The phrase ‘doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani’ will hold true for housewives who will now be provided with testing kits by the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) to check for milk adulteration. They can put the milk delivered by the local milkman, to an adulteration test using the kit available with the CGSI at Rs30.
While the easiest way to adulterate milk is by adding water, reagents and prohibited neutralisers like hydrated lime, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate are added to milk to prevent spoilage.
When CGSI had conducted surprise raids on April 28, they found the presence of starch, glucose, cane sugar and even washing soda in milk.
“The longevity of milk increases and gives the vendor that much time to sell. Reagents like salt and glucose are added to alter the thickness and viscosity. Adding starch prevents curdling of milk,” said Dr MS Kamath, secretary CGSI. “Salt and detergents are added to adjust the lactometre reading to add thickness to the milk,” said Sitaram Dixit, analytical chemist from CGSI.
The testing protocol is mentioned in every kit and it contains 5ml bottles of reagents with test tubes and a dropper.
Penal action will be taken against the vendor by informing the Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA), when consumers submit adulterated samples to CGSI.
To take the campaign forward, CGSI plans to collect samples from consumers who are unable to conduct tests on their own. “Due to limited resources, the testing services will be available only on certain days in a month,”said Kamath. The meeting points for collection of milk samples are in Mahim, Goregaon, Kanjur-Vikhroli and CST.
CGSI is also in touch with the FDA, which has assured that it will provide three mobile vans to move around in the city for milk testing.