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    Milk quality largely safe, presence of Aflatoxin M1 residues raises concern: FSSAI survey

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    Putting an end to the perception of large scale addition of another substance in milk across the country, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently released the full report of a survey it conducted in the name of ‘National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018’, saying only 12 out of 6,432 samples of milk were adulterated across the country.

    The survey further stated that six samples were found added with hydrogen peroxide, three with detergents, two with urea and one sample was found to have neutralisers.

    “No samples were found with boric acid and nitrates, the other two possible additives. Out of 12 additive samples, nine were in Telangana, two from Madhya Pradesh and one from Kerala,” it stated.

    A survey found a surprise with the presence of Aflatoxin M1 residues beyond permissible limits in 368 out of 6,432 samples that is 5.7% of the samples.

    Saying that a detailed survey on the presence of Aflatoxin M1 in milk has been done in the country for the first time, the FSSAI stated that Aflatoxin M1 comes in the milk through feed and fodder which are currently not regulated in the country.

    The survey further stated the states which have highest levels of Aflatoxin M1 residues in milk are Tamil Nadu (88 out of 551 samples), Delhi (38 out of 262 samples) and Kerala (37 out of 187 samples).

    However, the FSSAI clarified that it is committed to zero tolerance for any addition and contamination of milk.

    As per the survey, 77 out of 6,432 samples had residues of antibiotics above the permissible limits. The states where it is more common are Madhya Pradesh (23 out of 335 samples), Maharashtra (9 out of 678 samples) and UP (8 out of 729 samples). “Only one raw milk sample in Kerala was found to contain pesticide residue above the permissible level,’ it stated.

    The survey, however, showed that about 41% samples fall short of the quality parameter. Both raw and processed samples were found non-compliant on account of low fat or low SNF (solid not fat) or both.

    The survey found another surprise which was the presence of Maltodextrin in 156 out of 6432 samples and Sugar in 78 out of 6432 samples. This mainly was found in processed milk.

    With the objective to monitor safety and quality of liquid milk, the survey was conducted from May, 2018 to October 2018 covering all states and UTs.

    For the survey purpose, a total of 6,432 samples of milk were collected from 1,103 towns/cities, representing both organized (retailers and processors) as well as non-organized (local dairy farms, milk vendors and milk mandis) sectors.

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