Is high fat percentage a good indicator of milk quality?

27/12/2016

In India, a common practice for testing the quality of milk is how thick is the Malai – a layer of cream formed while boiling the milk. But is this really a good indicator of the quality of the milk? A short answer is “No.”

Historically, the local milkman will add water to dilute the milk before selling. The amount (thickness) of Malai that forms would be less if the water was added to the milk. A quick test and it worked fine. But does the Malai test work in this day and age when approximately of 2/3 of the milk is adulterated and not just with the water? I am afraid not.

To the best of my knowledge there are no easy tests at the consumer level to easily test the quality of milk at home. So, here is a checklist to get you started…

  • Does your milkman owns the cows or buffalos or does he collect it from others?
  • What do they feed the cows? Are they roaming around on streets and eating garbage and plastics?
  • How clean is the place? How are they managing the temperature of the milk?
  • Is it pasteurized or homogenized? How much processing has been done to the milk?
  • How is it packed? in a container, glass bottle (how do you clean it?), food grade pouches etc.
  • Are you mixing the milk of different animals like cows, buffalos and goats? Other animals?
  • Are you using any drugs to enhance the yield?

The list is fairly long but above should be some of the first questions you should ask before consuming the milk? This is especially true for young children. You should visit the farm and see with your own eyes and ask tough questions.

At LaVeda we believe that the milk from our own farm where our own cows are fed a high quality nutritious diet in a safe and hygienic environment is not a luxury but a basic necessity.

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