MILK is the normal mammary secretion derived from complete milking of a healthy milch animal without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom unless stated in the FSSAI regulations. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Milk is a complete balanced food that provides complete nutrition in a balanced proportion and is rich in fats, milk proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The most common animals from which milk is derived include cows, buffalos, goat, and sheep. The various types of packaged milk include full cream, skimmed, toned, double-toned etc., depending on the fat content and milk solids content of the milk. The common brands of milk in India include Mother Dairy, Amul, Gopalji, Nandini Milk, among others.
The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 stipulates that the Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 shall be deemed to be regulations made under this Act. The Food Authority may, with the previous approval of the Central Government and after previous publication, by notification, amend the regulations specified in sub-section (1) to carry out the purposes of this Act.
FSSAI standards for milk
The FSSAI prescribes specific standards for various types of milk. When milk is offered for sale without indication of the class, the standards prescribed for buffalo milk shall apply. The standards of different classes and designations of milk are given in Table 1.
Table 1: FSSAI standards for different classes and designations of milk
|Class of milk||Designation||Minimum % milk fat||Minimum % milk solids not fat|
|Buffalo milk||Raw, pasteurized, boiled, flavored, sterilized||5.0-6.0||9.0|
|Goat or sheep milk||Do||3.0-3.5||9.0|
|Standardized milk||Pasteurized, flavored and sterilized||4.5||8.5|
|Double toned milk||Do||1.5||9.0|
|Skimmed milk||Raw, boiled, pasteurized, flavored and sterilized||Not more than 0.5%||8.7|
|Full cream milk||Pasteurized and sterilized||6.0||9.0|
The heat treatment for the variously designated milk shall be as follows:
|Flavored||Pasteurization or sterilization|
FSSAI standards for milk powder
This is the product obtained by partial removal of water from the milk of Cow and/or Buffalo. The fat and/or protein content of the milk may be adjusted by addition and/ or withdrawal of milk constituents in such a way as not to alter the whey protein to casein ratio of the milk being adjusted. It shall be of uniform color and shall have pleasant taste and flavor free from off flavor and rancidity. It shall also be free from vegetable oil/ fat, mineral oil, thickening agents, added flavor and sweetening agent. It may contain permitted food additives and must conform to microbiological requirements. The FSSAI standards for milk powder are given in Table 2.
Table 2: FSSAI standards for milk powder
|Product||Moisture||Milkfat||Milk protein in milk solids not fat|
|Whole milk powder||Not more than 4.0 % m/m||Not less than 26.0 % m/m||Not less than 34.0 % m/m|
|Partly skimmed milk powder||Not more than 5.0 %||Not less than 1.5 % m/m and not more than 26.0 % m/m||Not less than 34.0 % m/m|
|Skimmed milk powder||Not more than 5.0 %||Not more than 1.5 % m/m||Not less than 34.0 % m/m|
FSSAI requirements for packaging & labeling of milk
The FSSAI has a stringent set of guidelines for the packaging & labeling of milk, in order to ensure the best quality and safety of this essential food product for the consumers, many of whom are infants and children.
- Bottling or filling of containers with heat-treated milk shall be carried out mechanically and the sealing of the containers shall be carried out automatically.
- Wrapping or packaging may not be re-used for dairy products, except where the containers are of a type which may be re-used after a thorough cleaning and disinfecting.
- Sealing shall be carried out in the establishment in which the last heat-treatment of drinking milk has been carried out. The sealing device shall be so designed that once the container has been opened, the evidence of opening remains clear and easy to check.
- Immediately after packaging, the dairy products shall be placed in the rooms provided for storage.
In case of package or bottle containing sterilized or Ultra High Temperature treated milk, soya milk, flavored milk the declaration be made as follows:—
“BEST BEFORE ……….DATE/MONTH/YEAR”
“BEST BEFORE……..DAYS FROM PACKAGING”
“BEST BEFORE …….. DAYS FROM MANUFACTURE”
FSSAI guidelines on infant milk substitute
In case of infant milk substitute and infant foods instead of Best Before a date, Use by date/ recommended last consumption date/expiry date shall be given.
Every container of infant milk substitute or infant food or any label affixed thereto shall indicate in a clear, conspicuous and in an easily readable manner, the words “IMPORTANT NOTICE” in capital letters and indicating there under the following particulars, namely:
- A statement “MOTHER’S MILK IS BEST FOR YOUR BABY” in capital letters.
- A statement that infant milk substitute or infant food should be used only on the advice of a health worker as to the need for its use and the proper method of its use.
- A warning that infant milk substitute or infant food is not the sole source of nourishment of an infant.
- Warning/Caution – “Careful and hygienic preparation of infant foods/infant milk substitute is most essential for health. Do not use fewer scoops than directed since diluted feeding will not provide adequate nutrients needed by your infant. Do not use more scoops than directed since concentrated feed will not provide the water needed by your infant”.
- The approximate composition of nutrients per 100 g of the product including its energy value in Kilo Calories/Joules.
- The storage condition specifically stating “store in a cool and dry place in an airtight container” or the like (after opening use the contents within the period mentioned or the expiry date whichever is earlier).
- Indicating the Batch No. Month and Year of its manufacture and expiry date.
In the case of milk powder:
This tin contains the equivalent of
(x)….. liters of toned milk
Adulteration of milk
Adulteration of milk is an important issue that is being addressed by FSSAI also. While some of the common adulterants such as water, starch, urea (maximum safe limit: 700 ppm), glucose/invert sugar etc. can be tested at home, other adulterants requiring sophisticated instrumentation have to be sent to a food testing lab for evaluation. The FSSAI is very serious about the issue of milk adulteration and is tackling the problem in a holistic fashion.