CHENNAI: The age-old standards for milk observed in the country are likely to undergo a drastic change, with the Centre planning to evolve new norms.
A K Srivastava, vice-chancellor and director, National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), told CE that the new standards have been necessitated due to the fast-paced changes in the dairy sector, besides the change in fodder for cattle, innovation in technology and climate change.
He said that the Centre was in the process of identifying labs to establish the standards of milk. Plans are also on to ensure regular quality tests at every step, he added.
Apart from monitoring the quality, the data evolved out of such tests would be utilised for the revision of national and global norms for milk and dairy products, said Srivastava.
Further, efforts are also on to evolve separate standards for buffalo, camel, goat and sheep milk, he said. Milk of buffalo and goat has a lot of biomolecules and hence require more thrust for optimum exploitation of milk from the species.
Stating that the Centre also planned to fortify milk, he said that Vitamin A and B would be made mandatory for skimmed milk apart from studying the option to have iron fortification.
While emphasising on the need to validate the fortification of different nutrients in milk, he warned against excessive use of antibodies in cattle or farm animals.
Expressing concern over the decline of local livestock by four per cent, he said the Centre had come out with a policy to prevent insemination of indigenous breed with foreign breed.
Measures are also on to upgrade local livestock by selective breeding. Research carried out by NDRI had revealed that the quality of milk from local breed of cows was higher than that of foreign bred cows, he said. “It was found that milk from indigenous bred buffalo and cattle is best considering the climatic conditions prevalent in the country,” he said.