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Updated: January 24, 2013 09:09 IST

Urea, formalin, detergent. Your cup of milk could contain all this

Staff Reporter
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Unscrupulous businessmen finding newer ways to adulterate milk

Be wary if your milkman or the agent starts singing praises about the long shelf life that his milk has. For, the milk, which otherwise has a shelf life of only 48 hours at refrigerated temperature of less than 4 degrees Celsius, could be adulterated.

Unscrupulous milkmen and dairies have taken to adulterating milk with chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and formalin. These additives can extend the milk’s shelf life without refrigeration, saving the supplier a neat packet by cutting electricity costs.

“Milk adulteration is evolving and people are finding newer ways and chemicals to adulterate milk. Hydrogen peroxide is among the recent [entrants],” Harsh Gupta, managing director, Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

A good many of the culprits, he said, were private dairies in Bangalore as well as across the border — Hosur and Salem districts in Tamil Nadu.

The demand for milk in Bangalore is about 30 lakh litres a day, of which KMF supplies about 17 lakh and private milk dairies, about 7 to 8 lakh.

“Nearly 6 to 7 lakh litres of milk is sold in loose, and most of the adulteration happens there,” Mr. Gupta added.

Paneer and khova too

It’s not milk alone. Paneer also isn’t what it should be, as the police found out in a recent raid when they seized a huge quantity of adulterated stuff.

While the daily demand for paneer in Bangalore is estimated to be around 20 tonnes, KMF sells just 2 to 3 tonnes despite a production capacity of 6 tonnes. “We cannot compete in the market in terms of cost, as adulterated paneer is being sold at half of our cost,” Mr. Gupta said.

While KMF sells a kilogram of paneer for Rs. 260, adulterated unbranded paneer is available for Rs.130 to Rs.140 a kg.

“When the production cost of quality paneer is at least Rs.180 a kg, it is impossible to sell it at that price. The seized paneer was not even fit for cattle consumption,” he added.

The khova market is also afflicted by the same malaise with KMF selling a mere 3 tonnes a month whereas the Bangalore market requires a whopping 10 to 15 tonnes a day. In a bid to expand market presence, he said that the federation was considering offering discounts to bulk buyers.

You can test it for free

Now you can seek help if you suspect the milk to be adulterated.

A mobile milk testing lab, equipped to test 15 types of milk adulteration for free, was launched by the Karnataka Milk Federation here on Wednesday.

Furthermore, another van equipped to undertake tests to detect adulterations would be launched shortly.

To start with, the mobile testing lab would be stationed at various Nandini milk sales outlets. You can call 22179008/ 09 or mail motherdair ymkt_kmf@yahoo.co.in

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