National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- It recorded data from 6,432 samples of milk, out of which 40.5% were processed samples and 59.5% were raw milk samples, taken from towns with populations of 50,000-plus.
- The samples were analysed for fat and SNF (solids not fat), 13 adulterants and three contaminants.
- This was the first time milk in India was tested for aflatoxin M1, which comes into contact with milk through feed and fodder, not regulated in the country at present.
Findings of the report
- In 368 samples, the survey found residues of aflatoxin M1 (a type of mycotoxin that can cause disease and death) beyond permissible levels. It is found to be more prevalent in processed rather than raw milk.
- Apart from the Aflatoxin, samples had traces of antibiotics but within permissible limits.
- Maltodextrin, a food additive, was also found in 156 out of 6,432 samples. Although it is not lethal, its presence increases the levels of fat and Solids-not-Fat (SNF).
Milk is approximately 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. The solids portion of milk contains approximately 3.7 percent fat and 9 percent solids-not-fat. Milkfat carries the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The solids-not-fat portion consists of protein (primarily casein and lactalbumin), carbohydrates (primarily lactose), and minerals (including calcium and phosphorus).
- States with the highest levels of residues of this contaminant were Tamil Nadu (88 of 551 samples), followed by Delhi (38 of 262) and Kerala (37 of 187).
- Most of the residues were found in processed milk.
- Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain fungi which are generally found in agricultural crops like maize, peanuts, cotton seed and others.
- They are carcinogenic in nature.
- Consumption of food containing aflatoxin concentrations of one milligram/kilogram or higher has been suspected to cause aflatoxicosis, the prognosis of which consists of acute liver failure, jaundice, lethargy and nausea, eventually leading to death.
- It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI.
- The adulteration of food is a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
- FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:
- Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying an appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government and State Governments.
- Collect and collate data regarding food consumption and the introduction of the rapid alert system.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
- Provide training programs for persons
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.