How many of us know that milk should not be boiled for more than two to three minutes to have its nutritional value intact? According to a recent study, a majority of Bangaloreans kill nutrition along with germs while boiling milk.
The study was conducted by Indian Medical Academy (IMA) on 300 women from the city, aged between 25 and 45 years. It revealed that people are not following correct milk boiling practices. They are boiling and re-boiling milk on high flame for extended periods of time and that too without stirring it, thus reducing the nutritional value.
“Milk Boiling Habits Study”, as the study is termed, observed that 39% Bangaloreans boil milk more than three times before consuming it. About 53% boil it for more than five minutes and 64% do not stir it while boiling. “The study has brought to the fore a very surprising fact - most Bangaloreans are not boiling milk the way it should be. There are chances that they might therefore not be consuming quality milk,” says Dr Pawan Gupta of Indian Medical Academy.
There may be two reasons to this casual approach of boiling milk, says Dr Gupta, either people are not aware of the right boiling practices or they might be finding it difficult to observe these practices. The second reason seems more probable. The study has found that 72% people find boiling milk a tedious exercise. About 64% people prefer milk that doesn’t need boiling at all and can be readily consumed.
Boiling and re-boiling milk at high temperature for a long time affects the nutritional content of the milk, particularly the B group (B1, B2, B12) of vitamins. “Milk is a form of protein. And protein, if heated gets denatured. Not just that, when boiled repeatedly, the thick layer of cream that forms in the upper crust is not just fat, it also contains fat soluble vitamins, including Vitamin A, B, E and K,” said Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical nutritionist, Apollo Hospital.
However, the best way to consume milk is by boiling it for not more than two minutes once. “In case of pasteurised milk, boiling it for a minute or two increases its shelf life. However, every time before consuming the milk, there is no need to boil it. Rather boiling it once and heating the milk till a certain temperature is just fine. Moreover, tetra pack milk doesn’t require boiling at all,” added Dr Rohatgi.