How safe is it to drink your milk? Experts warn against pollution

An inexpensive milk testing kit has been developed by the Defense Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in Mysore. Express file

Due to the White Revolution, India is today the largest producer of milk in the world. Yet more than two-thirds of milk in India does not meet food safety standards. Milk adulteration is widespread, with a staggering six percent of samples tested by the Ministry of Health in 2015 confirming the presence of ‘detergents’ in them, suggesting that ‘synthetic milk’ is a huge problem.

Trying to differentiate between contaminated and pure milk for a normal person is a long order and only certain chemical tests can reveal the truth. Contaminated milk can be a huge health hazard especially when it comes with urea, detergents and other toxic chemicals. With the Holi festival in the corner, it’s time to be aware of the dangers of milk contamination.

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Now a cheap milk testing kit has been developed by the Defense Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in Mysore, which is part of the huge Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This kit, which even an untrained person can use at home, helps to detect contamination of six common adulterants in milk within minutes.

Recently, as part of another initiative, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan unveiled another dedicated system for detecting and analyzing adulterated milk, developed by the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI), Pilani.

According to Vardhan, “The gravity of the situation was such that the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) has identified the problem of detecting adulteration in milk at a price of Rs 4 or less, which is considered a major challenge.

Against this background, Vardhan praised CSIR’s initiative to develop and deploy this technology solution, the ‘latex-scanner’, which instantly detects adulterants identified in milk. It is a low cost portable system with user-friendly features. It enables detection of contaminants in just 40-45 seconds at a cost of less than 50 paise per sample.

Earlier, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh, while addressing a function at the National Dairy Research Institute, Colonel, Haryana, said, “India ranks first in the world in terms of dairy products. Milk production has increased from 137.68 million tonnes in 2013-14 to 146.31 million tonnes in 2014-15. For the first time, milk production has increased by a record 6.3 per cent while in the international situation, milk production has increased by only 2.2 per cent. (More) PTI COR ZMN
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