AHMEDABAD: Nearly 61% of milk samples collected from various parts of Ahmedabad have failed quality tests. This was revealed by the latest National Milk Safety and Quality Survey, conducted in 2018. The survey was undertaken nationwide by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India ( FSSAI ).
As for Gujarat , 53% of the 456 milk samples taken from 75 towns and cities were not compliant with the basic quality standards. The FSSAI had scanned samples for Aflatoxin M1 — a toxin responsible for liver cancer. In Gujarat, eight milk samples — from Anand (1), Petlad (2), Borsad (3), and Khambat (2) — contained the toxin beyond the acceptable limit. This was the first time that FSSAI had tested milk for the toxin.
Most samples in Gujarat failed the fat (85 samples) and milk solids (208) tests. The FSSAI was surprised that even processed milk — 61 of the 113 samples — failed the test. The survey found maltodextrin and sugar in processed milk. Five samples were found to contain maltodextrin and six samples contained sugar. These are not unsafe but are added to raise the level of fat and Solids But Not Fat (SNF) of milk. “This is not acceptable,” said the CEO of FSSAI, Pawan Agarwal, in a press release.
Agarwal said that non-compliance with fat and SNF norms could be either due to the quality of feed and rearing practices or due to the dilution of milk with water. “Such non-compliance in standardized and processed milk was surprising,” Agarwal said.
More than 93% of the samples — 5,976 of 6,432 — taken from across the country were safe for consumption, according to Agarwal. This was also the first quantitative analysis of samples to check for adulterants and contaminants. In Gujarat, four milk samples had shown the presence of antibiotics; they were from Bhavnagar (1), Ankleshwar (2), Surat (1).
The survey was carried out between May and October 2018 and an interim report was published in November, 2018. The report was finalized in a meeting of stakeholders on September 9 this year.