Food adulteration is a global concern and developing countries are at higher risk associated with it due to lack of monitoring and policies. However, this is one of the most common phenomena that has been overlooked in many countries. Unfortunately, in contrast to common belief, milk adulterants can pose serious health hazards leading to fatal diseases. Nowadays milk is being adulterated in more sophisticated ways that demands for cutting edge research for the detection of the adulterants. This review intends to contribute towards the common knowledge base regarding possible milk adulterants and their detection techniques.
Common parameters that are checked to evaluate milk quality are- fat percentage, SNF (Solid-not-Fat) percentage, protein content and freezing point. Adulterants are added in milk to increase these parameters, thereby increasing the milk quality in dishonest way. For example, cane sugar, starch, sulfate salts, urea and common salts are added to increase solid-not-fat (SNF). Urea, being a natural constituent of raw milk, has a maximum limit imposed by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Act 2006 and PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Rules 1955 which is to be 70 mg/100 ml. Commercial urea is added to milk to increase non-protein nitrogen content (Sharma et al. 2012). Similarly, melamine is added to increase protein content falsely (Liu et al. 2012). Ammonium sulphate is added to increase the lactometer reading by maintaining the density of diluted milk. Formalin, Salicylic acid, Benzoic acid and Hydrogen peroxide act as preservatives and increase the shelf life of the milk. Since milk fat is very expensive, some manufacturers of milk and dairy products remove milk fat for additional financial gain and compensate it by adding non-milk fat such as vegetable oil. Detergents are added to emulsify and dissolve the oil in water giving a frothy solution, which is the desired characteristics of milk
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