milk sold both in raw and processed form was fit for human consumption.
  6. Out of the total 6,432 samples of liquid milk which were tested, 456 samples (7.1 per cent) were found to be unsafe due to contaminants such as Aflatoxin-M1, antibiotics or pesticides.


Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1):

  1. Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain fungi which are generally found in agricultural crops like maize, peanuts, cotton seed and others. They are carcinogenic in nature, which means they can cause cancer.
  2. Consumption of food containing aflatoxin concentrations of one milligram/kilogram or higher has been suspected to cause aflatoxicosis, the prognosis of which consists of acute liver failure, jaundice, lethargy and nausea, eventually leading to death.

According to FSSAI standards, the permissible limit of aflatoxins in milk is 0.5 µg/kg.


Sources: the Hindu.