The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Vice President, CSIR Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated Systems for Detection of Adulteration and analysis of Milk to the nation on February 20, 2016. He complimented CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI), for developing the technology to tackle a national level health hazard due to adulteration in milk.
The Minister said that he would soon be reaching out to the Union Health Minister and the Health Ministers of all state governments to adopt and deploy the technology platform to address the problem of milk adulteration in the country. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) would also be asked to bring in the required regulatory intervention so as to ensure the delivery of quality milk, he added.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed that our country ranked number one across the world for milk production, contributing to about 18% of the world’s total milk. By volume, milk production was about 146 million tonnes in the country. But it was feared that over 60% of the milk was contaminated due to malpractices in milk supply chain which included dilution with unsafe water. The milk was otherwise said to be adulterated with contaminants such as urea, salt, detergent, liquid soap, boric acid, caustic soda, soda and hydrogen peroxide which have hazardous health effects.
The gravity of the situation had been such that NITI Aayog identified the problem of detecting adulteration in the milk within three minutes at Rs. 4 or less, as one of the Grand Challenge Areas being considered under the Atal Innovation Mission.
The Minister appreciated the initiative of CSIR-CEERI for developing and deploying the technology solution, ‘Ksheer Scanner’, which instantaneously detects the above identified adulterants in milk. It was a low-cost portable system with user friendly features. The contaminants were detected in just 40-45 seconds at per sample cost of less than 50 paise. The minimum detection levels of major contaminants are: Urea: 1 gm/l; salt: 2 gm/l; detergent: 2 gm/l; soap: 1%; and soda: 1 gm/l.