Unfortunately, food, which happens to be the source of vital nutrients for the body cannot only make but break the body if adulterated. Debasing the quality of food to increase its value in quantity is adulteration. It is done by adding substitutes of low-cost or quality substances or by removing the important ingredient from the food. Food adulteration affects the original nature and nutrients of the substances to be consumed. It is a global concern especially haunting the developing countries which are at higher risk. It happens when the policies, laws, and monitoring is weak.
The common method to test the purity of milk is its sweet taste. If the taste of milk is sour there are chances of it being adulterated with soda. A drop of milk when split on the floor should spill leaving a white stain, If that doesn’t happen and milk flows freely, it might be adulterated with water. Starch is something that can test by adding salt to the milk. The milk may turn bluish. This doesn’t mean you have to doubt always. If the vendor is good enough the chances of milk adulteration are nil.
The history of milk adulteration is quite old. Milk is considered to be the most nutritious food from infants to elder ones. Proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates are ample in milk which is passed on to us. Most likely milk is adulterated with water which causes health issues if contaminated. Contaminants like detergent, unhealthy fat, starch, caustic soda, sugar, urea, salt, formalin, ammonium sulfate, maltodextrin are some of the adulterants added to the milk. The milk is adulterated by increasing the fat percentage and other parameters that are used to check the authenticity of the milk. For example, SNF, fat, protein content, freezing point are increased in the wrong way. FSSAI ACT 2006 (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Rules 1955 have imposed a certain limit on Urea content in the milk.
Milk adulteration tests or detection methods
Milk can be adulterated without much effort. Public health is highly important for an economy to develop. Milk can be detected qualitatively and quantitatively. Where qualitative detection is easy to perform, quantitative is quite complex. The adulterants mixed in milk are considered while performing quantitative detection methods.
Qualitative method like milk adulteration test is used to detect adulteration through chemical reactions. This is done in any laboratory with precautions. The milk is adulterated either with adulterated substances that can be fatal for the body while there are some which are used to increase the shelf life of the milk.
Sugar, starch, salt, buffalo milk, and glucose are edible adulterants mixed in the milk. This can be tested by adding iodine solutions, resorcinol solution, concentrated HCL solution, silver nitrate solutions, and many others to check their presence after a certain observation. For example; to check the presence of starch in milk, adding iodine solution gives blue color. The presence of hazardous chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, formalin, nitrate, urea, borax, boric acid can also be tested through qualitative methods.
Reasons to be careful and consider milk adulteration tests
The milk adulterants leave a long-term effect on the health of the system. Heart problems, cancer, gastroenteritis, or impairments are some of the causes of consuming adulterated milk. It can have severe harmful effects on the infant’s health.
AgNext is into new aged technology and data sciences to solve milk or food quality issues with rapid testing methods. With Qualix, AgNext has got the opportunity to explore the on-field quality assessment of the food.