Punjab: More than 7,000 quintals of spurious milk products seized in the past fortnight
Lab Test! Toilet cleaners used in paneer, detergent powder in milk in Punjab
Around 7,000 quintals of spurious milk products have been seized in Punjab in the past fortnight. All samples of paneer (cottage cheese) have failed the lab test.
Data accessed from the office of the director, Mission Tandarust, Punjab, shows that 904 samples of milk, paneer, khoya and desi ghee were collected over the past 15 days in more than 1,000 raids conducted across the state. 364 samples were analysed in the Punjab Government’s food laboratory in Kharar till Saturday.
As many as 161 samples of the 364 failed the food safety standards.
The spurious samples have confirmed the use of chemicals such as toilet cleaners in paneer, detergent powder to give more froth in the milk and palm oil to increase fat content in the milk produced from skimmed milk.
In the market, 50 lakh litres goes to milk plants, including 20 lakh litres in the nine co-operative milk plants and 30 lakh litres in the 10 large private milk plants.
This is followed by nearly 50 lakh litres to milk vendors called dhodhis and 30 lakh litres to halwais or makers of mithai (sweets). In addition to this, about 20 lakh litres of milk goes out of Punjab and the rest is directly sold by farmers.
Punjab leads frontline milk-producing states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in terms of per capita availability of milk.
“The demand and supply dynamics show that the production of spurious milk and milk-related products is not the need of the market. It’s the greed of some people who have found innovative ways to earn more by manufacturing products using adulterated material,” says food safety commissioner and Tandarust Punjab mission director Kahan Singh Pannu, who led the crackdown.
“Toilet-cleaning sulphuric acid is used instead of citric acid to coagulate milk while making paneer,” says a note from the mission director to deputy commissioners in the state on Friday.