Dairy At Glance

Issues And Challenges Of Dairy Product

Processing Technologies

Devaraja Naika H.1 and Vivek M. Patil 2

Asst. Professor, Dept. of LPT 2. Asst. Professor, Dept. of LPM
Veterinary College Bidar, Karnataka Veterinary & Fisheries Sciences University


Indian dairy industry is heading towards new century with accelerated and positive momentum. With unprecedented growth in milk production from about 59 million tonnes in 1992 to about 106 million tones in 2005-06, India has emerged as the largest milk producer in the world, and is expected to reach 220-250 million tonnes in 2020. The per capita milk consumption is 243 gms per day. The overall growth rate of the dairy industry in India is 4%, which is almost 3 times the average growth rate of the dairy industry in the world. The issues and challenges in this sector are as under:-

Low Utilization Of Milk For Processing

At present, 37% of the milk produced in India is being utilized for processing. Of this, the organized dairy industry accounts for 15% and the unorganized sector accounts for 22%. The remaining 67% is not being processed and is either consumed at the farm level, or is sold as fresh, non-pasteurized milk through unorganized channel. In most of the countries in the world, the proportion of milk delivered to the dairies is over 90%. The trends are now changing fast in India too and it is expected that the processing of milk on organized scale will increase sharply like in developed countries.

Value-Addition For The Manufacture Of Widely Accepted Products

With the exception of a few units the processing industry is largely involved either in pasteurization of liquid milk or conversion of milk to milk powder and ghee. Value addition, consequently, is low. Instead of producing value added products the domestic processors continue to fight for share in the domestic market for liquid milk and milk powder. Most domestic processors do not have the quality or the marketing knowledge to access the international markets. The production of various processed milk products is showing a rising trend in India and there lies enormous scope for products like cheese, weaning foods, yogurt, lactose, caseinates etc.

Inadequate Use Of Modern Milk Collection, Processing And Packing Technologies

Technologies for primary processing viz. refrigerated chilling centres, compact milk chilling units etc. are available in the country, though not much in use. The processing of liquid milk is largely done by pasteurization whereas advanced technologies like Ultra High Temperature (UHT) treatment and aseptic packaging, Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP),  bacteriocin usage, high pressure processing, irradiation, utilization of inherent antimicrobial system in milk (lactoperoxidase, lactoferrin and xanthine oxidase), bactofugation, bactocatch and bactotherm process are yet to be widely used.

Industrialization Of Traditional Indian Dairy Products

The indigenous dairy products are the country's largest selling and most profitable segment and account for half of the milk produced. Numerous intermediate traditional milk products are produced in the Indian villages on a small scale to cater to the requirements of halwais located in the cities and towns from surplus milk produced in excess of daily requirements. The Indian dairy industry must give due attention to modernize the production of traditional dairy products. Modernization will not only help efficient use of fuel and other resources, but also facilitate hygienic production of quality traditional dairy products, having longer shelf-life. Significant headway has been made in the industrial production of traditional sweets including gulabjamun, peda and barfi.

Strategies To Boost Indian Dairy Products Globally

The global opportunities available to the Indian Dairy Industry arise primarily out of availability of a large quantity of competitively priced milk. There being no subsidies in the Indian Dairy sector, India only stands to gain from a fair implementation of WTO. It may be difficult for us to access the markets of developed countries such as the EU, USA and Japan, but India is well situated to supply the milk deficit regions of South and South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. There is also a large expatriate Indian population in the Middle East who recognizes and prefers Indian brands. India, as a member of the world trade organization, it has become obligatory for India to apply sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures while producing, processing and marketing milk and milk products. Therefore intensive efforts are needed to meet the WTO's SPS and Technical Barriers of Trade (TBT) agreements and Codex Alimentarius Commission guidelines on quality and safety.

Improvement Of Raw Milk Quality

Milk quality is not an option, it’s an obligation. Management of milk quality is most important factor in dairying today. Clean milk production is a resultant of totally integrated approach starting from the village level to the market with cold chain management at every step of handling, processing and transportation. The long term prosperity of dairying depends on the quality commitment of all individuals involved in taking milk from the cow and delivery it to the table. Apart from this, our dairying is facing threat /menace from the adulterants and contaminants. We have to impose strict standards for adulterants, contaminants and microbiological counts and set up an infrastructure of bulk coolers and insulated tankers at village level to preserve the integrity of milk after milking. There has to be a significant improvement in the veterinary care services and also proper documentation of disease control to enable verification by international agencies.

Organic Dairying

Due to the media and communication explosion and the effect of globalization, markets all over the world are going through a phase of metamorphosis. Today, consumers have become quite concerned about health issues and are taking a great interest in food matters. The controversies such as genetically modified food, pesticide and drug residues, allergens etc. have been creating widespread scare amongst the consumers. These concerns are leading to introductions and popularization of organic foods and the dairy sector is no exception. Converting to organic production may be far easier for Indian farmers in comparison to their European counterparts where conventional production has reached to a very high level of input dependence. The low external inputs based Indian dairy sector has better opportunities to convert to organic production since majority of Indian farmers are organic farmers not by choice but by default.

Complete Utilization Of All Milk Constituents In The Processing Industry

Half of the total milk solids goes into the whey during manufacture of cheese, paneer, channa etc, and the same is drained into the gutter by the manufacturers except for a few who convert the same into lactose or WPC. The same is observed in case of sweet butter-milk during butter-making. In this context, utilization of milk constituents in the food chain assumes importance.

India can truly aspire to not only become the leading global dairy player but to also use dairying to substantially eradicate poverty at village level. If the dairy industry does not rise to the global challenges, then the gains of the last three decades may be wiped out in a very short time.

The invariable growth of milk production in India has made its position envious to the other nations. The proper utilization of milk in the right product and direction will definitely be helpful in realizing the growth potential of dairy industry. A more systematic approach to process innovation, quality assurance and shelf life improvements for the indigenous and western dairy products is needed. More energy efficient systems and introduction of some of the continuous processes for the production of traditional products can make this sector more healthy and strong in the near future.

Akshay Sadana
Posted Date : 31/03/2015 Posted By : Admin