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FSSAI Milk Product Standards: Categories & Regulations

Introduction:

In India where most of the people are vegetarian and they mostly prefer dairy products which are made from milk. Milk is an important source of nutrition and is a great source of protein and calcium. Due to adulteration in milk production and false claims of milk products, food regulatory agency FSSAI has issued various categories and standards of milk products in the Indian market. During 2017 and 2018, the per capita availability of milk in India was 375 grams per day but now the report says that it will increase to 592 grams per day. To support all dairy products in India, the government has adopted several mother and several categories and also taken several initiatives. India exports its dairy products to other countries like Singapore, Nepal, Egypt etc.

FSSAI Definition of Milk:

Milk is a normal mammary secretion obtained from full milking of a healthy milch animal, without any addition or extraction unless otherwise stated in 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 well-balanced food that provides complete nutrition in balanced proportions and is rich in fat, milk proteins, vitamins and minerals. The most common animals from which milk is obtained include cows, buffaloes, goats, and sheep. The different types of packaged milk include full cream, skimmed, toned, double-toned, etc., depending on the fat content and milk solids content of the milk. Common brands of milk in India include Mother Dairy, Amul, Gopalji, Nandini Milk, etc.

 The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 states that the Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 shall be deemed to be rules made under this Act. The Food Authority may, with the previous approval of the Central Government and after previous publication, by notification, amend the rules specified in sub-section (1) to carry out the purposes of this Act

Necessary guidelines for Milk Products regarding Packaging:

Some important guidelines regarding packaging specific to FSSAI standards are given below:

  • The mandatory rule in respect of milk and other milk products is that milk and milk products should be stored immediately after completion of packaging in a special room that serves the storage purpose.
  • FSSAI and the fertilizer regulatory agency are not directly responsible for managing the storage life of milk and milk products. Yet there is a need for food business operators in India to come forward and provide in-depth details about the storage life of milk and milk production. FSSAI programs look at safety standards and regulations regarding the production of food and milk and also include milk producers.
  • The sealing process should continue immediately after filing and where the final heat treatment test has taken place. To seal milk production, it is necessary to use sealing equipment. This must guarantee that the milk will be well maintained despite any unfortunate and adverse consequences that may be of external origin.
  • Filling and bottling of milk in containers will be done mechanically. Apart from this, container sealing also needs to be executed properly.
  • We know that dairy product of milk family; Hence there is no need to re-use already used packaging for different milk items. However there is an omission in situations where a similar container may be prevented from being disinfected and cleaned.

Benefits of Milk Products:

  • If we use milk or milk products, we get many benefits which are as follows:
  • If we talk about the proven fact, it is that regular consumption of milk and milk products strengthens the bones of a human being and makes him feel stronger.
  • Milk contains an adequate source of protein and calcium, hence milk is a nutrient. Milk provides various health benefits.
  • The presence of protein in milk strengthens the immune system of the human body and also facilitates growth and development.
  • If you include milk or milk products in your diet, then your bone related diseases get cured to a great extent and you avoid those diseases.
  • Milk fulfills the nutritional requirements of the body, hence it is very important to have fluid in it

FSSAI Standards for Milk Products:

There are some different categories and FSSAI standards for milk and milk products in India like:

  1. Uniquely Identified Milk:

    Milk standards for SNF and fat are different for cow, buffalo, buffalo, camel and goat species. This milk may be subjected to pasteurization, starlization, boiling, or ultra high temperature treatment.
  1. Mixed Milk:

    As we have written above, this milk is called a combination of milk by mixing milk of different species and the standard of sugar and fat for combined milk is 4.5 percent and 8.5 percent respectively.
  1. Toned Milk, Full Cream, Standardized Milk, Skimmed Milk and Double Toned Milk:

    For this type of milk, milk and milk products come under which FSSAI regulator and it is made from the combination of milk of different animals like cow buffalo etc.
  1. Recombined Milk:

    This milk contains milk fat and SNF preserved forms with or without potable water to make identical milk items as per SAE standards for milk and milk products.
  1. Reconstituted milk or Milk Production:

    Milk produced by mixing milk and its concentrated or dried form with potable water. This material is the quantity required to re-establish the appropriate water and solid ratio to make the end milk product

Safety standards that should be followed while Processing Milk:

  1. General:

    General safety standards such as food processing operations, flow diagrams and standard operating procedures shall be documented, implemented and demonstrated at the particular operation site. Cleaning, access to the processing area by outsiders, monitoring of authorized technical express and much more which is given in detail.
  1. Water Treatment and Management:

    Proper maintenance of water treatment systems is important to avoid the systems becoming a source of contamination. There should be no risk to safety when the water is recirculated or reused, compost production should at least meet the information biologists' guidelines for potable water, operation and maintenance of water treatment systems will be defined , to reduce the risk of microbial contamination Recirculation methods such as the use of UV, heat and chemical sanitization may be used.
  1. Calibration and inspection of measurement, test and process control equipment:

          All map, test, process control equipment for milk processing shall be      identified and leveled with their calibration positions. All test equipment shall be identified by :

  • Item Identification/Serial Number
  • Calibrated/Inspection Date
  • Calibration due/inspection due date
  1. Allergen management:

    The major allergen is grains containing gluten; i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt or their crisis strains and products, all allergens must be displayed at a relevant location in the processing and storage area to manage and control these allergens.

Milk is a perishable product so utmost care and precautionary steps are required while processing it. If any milk producing unit does not follow these man cos then with the help of these guidance points the proper quality of the produce should be delivered to the final consumer. It will not be considered liable for FSSAI license.

 

FSSAI Guidelines for Milk Product Packaging:

  • FSSAI has announced several guidelines for milk product packaging to ensure the safety of milk. Technological advancement has led to the development of new technology of packaging of milk products by FSSAI along with the introduction of high tech and good quality machines allowing auto packaging of milk and other dairy products. Many types of packaging equipment or machines have come in the market and this machine is very useful and helpful in preserving milk for a longer period.
  • A variety of packaging materials are used to store milk products and other dairy products including cans, pouches, bottles, cartons and tetra packs. The most commonly preferred packaging form is soft pouch and the reason behind it is as follows –
  1. This packaging is tight
  2. Soft pouch is environmentally safe
  3.  Soft pouch is easily manageable
  • FSSAI has to confirm that all the rules and procedures are at par with food packaging safety and standards. The primary focus should be on ready-to-sell packets that comply with regulations. Also it should have closing doors for the possibilities of changing the packaging material without interfering with the seal.
  • To provide protection to stored milk amid various changes in temperature and to protect the milk from exposure to UV rays, thermoformed plastic bottles are a good solution

Survey Conducted by FSSAI:

"The surveillance survey will cover 766 districts across the country and more than 10,000 samples will be collected during the exercise. Two agencies have been engaged for the purpose," the FSSAI advisor told PTI.

“The Quality Council of India and the National Dairy Development Board, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, will conduct the survey for FSSAI,” Panda said.

He said, “The scope of the survey includes milk, khoya, Chana, paneer, ghee, butter, curd and ice cream “Test parameters include adulteration, general quality and composition parameters, contaminants, antibiotic residues and microbiological indicators.” 

The study was initiated to assess milk and milk products sold in the country for compliance with food safety and standard regulations and to identify hotspots for adulteration. “One of the objectives of the survey is to formulate corrective action strategies,” Panda said.

He said the rationale behind choosing milk is its indispensable role in food culture, whether as a fresh liquid or as a processed dairy product. 

The regulator has conducted five surveys on milk and milk products since 2011. FSSAI had conducted the milk survey in 12 states in 2022, including 10 states where lumpy skin disease (LSD) was prevalent. It also conducted the Pan India Milk Products Survey, 2020 to understand the true picture of the safety and quality of milk products sold in the market during festivals. 

Overall, 2,801 milk product samples were collected from organized and unorganized sectors from 542 districts across the country for the 2020 study.

These products were tested for all quality and safety standards including pesticide residues, heavy metals, crop contaminants and melamine. 

Conclusion:

To provide support to the dairy food industry, FSSAI has come out with various guidelines and regulations for various dairy products and milk. Apart from this, studies had shown that milk production in India will reach 300 million tones by the year 2022. It is essential to obtain FSSAI license for milk and milk products or you can also apply for FSSAI registration depending on the turnover of your business. Many surveys are conducted by FSSAI to test milk and milk products.

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