There is a quote which says that only way to survive is to move forward
It means trying to catch up with the variations and having best possibilities to deal with such variations and become a survivor.
Such quotation fully fits in current scenario related to dairy technology i.e. loose milk & packaged milk.
Good nutrition and easy access to a balanced diet are a fundamental right of every person living in society.
Traditionally, milk is regularly consumed because of the whole food that is known as Mother Nature’s most perfect food.
It is considered the best source of carbohydrate, almost all known vitamins and minerals to sustain life.
Loose milk is milk that is sold in bulk out of the large container. It sold openly without any sort of pasteurization, processing & protection.
In Pakistan, the ratio of consumed loose milk is more than 90 percent. This shows the vast majority in favor of loose milk.
The production of loose milk is done on local dairy farms where there is no notion of hygiene and sterilization.
The local community in the villages consumes mostly loose milk after boiling, then sells the loose milk to milkman.
Then milkmen sold loose milk to the consumers which is then boiled before consumption.
In major cases, milkmen add water to the milk to increase the amount to make more money.
According to data from the Punjab Food Authority, more than 90 percent of open milk is declared perfectly fine
Rest is mostly mixed water and contains one or two percent chemicals, for May 2021 alone.
In majority cases the handler of loose milk add chemical that becoming major core behind many diseases such as diarrhea, fever, arthritis etc.
Positive Sides of Loose Milk?
Every aspect carries both sides’ i.e. positive and negative sides. So yes, loose milk has positive sides (less than negative side) which are as under:
- According to consumers, loose milk is enriched with whole cream in comparison with packaged milk.
- We have a tradition that people living in Pakistan love the taste of loose milk.
- Loose milk supports local farmers in the form of income and millions of people engage in the profession and feed their children and families.
Packaged milk (Compared to loose milk) is the safest and freshest form of the milk because it goes through early pasteurization that helps to destroy disease-causing bacteria and not only that, packaged milk has a longer shelf life than loose milk due to advance and sterilized storage of packaged milk.
In the modern world, packaged milk is considered a safe, high-quality hygienic milk.
Packaged milk is processed according to international standards which, as a result, give the best quality milk, compared to those insufficient local milk farms that do not have quality control over milk production and processing.
Many packaged milk producers have their own milk farms, from where milk is collected through an automatic milking parlor after passing milk, although a quality check is performed and then the milk is finally scientifically processed by a feed pipe directly into the processing units.
Manufacturers, basically operate their own automatic milking plants to ensure safe, sterilized, clean, uncontaminated milk and preservatives.
Finally, this well-processed and packaged milk is delivered to the market in well-equipped trucks so that consumers get cleanliness and quality at the same time.
Issues in The Ways of Packaged Milk Era
- If Government is planning strategies to permanently ban loose milk from the country, what will be the future of local farmers and people practicing profession?
- Are local farmers and milkmen going to collapse and being forgotten?
- Will they avail opportunities in the packaged milk era?
- Will consumers be satisfied with such dynamic variation?
- How do food officials ensure the best quality and presence of whole cream in packaged milk?
- How do we justify the main milk holders who sell their milk about 50 rupees, and will buy packaged milk at a price of about 150 rupees.
Suggested Solutions of These Issues
- The government should start an awareness program together with qualified team and field members.
- This awareness raising program will share detailed information related to advanced milk processing, including animal feed, best farm environment, milking and post milking precautions.
- This awareness program should be conducted by using the local language of the agricultural community so that they can easily understand and communicate.
- .As for the potential of local farmers and related communities in the era of packaged milk, it is the ultimate duty of the food and dairy authorities to prepare them for interconnection with the packaged milk supply chain by providing them with adequate resources to ensure the best quality milk at farm level.
- The government must focus on the best future for local famers and people engaged with this profession along with approving the supply of packaged milk at national level.
- In order for consumers to be satisfied, there should be strict food laws to be imposed at farm level to milk storage level to ensure milk quality and there will be no relaxation for the person (including dairy companies) who imposes adultery in milk.
- This will be the biggest challenge for the dairy industry in terms of providing quality (nutrients as well) and sufficient quantity (to meet public needs) at the same time.
In my opinion, in the battle for survival between loose milk and packaged, LET THE BEST MILK QUALITY OF Milk win.
Because quality is in overcoming variations (here means diseases) and becoming survivors.
If open milk is perfect, then why ban it in 2022 and whether all packaged milk currently available on the market is without any adulteration and precursors.
In addition, the market share of open milk is 94% and only 6% of packaged milk.
If we completely eliminate open milk and bring in full packaged milk, then farmers, shopkeepers, traders and people engaged with that profession will be unemployed.
If we want to join developed countries, we have to do a lot of homework before starting a pilot project. Finally, as a test case, whether to start from the whole country or any big city.
Written by Syeda Hamna Raza Kazmi, BSc Hons Agriculture (Food Technology), Institute of Food and Nutritional Sciences, PMAS Arid-Agriculture University Rawalpindi.