CHENNAI: The State-owned Aavin has set up a centralised laboratory at Madhavaram to test the presence of pesticide/drug residues, heavy metals and Aflatoxin M1, a cancer-causing chemical, in milk and milk products.
The facility will also be used for testing the quality parameters of Aavin dairies, which was so far done through the external National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and FSSAI laboratories.
The laboratory, spread over 17,422 sq ft, was built at a cost of Rs 8 crore under the National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) scheme and was inaugurated by Chief Minister MK Stalin through video conferencing on Tuesday.
On October 18, 2019, the FSSAI released the ‘National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018’, which stated that 88 milk samples out of 551 collected from the State failed to comply with the quality parameters over non-presence of Aflatoxin M1. The Aavin stated that Aflatoxin M1 may come to milk due to fungal-infested fodder being fed to cattle.
The quality of milk received from the producers was tested through an automated cloud-based milk analyser at milk collection centres. Further, quality control labs at the dairies test the milk using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) technology-based milk analysers for quality and adulteration parameters such as urea, detergent, maltodextrose, sugar and others.
N Subbaiah, Milk Commissioner and Managing Director of Aavin, said samples of milk from collection centres and dairies in each stage will be tested at Madhavaram every three months. “Although milk is already tested at dairies, the centralised system will monitor the quality parameters of district unions.”
The laboratory will eliminate Aavin’s dependency on NABL and FSSAI labs for conducting critical tests, thereby bringing down the expenses incurred by the federation, added Subbaiah.
The laboratory has been provided with high-precision equipment to analyze chemicals, heavy metals, residual and nutrient compounds in the milk and milk products to confirm the regulatory requirements, said a statement.
NABL & FssAI labs
Testing of Aavin products was so far done through the external National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and FSSAI labs