If all goes well, the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma) will soon launch Ultra-High Temperature processing (UHT) Milk with a shelf life of three to six months. It is conducting studies to introduce the product as part of its initiatives to garner more revenue from value-added services.
At present, Amul and Karnataka Co-Operative Milk Federation are marketing UHT milk in the country. UHT is the food sterilisation technique of heating the product for an extremely short period (around 1-2 seconds, at a temperature exceeding 135 degree Celsius (275 degree Fahrenheit), the temperature required to kill spores in milk.
Milma Chairman P T Gopala Kurup said the Milma federation is currently studying all aspects of UHT milk and would soon launch the product in the local market.
“At present, 25 percent of the total revenue of Milma comes from value-added products. Milma is exploring the possibilities of introducing more value-added products in the market. Though we depend on states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to meet our milk requirement, the production is witnessing a growth as more milk farms are coming up in the state,” Kurup said.
Over 12 lakh litres of milk is being sold by Milma, which includes milk procured from neighbouring states. The state alone contributes 9.46 lakh litres.
Apart from milk, fermented products, fat products, ice creams, desserts, sweets, chocolates, milk powder and drinking water are being sold. As per estimate, 8.6 lakh local dairy farmers are members with Milma.
“Though the number of individual farmers may be decreasing, people are now starting farms eyeing the possibilities in the sector. The federation is facing another challenge as the milk price in Kerala is higher compared to other South Indian states,” he pointed out.