News on Adulterated Milk

Traces of detergent found in milk sample

Thursday, 08/05/2017

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/traces-of-detergent-found-in-milk-sample/article18868167.ece

Madurai : 108 samples tested as part of an awareness campaign on food adulteration.

Traces of detergent were found in one of the 108 milk samples tested by Food Safety and Drug Administration department as part of an awareness campaign on food adulteration organised here on Thursday.

Speaking to the media, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, who inaugurated the campaign earlier in the day, said that the sample was collected by a Field Officer of FSDA from a consumer, although he did not elaborate on where the consumer had bought the milk.

Sources in FSDA department, however, said that the consumer, who resided in Kochadai, had bought the milk from a neighbourhood vendor, who supplied raw milk (not pasteurized).

Stating that the testing equipment used by FSDA indicated that further tests were required to confirm presence of soda, bicarbonate or detergent, Mr. Rao said that a ‘legal sample’ would be collected from the place where the consumer had bought the milk.

“By ‘legal sample,’ we mean that the sample will be collected as per specifications and without contamination. The sample will be sent to a laboratory with necessary infrastructure,” he said. If adulteration was confirmed, he added, criminal proceedings would be initiated against those involved.

Officials from FSDA indicated that the sample that was tested being a contaminated one was also a possibility. “For instance, if the consumer had kept the milk in a vessel that was not rinsed properly, the detergent present in the vessel may show up in the milk sample,” an official said.

As part of the campaign, which was organised near K. Pudur bus stand, samples brought by the public and those collected by field officers of FSDA were tested. Mr. Rao said that 11 samples were found to be sub-standard since the fat content in them was less than 3.5 %.

The testing, for which a sample of 300 ml was needed, was a two-step process, FSDA officials said. The samples were first tested for fat, solids-not-fat (SNF) and water, followed by another test for adulteration. The tests were conducted using a kit, named electronic milk adulteration testing (EMAT) unit.

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