Milk is a rich source of calcium, protein and vitamins like vitamin A and D. These are fat-soluble vitamins and are lost when the fat portion of the milk is removed during processing. Therefore, it has been made a mandatory provision by many countries to add these vitamins back to the milk when they are removed.
In India, the deficiency of vitamin A and D is very common and therefore fortification of milk with these vitamins becomes important to fight their deficiencies.
Milk is consumed by people of all age groups, thus fortification of milk with these vitamins is a good strategy to address the problem of micronutrient malnutrition.
Consumption of fortified milk is linked to improved levels of vitamin A and D, as it has shown to increase the vitamin D levels along with decreasing morbidity rates including 26% lower incidence of pneumonia, 18% lower incidence of diarrhoea, 15% fewer sick days and 7 % fewer days with a high fever.
The minimum level of vitamin per litre of toned/double toned/skimmed milk is :
770 IU of Vitamin A and 550 IU of Vitamin D. The cost of fortifying milk is as low as 2 paise/litre of milk, therefore it is a very cost-effective method to address micronutrient malnutrition in our country.
Example: Nestle, Krushna, Parag, Sanchi, Medha, Mother Dairy etc.
Adulterated foods are dangerous because they can be toxic and can negatively impact our health. Follow these basic tests that can be carried out at home to check for adulterants in milk and milk products.
Milk and milk products are commonly adulterated with water, detergent and starches.
- Test to detect water in milk:
Put one drop of milk on a slanting polished surface and observe. Pure milk will leave a white trail as it flows down and the adulterated milk will flow without leaving any mark.
- Test to detect detergent in milk:
Take a 10 ml sample of milk with 10 ml of water and shake it thoroughly. If the milk is adulterated, it will form a dense lather in comparison to pure milk forming a very thin layer of foam.
Adulterants reduce the quality and value of nutrients in the food making it not fit for consumption. Therefore, be a smart consumer and buy food products from trusted sources. When in doubt you can carry out these simple tests at home to ensure the safety of your food.