Spurious milk inflow from Tamil Nadu on the rise

Tanker carrying 12,750 litres of urea-mixed milk caught at Meenakshipuram

August 19, 2022 09:40 am | Updated 01:05 pm IST - PALAKKAD:

A lab analyst examining a milk sample at the Dairy Development department laboratory at Meenakshipuram on Thursday.

A lab analyst examining a milk sample at the Dairy Development department laboratory at Meenakshipuram on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The inflow of adulterated milk from Tamil Nadu into Kerala has increased especially in view of the upcoming Onam celebrations. Several lakhs of litres of milk reach Kerala every day from the neighbouring State.

The Dairy Development department on Thursday caught a tanker carrying 12,750 litres of urea-mixed milk at Meenakshipuram check-post. The presence of a high amount of urea was detected during a routine testing done at the Dairy Development department laboratory at Meenakshipuram.

“We did the test thrice to confirm, and we were surprised to find a high amount of urea in the milk,” said Dairy Development Officer Abhin C.M. The tanker that came from Krishnagiri was carrying the milk to Thrissur. It was handed over to the Food Safety department for further action. The Food Safety department has reportedly sent the tanker back to Tamil Nadu after collecting samples for examination.

To ‘strengthen’ milk

It is suspected that the urea was added for increasing the solids-not-fat (SNF) content of the milk. It is learned that some milk producers would add chemicals, including urea, to a tolerable level to strengthen the milk.

Thursday’s was the largest detection of spurious milk from Tamil Nadu in recent times. J.S. Jayasujeesh, Dairy Development department Deputy Director, said that they would enhance the vigil at the border in view of Onam celebration. He said a new laboratory would soon be set up at Walayar border.

The Dairy Development department has at present only one check-post and a laboratory at Meenakshipuram. About 3.25 lakh litres of milk is being brought to Kerala from Tamil Nadu through Meenakshipuram check-post every day.

Through Walayar, where the department has no lab or check-post at present, nearly two lakh litres of milk is reaching Kerala every day. And there are six other border gates through which vehicles are entering Kerala from Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Jayasujeesh said vigil against the inflow of spurious milk would be strengthened during Onam by appointing more staff at borders.

It is learned that milk from Tamil Nadu is largely being brought for use in Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kochi, and Alappuzha. The Dairy Development department had detected the inflow of adulterated milk several times before COVID-19, but not in huge quantity.

Milk lobby in T.N.

Officials admit that the milk lobby in Tamil Nadu has been using all routes to reach Kerala, especially during festivals when the demand increases manifold.

Even if the Dairy Development department detects adulterated milk, the department does not have the authority to act against the culprits. It can only hand over the milk to the Food Safety department.

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