FSSAI has created this guidance document to help Food Business Operators ensure basic hygiene and sanitation in manufacturing and sale of milk products particularly sweets. It also suggests a line of action to the food safety regulatory authorities to prevent adulteration in milk products and ensure effective regulatory compliance for food safety in milk products. It focuses on enhanced declaration by sellers [Shelf Life, made of ghee/vanaspati], guide test for detection of adulteration, quality assessment by observation of flavours, body texture, colour and appearance etc. It will increase consumer awareness about food safety and empower them with knowledge and grievance redressal avenues available to them.
Traditional/indigenous dairy products such as khoa, chhana, paneer and khoa/chhana based sweets have been produced and marketed in India for centuries. The manufacture and trading of these products is largely confined to Halwais. Such dairy products are more susceptible to adulteration during festive season particularly due to mismatch in demand and supply. To avoid adulteration and to ensure food safety requires concerted efforts by Food Safety Regulatory Authorities, Food Business Operators and Consumers, are required.
Challenges in Traditional milk product sector
- Use of non-permitted colour, flavour or other ingredients.
- Use of Raw Materials of poor quality for sweet manufacturing
- Repeated use of oil in cooking/preparation, leading to increased level of trans fat
- People involved in manufacture of traditional dairy products (Halwais) lack adequate knowledge of good hygienic practices.
- Lack of packaging and labelling systems that severely limit the shelf life.
- Lack of quality/ legal standards and quality assurance systems.
- Lack of training sessions and audits in place.
Responsibilities of Food Business Operators
- The general hygiene and sanitary requirements as specified under Schedule IV of FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 should be scrupulously complied with.
- In case of pre-packaged milk products, the list of ingredients and the date of manufacturing and best before or use by date should invariably be mentioned as prescribed under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
- In case of non-packaged/loose sweets, the container/tray holding the items at the outlet should display the following information:
- Best before or use by date.
- Whether Oil/ghee/Vanaspati used
- The record of source of dairy based products should be maintained.
- FSSAI License/Registration should be prominently displayed at the unit.
- Use of non-permitted colours and repeated use of oil should be avoided.
- For sale of savouries, sweets or other articles of food, the notice board should indicate whether articles which have been cooked in ghee, edible oil, vanaspati and other fats for the information of the consumers.
Shelf life of sweets
The Indian sweets use a variety of ingredients such as khoya, ghee, flours, dry fruits, sugar etc. The shelf life of sweets depends upon the ingredients used. For example, the Khoya Burfi has shorter shelf life than Boondi Ladoo. In this regard, an illustrative list of sweets with their shelf life is given below:
To be kept at room temperature and consumed on the same day
Kalakand and its variants like Butterscotch Kalakand, Rose Kalakand, Chocolate Kalakand
To be kept in refrigerator and consumed within 2 days from date of manufacturing
Milk Products and Bengali Sweets such as Badam Milk, Rasgulla, Ras Malai, Rabri Ras Malai, Shahi Toast, Rajbhog, Cham Cham, Sandesh, Malai Roll, Bengali Rabri, Hiramani, Gur Sandesh, Hari bhog, Anurodh, Anarkali, Madhuri, Pakiza, Raskadam, Gur Kaccha Gola Sandesh, RasKatta, KheerMohan, GurRasmalai, Gur Rabri, GurRasgulla.
To be consumed within 4 days from date of manufacturing
Ladoo and Khoya Sweets such as Milk Cake, Mathura Peda, Plain Burfi, Milk Burfi, Pista Burfi, Coconut Burfi, Chocolate Burfi, Safed Pede, Boondi Ladoo, Coconut Ladoo, Lal Ladoo, Motichor Modak, Khoya Badam, Mewa Batti, Fruit Cake, Khoya Til Fruit Cake, Kesar Coconut Ladoo, Small Malai Ghewar, Vrat Kesaria Coconut Ladoo, Small Mewa Ladoo, Pink Burfi, Sev Badam Burfi, Til Bugga, Rewari Burfi, Dry Fruit Tilbugga, Shahi Ghewar, Khoya Kesar Badam Roll, Til Bati, Kheer Kadam, Kheera Beej Burfi, Khoya Coconut Burfi, MotiPak.
To be consumed within 7 days from date of manufacturing
Sweets with ghee and dry fruits such as Dry Fruit Ladoo, Kaju Katli, Ghewar, Sakkar Para, Gur Para, Shahi Ladoo, Moong Burfi, Aata ladoo, Besan Ladoo, Dry Fruit Gujia, Moti Boondi Ladoo, Kaju Kaser Burfi, Kaju Baked Gujia, Badam Laung, Balusahi, Badam Burfi, Kajuanjeer Roll, Kesar Big Malai, Chandrakala, Chhak Mitthi, Kesar Gujia, Maida Gujia, Kaju khazoor, Pista Laung, Small Kesar Ghewar, Kesar Chandrakala, Anjeer Cake, Kaju Apple, Kaju Gujia, Kaju Honey Dew, Kaju Kalash, kaju Kesar, Kaju Ladoo, Kaju Roll, Kaju Samosa, DilKhushal Burfi, Kaju Rose Katli, kaju Baked gujia, kajuladoo, Besan Burfi, Kaju Rose Katli
The consumers should observe the flavour, body and texture, colour and appearance of milk products and decide the quality and freshness of the product. In this regard, indicative flavour, body and texture etc. of certain items is given below for guidance:
Body and Texture
Colour and Appearance
A typical mildly cooked flavour similar to that of boiled milk is most acceptable. The taste is preferably sweet.
Soft and uniform body With granular texture is most desirable. Pindi khoa has smooth, compact, homogenous texture with very fine grains. Dhap khoa has granular texture and slightly soft body. In Danedar khoa, presence of big grains with brown colour is desirable.
Cow milk khoa is pale yellow with a tinge of brown having moist surface, whereas buffalo milk khoa is white with a tinge of brown having slightly greasy/oily surface.
Cooked to slightly heated flavour with sweet taste
Soft, greasy to dry body with grainy texture.
White to brown colour with absence of burnt particle.
Mildly caramelised and pleasant flavour with sweet taste.
The body characteristics of burfi may range from very loosely compacted to close knit body. The texture could also vary from smooth to granular and crisp to chewy.
The colour may range from off white to creamy or light caramel, depending upon the type of milk solids used as base material and also the extent of heat desiccation during preparation. It should be free from burnt particles.
Fresh, clean, pleasant caramel sweet flavour.
Cohesive body with granular close-knit texture.
Off white to light brown with absence of burnt particles.
Typical heated fresh aroma, tastes moderately sweet, free from doughy feel and fully saturated from syrup.
Soft and thin crust, smooth granular texture, soft and spongy, free from lumps and hard central core.
Lightly to yellowish brown, uniform, round/ elongated shape, smooth, glossy, moderate size
Pleasant caramelized flavour
Creamy consistency and viscous body with soft textured flakes uniformly suspended throughout the product.
Cream to light caramel colour.
Pleasant caramelized flavour
Creamy consistency and viscous body containing several layers of clotted cream with a chewy texture.
Creamy white to light caramel in colour
Sweet, nutty, pleasant flavour
Thick, viscous mass with uniformly distributed rice.
White to slightly brownish. A rich creamy shade is preferred
Mildly acidic smell and pleasant sweetish taste are considered desirable.
Moderately soft body and uniform texture, with slight springiness. It should yield round ball of even surface and no cracks. It should not release fat on kneading/working.
Uniform yellow (from cow milk) to whitish colour (from buffalo milk). Slightly moist surface. Absence ofburnt particles.
A characteristic blend of flavour of heated milk and acid, that is pleasant, mildly acidicand sweet (nutty).
It should be sufficiently firm to hold its shape during cutting yet tender enough not to resist during mastication/ chewing. Compact, smooth, velvety and close-knit texture.
Uniform yellow (from cow milk) to whitish colour (from buffalo milk)
Typically cooked and heated aroma, sweet, fresh, creamy, taste.
Soft grade is cohesive, smooth and little grainy. Hard grade is crumbly, smooth and has fine grains.
White colour, round shape, smooth moderate size.
Pleasant flavour, moderately sweet, free from doughy feel and fully saturated with syrup.
Soft body and maximum sponginess, free from lumps and hard centre.
White colour, round shape, smooth moderate size.
Pleasant sweetish aroma of diacetyl and clean acid taste.
A weak gel like junket, a creamy layer of fat if whole milk is used. Homogenous body, while cut surface is trim and free from cracks and gas bubbles.
Creamy yellow forcow milk andcreamy white for buffalo. It should have smooth and glossy surface with no whey separation.
A clean, pleasant, sweet sour flavour representing blend of sugar and fermented milk solids.
Typical semi-solid uniform consistency showing a characteristic firmness and shall show a smooth texture and no graininess.
Uniform colour and glossy appearance and devoid of free fat and syrup separation.
Pleasant sweet fermented flavour.
Firm consistency with smooth texture.
Uniform cream to light brown colour.
A natural sweet, pleasant, nutty, slightly cooked/caramelised aroma and an agreeable taste.
A good textured ghee requires large and uniform grains with very little liquid fat. A greasy texture is objectionable.
When melted, it should be clear; transparent and free from sediment and uniform throughout. It should be bright yellow for cow and white with greenish tinge for buffalo milk.
Sweetish rich, aroma and mild to high acidic taste, flavoured either with salt or sugar depending on regional preference.
Homogenous and viscous liquid.
White to creamy white.
Consumers can test common adulterants in the milk products using Quick Tests as given below.
Name of Food Article
Simple Method for detection of Common Adulterants
Ghee, cottage cheese, condensed milk, khoa, milk powder etc
Coal Tar dyes
Add 5 ml of dil. H2SO4 or conc. HCl to one teaspoon full of melted sample in a test tube. Shake well. Pink colour (in case of H2SO4) or crimson colour (in case of HCl) indicates coal tar dyes. If HCl does not give colour repeat once after dilution with water.
Take a teaspoon of curd in a test tube. Add 10 drops of hydrochloric acid. Mix the contents by shaking the test tube gently. After 5 minutes, examine the mixture. Red colouration indicates the presence of Vanaspati in the curd.
Take a teaspoon of rabri in a test tube. Add 3 ml of hydrochloric acid and 3 ml of distilled water. Stir the content with a glass rod. Remove the rod and examine. Presence of fine fibres on the glass rod will indicate the presence of blotting paper in rabri.
Khoa and its products
Boil a small quantity of sample with some water, cool and add few drops of Iodine solution. Formation of blue colour indicates the presence of starch
Chhana or Paneer
Boil a small quantity of sample with some water, cool and add a few drops of Iodine solution. Formation of blue colour indicates the presence of starch.
Ghee or butter
Vanaspati or Margarine
Take one tea spoon full of melted sample of Ghee or butter with equal quantity of concentrated Hydrochloric acid in a stoppered test tube and add to it a pinch of sugar. Shake for one minute and let it undisturbed for five minutes. Appearance of crimson colour in lower (acid) of Vanaspati or Margarine.
Remarks: The test is specific for seasame oil which is compulsorily added to vanaspati and margarine. Some coal tar colours also give a positive test. If the test is positive i.e. red colour develops only by adding strong Hydrochloric acid (without adding crystals of sugar) then the sample can be deduced to be is adulterated with coal tar dye. If the crimson or red colour develops after adding and shaking with sugar, then alone vanaspati or margarine is present
Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and other starches.
The presence of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes in a sample of ghee can easily be detected by adding a few drops of Iodine, which is brownish in colour turns to blue if mashed potatoes/ sweet potatoes/other starches are present.
Responsibilities of Food Safety Regulatory Authorities
Food Safety Commissioners of States/UTs should ensure compliance and food safety for milk products. Special drive should be conducted frequently to ensure freshness and quality of sweets sold in retails including sweets shops, halwai shops etc.
- A vigil should be maintained on sweet shops to eliminate the chances of adulteration particularly in milk products. In case any violation is found, stringent action should be taken as per the provisions of FSS Act, 2006 and Rules/Regulations made there under.
- Surveillance activities should be undertaken regularly, and the data so obtained should be analysed to identify the hot spots which should be intensely targeted.
- Intensify surveillance during festive seasons when demand of milk and milk products increase.
- The prolonged tenure of FSOs at the same or nearby stations as well as any conflict of interest, with self or family business of sweets shops/halwais, should be avoided. States may follow a policy of periodic transfers.
- Generate local intelligence regarding the malpractices. The supervising officer must take action to ensure neutrality.
- Consumer awareness programme should be conducted to apprise consumers about common malpractices, train them in performing quick tests, inform about avenues to file their grievances
- They should also reassure public in case of any panic.
Consumer Grievance Redressal
FSSAI has various interfaces where, in case consumers have grievance against FBOs, they can register their grievances. The details of these interfaces are listed below:
e-mail – [email protected]
WhatsApp – 9868686868
Facebook Page – FSSAI
Twitter – @fssaiindia
FSSAI concern web portal –Food Safety Connect https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/cmsweb/
Toll- Free No. –1800112100
Application – Food Safety Connect (android)