Milk being sold in Delhi/NCR is adulterated and does not “conform” to standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), according a study conducted by teachers and students of Maitreyi College. The study was published in the February 2015 issue of Delhi University’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Innovation.
The study found that tests conducted on 30 milk samples (open and branded) collected from Delhi/NCR showed that all samples were alkaline, although in varying degrees. Of these, 73.3 per cent tested positive for neutralisers and 10 per cent tested positive for SMP (skimmed milk powder). The three milk samples which tested positive for SMP were branded products, procured from Gurgaon, Noida and west Delhi.
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The study also notes that all samples tested positive for maltose — “which has never been reported as an adulterant earlier in milk” — and cane sugar. However, they tested negative for glucose and starch. “Normal milk has a pH of 6.7. But all the samples tested were alkaline in nature. Alkalinity generally results from adulteration of milk with neutralisers/stabilisers. Neutralisers are added to prevent curdling and thereby, increase the shelf life of milk,” says the study conducted by J Singh and B Roy of the Zoology department.
The study also notes that “sugars other than lactose are added to give diluted milk its characteristic sweetness and also increase the thickness of milk to adjust the lactometer reading”, while SMP is added to “increase the SNF (solid not fat) value of diluted milk”.