Awareness must be raised about the necessary precautions each one of us must take to avoid the consumption of adultrated milk: IMA New Delhi, March 20, 2016: Two out of three Indians drink milk laced with detergent, caustic soda, urea and paint as per union minister for science and technology Dr Harsh Vardhan. In his statement, he said that over 68% of the milk sold did not conform to standards laid down by India’s food regulator FSSAI. Milk is collected from 200,000 villages across India for sale and distribution. An insurance against adulterated milk is the common Indian habit of boiling milk before consumption. All bacteria are killed once milk is thoroughly boiled. Last year, a US government report projected an increase in fluid milk consumption by 5% to reach 62.75 million metric tonnes in India in 2016 based on population growth. Speaking about the same, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA and Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Drinking adultrated milk can have hazardous health effects. These ranging from gastroentertitis caused by the urea, caustic soda and formalin present in it to more serious issues like impairments, heart problems, cancer or even death caused due to synthetic components. The detergent in milk can cause food poisoning and other gastrointestinal complications. Its high alkaline level can also damage body tissue and destroy proteins. Given the associated complications, taking necessary precautions is key.” According to a resent FSSAI Survey, water is the most common adulterant in milk. It reduces the nutritional value of milk. If contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, water poses a health risk to consumers. Boiling milk before use is the answer. Additionally, of the total non-compliant samples, the highest, nearly 46 per cent, belonged to the category of low Solid Not Fat (SNF) and this was due to dilution of milk with water. Skimmed milk powder, generally used to increase volume of milk in lean season, was present in nearly 548 samples; of these 477 samples contained glucose. Due to lack of hygiene and sanitation in milk handling and packaging, detergents (used for cleansing) are not removed and find their way into the milk. Many a time, detergents are deliberately added to milk. About eight per cent samples were found to have detergents. Tests which can be done at home for the adulteration in Milk: · Water – The presence of water can be detected by putting a drop of milk on a polished slanting surface. The drop of pure milk flows slowly leaving a white trail behind it, whereas milk adulterated with water will flow immediately without leaving a mark. · Starch – Add a few drops of tincture of Iodine or Iodine solution. Formation of blue colour indicates the presence of Starch. · Urea – Take a teaspoon of milk in a test tube. Add half teaspoon of soybean or arhar powder. Mix up the contents thoroughly by shaking the test tube. After 5 mins, dip a red litmus paper after half a minute. A change in colour from red to blue indicates the presence of Urea in milk. · Detergent – Shake 5-10 ml of sample with an equal amount of water. Lather indicates the presence of detergent. · Synthetic Milk – Synthetic milk has a bitter taste, gives a soapy feeling on rubbing between the fingers and turns yellowish on heating. · Synthetic Milk-Test for Protein – The milk can easily be tested by Urease Strips (available in the Medical store). The colour chart of the Urease Strip test will show the quantity of Urea present in Milk.