India is the world’s largest milk-producing country, accounting for over 20% of worldwide milk output. The White Revolution in India increased milk availability per capita, hence increasing children’s and youth’s nutritious consumption. The government’s efforts and actions to promote the dairy food business have changed the country from a net importer of dairy goods to a net exporter of dairy products. Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Egypt, Nepal, and other key locations are among the export destinations. In terms of imports, Australia, New Zealand, and France are the leading suppliers of dairy goods. Milk and cream concentrate, whey powders, and cheese are the most common imports. The FSSAI Guidelines for Milk and Milk Products are discussed here.

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Milk Products from Various Sources:

Dairy goods, often known as milk products, include whole milk, skim milk, buttermilk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheeses such as Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and others. Milk is the primary source of calcium for most people, especially vegans. Nonetheless, the finest calcium sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Milk and other Dairy Products Have a Lot of Health Benefits:

Calcium and protein are mostly obtained from milk and dairy products. A liter of milk is known to give the body roughly 1200 milligrams of calcium. Milk calcium is easily absorbed by the bones. Calcium absorption is aided by vitamin A and lactose.

According to research, the dairy business has experienced a significant decline during the last few decades. Reduced milk consumption by the majority of the population will have a negative influence on health and well-being. This decrease in milk consumption will have a negative influence on the body’s nutritional needs, particularly the quantity of calcium required for bone formation.

According to a study, teenagers and women in particular, as well as the general public, avoid drinking milk on a daily basis due to its high-fat content. However, calcium, which is mostly obtained from the consumption of milk and other dairy products, is essential for children’s growth and development, as well as the formation of their bones and skeletal system.

FSSAI Milk Packaging Guidelines:

The FSSAI has also established recommendations to protect the safety of the key food product, milk, as part of its job in regulating food safety and standards. Milk is necessary for infants, children, and teenagers, as well as the elderly. Over time, technology has improved to the point where not only new packaging methods have been introduced, but also novel devices that allow automation. The new packaging innovations are both user-friendly and help to preserve milk for longer periods of time.

Cans, bottles, pouches, cartons, and tetra packs are some of the typical packaging options for storing milk and milk products. Because of their ease of handling, eco-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness, soft recyclable pouches are the most popular type of packaging.

A thermoformed plastic bottle is also a suitable packing option because it protects the milk inside from temperature extremes and UV radiation.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ensures that the regulations are in line with the food packaging sector as outlined in the FSSAI preparations. The main focus continues to be on eliminating the potential of changing the contents of the box without tampering with the seal, as well as ensuring that each package ready for sale to the end consumer conforms with the FSSAI food packaging standards in India.

The FSSAI has established particular guidelines that are specifically applicable to milk and milk product packaging criteria, such as:

  • When bottling or filling containers with heat-treated milk and milk products, the bottling or filling should be done manually, and the sealing should be done automatically.
  • Sealing should be done as soon as possible after filling and in the same location as the final heat treatment of drinking milk. This sealing should be done with the help of a sealing equipment. This specification must be created since it will ensure that the milk is safeguarded from any unexpected bad effects that may be caused by external factors.
  • Because milk is a fresh dairy product, the packaging or wrapping that has been used for it should not be reused for dairy goods. The exception is made in the event that the containers are reusable. Even so, reusing them after complete washing and sanitising should be done with considerable caution.
  • In addition, after the packing is completed, the milk and milk products should be maintained in specific storage facilities.

The Reason for the Packaging Change:

The amended rules are controlled by the following changes when milk packaging transitions from glass bottles to metal cans and packs:

  • The new lifestyle necessitated user-friendly packaging that could also be reused.
  • Customers expect things to be done in a way that is convenient for them.
  • Environmental and ecological factors were taken into account.
  • Production costs and recycling should be possible to implement.

Packaging and Shelf Life:

The FSSAI is solely concerned with food safety rules. This also applies to milk and dairy products. The FSSAI, on the other hand, has no authority over the shelf life of milk and milk products. The FSSAI does not regulate the specifications and norms for these items’ shelf life, but the FBOs offer thorough information on the product’s stability and shelf life. This data is consistent with stability tests performed by a NABL accredited/FSSAI notified lab.

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India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and the Milk and Dairy Food License Processing industry has enormous growth potential. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their health and lifestyle changes. As a result, instead of relying just on cereals, they are adopting dietary changes to accommodate a more diverse and healthy diet that includes milk and dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables, chicken products, and so on.