Ensuring Milk Purity: Simple Tests Recommended by Food Authorities

Milk is a staple in many Indian households, consumed daily in various forms from direct consumption to culinary uses like tea and desserts. However, the purity of milk is crucial for health, as adulteration with substances like water, detergents, or urea can pose serious risks. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has shared simple tests to help consumers ensure the milk they consume is free from adulteration.

Detecting Water Adulteration: One of the most common adulterants in milk is water, which not only dilutes its nutritional value but can also introduce contaminants. To check for water adulteration:

Take a clean glass slide or plate.

Slowly pour 1-2 ml of the milk sample vertically on the glass.

Observe the flow of the drop: if it moves slowly, leaving a white trail, the milk is likely pure. Rapid flow without any trail indicates water adulteration.

Identifying Urea Adulteration: Urea, when added to milk, can alter its appearance and pose health risks, especially to the kidneys and gastrointestinal system. Here’s how to test for urea adulteration:

Take a teaspoon of milk in a test tube.

Add half a teaspoon of soybean or arhar dal powder to the test tube.

Shake the mixture thoroughly and let it sit for five minutes.

Dip a red litmus paper into the mixture for about half a minute, then remove it.

If the red litmus paper remains unchanged, the milk is likely pure.

A color change to blue indicates urea adulteration in the milk.

These simple tests recommended by FSSAI provide consumers with easy methods to check the purity of milk at home. Ensuring milk is free from adulteration is essential for safeguarding health, especially for vulnerable groups like children and the elderly. It’s advisable to purchase milk from trustworthy sources to minimize the risk of consuming adulterated products and to promote safe and healthy dietary practices.

By following these guidelines, consumers can make informed choices and enjoy the nutritional benefits of pure milk without compromising on safety.

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