Are you Drinking Pure Milk? Tips to Check if milk is Adulterated!
12-11-2018 | Posted By: Chhavi | 762 View(s)
No matter how much kids hate milk, many parents ensure their kids drink milk regularly. “Drink your milk. It has calcium and will make your bones stronger. It is really good for you” is a typical dialogue told by parents to kids to make them ditch soda and packaged juice and switch to milk. Milk is one food that we all are advised to have because it contains tons of minerals and vitamins and has plenty of health benefits. Milk keeps our bones healthy, protect our teeth, repairs muscle tissue and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. It also helps to maintain healthy red blood cells and boosts our immune system. We are well-acquainted with the fact that milk is good for us. But what if the milk we are drinking adulterated milk? What if we are drinking milk that is not safe? There is only answer – We will not get any nutrients of the milk may suffer from a host of health problems.
What makes milk so healthy is the nutrients it contains, and if those nutrients are not present in the milk that we are having, then there is no point drinking a glass of milk every day. Milk is filled with nine healthy essential nutrients that benefit our health. Let us know what those nutrients are.
According to the National Dairy Council, milk contains nine essential nutrients that provide us with a lot of health benefits. The nutrients are:
1. Calcium: It helps to build and strengthen bones and teeth and also maintains bone mass.
2. Protein: Protein provides us energy and helps to build and repair muscle tissue.
3. Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to strengthen bone, build immunity and improves vision.
4. Vitamin A: It keeps our skin healthy, improves vision and strengthens our immune system.
5. Phosphorus: It acts as a source of energy and keeps our bones healthy.
6. Vitamin B12: It helps to maintain healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue.
7. Niacin: It helps to metabolise sugar and fatty acids
8. Riboflavin (B2): It maintains the body’s energy supply and is also essential for eye health.
9. Potassium: It helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
In a nutshell, milk has almost every nutrient that contributes to our overall health and wellness. According to research, drinking milk every day also prevents health disorders such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Thus, we should all drink milk every day to stay healthy and fit.
But how to check the purity of milk? What if the milk you are having is not safe? Well, in that case, you are not going to reap any of the health benefits of the milk. In fact, you will be damaging your health.
Do you know 68.4% of milk in India is adultered? Yes, it is true. The milk you are drinking may be spiked with ingredients like urea, starch, paint, detergent, and water. All of these ingredients can put you at risk of many health disorders. The immediate effect of drinking adulterated milk with formalin, caustic soda, and urea is gastroenteritis; however, the long-term effects of drinking adulterated milk can be far more serious.
It is very hard to spot a difference between pure and adulterated milk. Also, there is little to no awareness among consumers about this. Adulterants like detergent, glucose and salt add to the thickness and viscosity of the milk, and on the other hand, starch prevents curdling of the milk. These adulterants impair the functioning of many organs of the body, leading to cancer, heart problems, and in extreme cases, death.
But why are these harmful adulterants added to milk? For a simple reason that it cuts production costs and increases profit margins. However, it is not at all safe for people to drink adulterated milk. Kids and elderly fall into the most vulnerable category to be affected by the problem of adulterated milk. According to a report by the WHO, i.e. the World Health Organisation, India’s population would be suffering from severe diseases like cancer by the end of 2025 if adulteration in milk does not stop.
Dr Ritika Samaddar, a consulting Nutritionist at Max Hospital, says that adulteration has been happening for years now and milk is no longer to safe to consume. She also says that milk should not be completely eliminated from the diet. Her advice is to choose the milk label very carefully and go the organic way. According to her, there are also alternatives like almond milk and soy milk available in the market that do the job as well.
The problem of adulteration is a huge problem in India which the consumer alone cannot solve. But we sure can take a few steps to ensure that the milk we drink is pure and contains nutrients. There are many adulteration test kits available in the market today. But the kits are little expensive, and may not be available everywhere. So how to know if the milk you are drinking safe or not? There are some other methods to check that. Let us explore!
Following are some ways to check if you are drinking adulterated milk at home:
1. Checking for Starch in Milk
Starch is a carbohydrate commonly found in potatoes. When it is added to milk, it reduces its fat content by increasing its carbohydrate content. To check if the milk has starch, add two tablespoons of salt to about 5 ml of the milk you want to test. If the milk is adulterated, then the mixture will turn blue, else it will remain intact.
2. Reduction Test
Take milk and boil it on slow heat for two to three hours till it becomes solid (khoya). If the produced solid is oily, you can be certain that milk is of good quality. If it doesn’t turn oily, it means the milk is synthetic.
3. Detergent in Milk
Take five to ten millilitres of milk and water in equal quantity. Shake the mixture properly. If the milk contains detergent, it will form a dense lather, while pure milk will have a thin layer of foam.
4. Test for Urea in Milk
Some vendors and manufacturers mix urea in milk to boost its shelf life. But adding urea to milk does not affect the taste of the milk, which is why it is harder to detect. To know if the milk you are going to have has urea, mix a half tablespoon of milk with soybean or arhar powder and shake properly. Wait for 5 minutes and then place a litmus paper in this solution for about 30 seconds. If the litmus paper changes colour from red to blue, milk is adulterated and contains urea.
5. Formalin in Milk
Formalin is a preservative that is used for preservation purposes. It is transparent in colour and has the ability to preserve milk for a long time. To check if milk contains formalin, take 10ml of milk in a test tube and carefully add two to three drops of sulphuric acid to it. A blue ring will appear at the top of the mixture if the milk is adulterated.
6. Checking for Vanaspati/Dalda in Milk
Vanaspati/Dalda is not good for health. To check for dalda adulteration, add two tablespoons of hydrochloric acid and one tablespoon of sugar to one tablespoon of milk. If the mixture turns red, the milk is not pure.
7. Checking for Synthetic Milk
Synthetic milk is made by mixing chemicals with soap and mixing them to natural milk. Usually, synthetic milk has a bad taste. But there are other ways too to know if the milk is synthetic. If the milk is synthetic, then it will feel soapy when rubbed. Also, synthetic milk turns yellow when heated.
You can now check the purity of milk at home. Even government is taking many steps to stop adulteration in milk, but we can also follow ways to ensure we are taking fresh and non-adulterated milk. Don’t stop drinking milk thinking it is adulterated and can ruin your health. In fact, be careful and check the purity of milk at home before drinking it. There are many health benefits of milk and hence you should drink one glass of milk every day.
Milk increases calcium levels in the body, which in turn strengthen our bones. Drinking adulterated milk can cause a lot of health problems. To stay away from health disorders, book a health checkup package now.