The Present Context
According to the National Milk Sample Safety Quality Survey which is conducted by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), 37.7% of the processed milk survey is found to be unsafe for humans. In this article, we shall discuss the functions of FSSAI as well as understand the important points of this survey.
About FSSAI and its functions
- The FSSAI is an autonomous body which has been established under the Food Safety and Standard Act,2006.
- It functions under the Ministry of Health and Family welfare.
- Its duty is to promote food safety and by setting up regulations and quality standards.
- Through its regulations and supervision of food safety, it aims to protect and promote public health in India.
- It provides scientific and technical (in the domain of food safety) advice to the government of India.
- It conducts surveys and collects data about the food consumption pattern, evaluates the emerging risks of contamination and also promotes awareness about food safety and nutrition.
- It also lays down the food safety standards and quality standards in India and also provides guidelines for the acceptance of food testing laboratories.
Reports on the Present Survey
- The companies fail to maintain the quality and standards of milk that is laid by the FSSAI.
- The adulteration of milk(the process of adding water and other substances to milk) in a few states in very high in M.P, Telangana, Kerala.
- The FSSAI has laid 4 parameters to identify the quality of milk. They are Fat, Solid Not Fat(SNF), Sugar and Maltodextrin.
- Note: The percentage of Fat and SNF should be increased naturally by providing high-quality feed to the cattle whereas the addition of Sugar and Maltodextrin acts as contaminates and added to the milk and they artificially increases the percentage of Fat and SNF in milk.
- According to the survey, the milking process by major brands has a very low level of fat and SNF and a very high level of sugar and Maltodextrin.
- According to the survey, a highly toxic contaminate known as Alfatoxin M1 has been found in various samples of processed milk. Aflatoxin M1 has entered in cattle mainly due to their improper feed and fodder that they are fed with.
- The Aflatoxin M1 can result in liver failure, jaundice and in higher concentrations level it can result in death.
The Matter of Concern
- India is the largest producer of milk in the world and the reports of FSSAI which reveals that 37.7% of the processed milk survey is unsafe for humans consumptions is a matter of concern.
- Even the big brands have failed to maintain the quality of milk.
- This problem should be solved by making strict rules against the defaulters and the government needs to address the feeding regulations of cattle in order to counter Aflatoxin M1.