Test kit developed to check milk adulteration: Govt

In a bid to check adulteration of milk, the government has developed testing kits, which can detect detergents, urea and other compounds in milk and dairy products, Parliament was informed on Friday.

"A kit has been developed for detection of starch, sugar, glucose, urea, ammonium compounds, pond water, common salt, neutralisers, hydrogen peroxide, formalin in milk," Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The kit, developed by the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), also contains regents for detection of vanaspati in ghee, he added.

The Karnal-based institute has also developed a test for detection of detergent in milk. The test is sensitive to detect minimum levels of 20 mg detergent per 100 ml of milk. It is simple and rapid and does not require laboratory equipment, the minister added.

"Presently, the kit is being used by several units in diary industries. NDRI has also offered the kit for commercialisation to the public/private sector companies," Anwar said.

Last month, the government in an affidavit to the Supreme Court said over 68 per cent of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

According to the FSSAI's 2011 survey, the most common adulterant was found to be the addition of water and the main reason for deviation from the standards was addition of glucose and skimmed milk powder. It also found that in some samples, detergent was mixed.

The affidavit was filed in response to the notice issued on a PIL by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, seeking a check on sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.

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