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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Milk is the ambrosia for life but not the varieties on offer in Odisha, be it processed or raw milk.

A massive 55 per cent of milk on sale in Odisha market are severely quality affected, when the national average has been 41 per cent. As many as 105 samples from a total of 192 were found to be substandard in Odisha.

As a consequence, the State perched itself in the dubious league of ten quality affected states in the country. Andhra Pradesh leads the country with around 56 per cent of samples failing the quality test.

The milk quality of neighbouring states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are far better than Odisha.

Milk sold in Odisha market didn't conform to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) standard set for the SNF (Solid Non-Fat) content. As per FSSAI 2018, the SNF should remain in the range of 8.5 - 9 per cent. But a whopping 85 of the 192 samples were found to be violating the FSSAI standard in Odisha.

What looks surprising is the processed milk, primarily sold by milk cooperatives like govt-owned Omfed and other private producers, took a lion's share of the samples that failed to conform to the set SNF standard, though printed on the milk pouches in bold letters.

A whopping 46 per cent of processed milk samples in Odisha are quality affected vis-a-vis 42 per cent of the raw milk.

The graver fact is nearly 9 per cent of processed milk available in Odisha market are unsafe for consumption as they contain Aflatoxin M1 (a carcinogen or cancer causing compound produced by fungi) more than the FSSAI standard.

"It is surprising to find non-conforming to FSSAI standards in processed milk, which is quite serious. The issue is understandable with the raw milk as water was used to dilute the milk," observed FSSAI report.

Such grim findings regarding the daily healthy sip in Odisha was to the fore from the first ever exhaustive National Milk Safety & Quality survey 2018 conducted by FSSAI during May - October 2018, which was released on Friday.

What should raise the hackles of the Odisha Animal Husbandry Department is when the entire milk samples collected for test analysis in Angul, Phulbani and Rayagada are found to be of sub-standard quality, nearly 80 per cent of samples are qualitatively poor in Paradip, Baleswar, Boudh, Kendrapada, Bolangir and Rourkela.

The shocker is over 65 per cent of milk samples in Bhubaneswar and commercial city Cuttack have failed the FSSAI quality test.

However, FSSAI has declared all the samples collected from Jatni, Brajrajnagar, Bhadrak, Rajgangpur and Deogarh as pure to the core.

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