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DAIRY PRODUCTS

Dairy FBOs can standardise products by putting species-specific labels
Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
Food business operators (FBOs) dealing with milk and milk products can now declare the name of species (especially cow) on their product packaging for the standardised milk categories. FSSAI has issued a letter in this regard.

The letter issued by the country’s apex food regulator stated, “Several representations from different stakeholders were received, with requests to include the process of standarisation of cow milk using species-specific milk components for adjustment of fat and solids non-fat (SNF) due to practical difficulties to achieve the desired composition (fat and SNF) and product consistency.”

Rajesh Lele, dairy consultant, appreciated the move undertaken by FSSAI. He said, “There are five categories of standardised milk under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, namely full cream milk, toned milk, double-toned milk, skimmed milk and standardised milk.”

“These are based on composition and can be manufactured by using components like cream, butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP), whole milk powder (WMP), etc. manufactured from any bovine species, namely cow, buffalo, sheep, camel, etc.,” he added.

“Declaring the name of species (especially cow) with the above category has an advantage from a marketing perspective, but there was no such provision in the Food Safety and Standards Act or Regulations, 2011, earlier. This move will help the industry to clarify the source of the product. It will benefit manufacturers, especially brands, to give more information about their products to the consumers,” Lele said.

“For instance, now, if toned milk or double-toned milk is standardised using components made only from cow milk, it can be declared on the packet as cow toned milk or cow double-toned milk. FBOs can also declare the category as toned milk or double-toned milk and separately mention made from cow milk on the packet. This also applies for other species,” he added.

The current  regulations permit standardisation to the specified fat and SNF content only in respect of full-cream milk, toned milk, double-toned milk, skimmed milk and standardisation milk. FSSAI, through its letter, clarified that if milk and milk components used in the processing and standardisation of these products were from the milk of same species, the name of the product may be preceded with the name of the species.

Alternatively, the following labelling declaration may be made in conjunction with the name of the products: Made from _____ milk (the blank being filled with the name of the species).

On October 12, 2017, the revised standards for milk and milk products were notified under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Thirteenth Amendment Regulations, 2017.

Sub-regulation 2.1.2 (2) (b), under Essential composition and Quality factor, specifies the minimum requirement of milk fat and milk SNF for different species/classes of milk.

The five categories of standardised milk under the Food Safety and Standards Act are as follows:
  • Full-cream milk (Fat minimum six per cent, SNF minimum nine per cent)
  • Standardised milk (Fat minimum 4.5 per cent, SNF minimum 8.5 per cent)
  • Toned milk (Fat minimum three per cent, SNF minimum 8.5 per cent)
  • Double-toned milk (Fat minimum 1.5 per cent, SNF minimum nine per cent)
  • Skimmed milk (Fat maximum 0.5 per cent, SNF minimum 8.7 per cent)
 
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