Category Archives: Uncategorized

There’s rocket fuel in my milk!

15 February 2024 | 3 minute read
There’s rocket fuel in my milk!

How much milk is there in your glass of milk? It’s something to think about the next time you pour yourself a glass of this delicious natural goodness.

Milk is a complete food with abundant health benefits. It’s tasty and easily available. Milk is also used to make a wide range of dairy products, and it plays a central role in the confectionary business. Ironically, this robust demand has led dairies and intermediaries to figure out ingenious – and illegal – ways to exploit its commercial potential, placing human health at risk. Adulteration tops the list.

Here’s an interesting fact: did you know that among the many substances used to adulterate milk, there’s one so innocuous that we tend to overlook it? It’s water. Pure milk consists of over 80 per cent water, and adding water to it can significantly increase its volume. For unscrupulous milk producers and suppliers, more milk means more money.

But wouldn’t this kind of adulteration be easy to detect? You’d be amazed at the creative tricks they use to get past the quality checks. Here’s a checklist of substances most widely used to adulterate milk. You might be surprised by what you are actually consuming these days!

* Formalin, hydrogen peroxide, salicylic acid, boric acid and benzoic acid act as preservatives and increase the shelf life of milk. The most commonly used for adulteration are formalin, or embalming fluid, and hydrogen peroxide, or rocket fuel. Formalin, also used as an antiseptic and a disinfectant in other industries, increases the shelf life of milk for transportation over long distances without refrigeration, saving the supplier a considerable sum by cutting electricity costs.

* Urea and melamine are also common adulterants. While urea is used as a fertiliser and in the manufacture of plastics and drugs, melamine is a type of plastic used in the production of adhesives, laminates, paints, flame retardants, paper coating and fertilisers.

Buffalo milk typically contains 3.90 percent protein, which is one reason it is super-healthy. Since urea and melamine are both nitrogen-rich, adding them to milk artificially boosts its protein count during quality checks. This is possible as the tests for protein content measure nitrogen content and correlate the result to protein. Urea is also used as an artificial whitening agent in milk.

* While water and whey are added to milk to increase its volume, sugar (invert sugar syrup) and starch (rice powder) are used as thickening agents to artificially improve its consistency or density. Ammonium sulphate, a chemical fertiliser, has the same effect. Since all these substances enhance the thickness of milk, they are able to beat the purity test! That’s because purity is gauged by a lactometer, which measures the density of milk, correlating it with purity. Ironic, isn’t it?

* Buffalo milk has high fat content, making it rich and creamy. At 7-9 per cent, it is double that of cow’s milk. Not surprisingly, milk producers are literally skimming to fatten their profits. They remove the butterfat in the milk and replace it with vegetable oil.

How safe is your milk? 5 home tests to check for adulteration

06 February 2024 | 4 minute read
How safe is your milk? 5 home tests to check for adulteration

The dairy industry is fraught with challenges to keep the milk you drink clean and safe. The biggest challenge, ironically, is the human factor – the temptation to make bigger profits by using chemical and other additives to enhance volume, texture and taste.

As a result, milk is adulterated at various stages in the supply chain, starting with producers, often down to your local doodh wala. Crafty milk producers and distributors have discovered ways to beat safety tests, leaving consumers to watch out for themselves. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are five tests you can perform at home to check for adulteration. They are super-simple and take only a few minutes each.


Water is the most common adulterant and is used to increase the quantity of milk. While water is not detrimental to health, contaminated water is. Unscrupulous dairy owners and milk suppliers are hardly going to ensure that the water they so generously add is boiled and free of harmful microbes!

How to check for water contamination: Place a drop of milk on a smooth, polished surface. Tilt the surface sharply so that the drop begins to roll down. If it slides slowly and leaves a trail, the milk is pure. A drop of milk with high water content will flow freely and leave almost no trace.


Take three to five teaspoons of milk in a cup. Add a few drops of tincture of iodine to the milk. If it turns blue, it contains starch. Tincture of iodine should be easily available at your local chemist.


Pour a couple of teaspoons of milk into a test tube and add a half teaspoon of soyabean powder to it. Mix thoroughly by shaking. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. Then dip a strip of litmus paper into the mixture and wait for 30 seconds before removing it. If the litmus paper turns blue, the milk is adulterated with urea. Unadulterated milk does not change the colour of litmus paper.


Take 10 ml of milk in a test tube. Shake the contents thoroughly. A thick layer of foam on the surface indicates the presence of detergents and/or surfactants. Pure milk forms only a fine layer of foam due to the agitation.


To detect the presence of glucose/invert sugar in milk, take a Diacetric strip and dip it into milk for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If the strip changes colour, it confirms the presence of glucose. Check with your local medical store for these strips.

Cultivating a happy human-animal bond for positively happy milk!

01 February 2024 | 3 minute read
Cultivating a happy human-animal bond for positively happy milk!

The hand-milking versus machine-milking debate is the dairy version of tradition meets the future. But let’s be clear – while the size of your farm pretty much determines the kind of milking system you use, at the heart of the debate is the question, which system is better?

To arrive at the answer, ask yourself this: which system is all about keeping the cows and buffaloes as happy as can be?
For a cow or buffalo to be milked, its brain must release a hormone called oxytocin into the blood stream. The hormone triggers a phenomenon called ‘letdown’, the release of milk from the milk-producing glands in the udder, into the teats. Oxytocin is released by the suckling action of a calf, or any behavior that mimics it, such as hand-milking. When done correctly, hand-milking can be very relaxing for the animal, a mood necessary for the release of oxytocin.

Amazingly, the release of this critical hormone can also become a learned response, that is, it can be triggered by anything that reminds the animal of the ‘happy experience of being milked’. Hence the sight of the milker walking towards it, or being walked to the milk parlour, assuming that milking has been a pleasant experience, can also cause the animal to release its milk.

Cows and buffaloes are sensitive to stress, and anything that triggers a stress response in the animal will block the release of oxytocin. Alternatively, the animal releases stress hormones such as adrenalin or cortisol into the bloodstream.

Research reveals that cows and buffaloes are happier being milked by hand as it strengthens the age-old human-animal bond.

In India, professional milkers of the Gowala community play an important role, not only in society but also on dairy farms. They start the milking ritual by sanitising their hands before they wash the cow’s udder and teats.

Next, they oil the teats, so that the milking action does not cause friction and soreness. This pleasant experie­nce also triggers the release of oxytocin.The milker then squirts three to five streams of ‘foremilk’ into a cup before they start the actual milking process.

Studies have shown that machine milking tends to be stressful for the animals. The sight of a rotary milking system can be daunting, causing the animal to withhold its milk. Moreover, machines can result in overmilking and teat-end trauma if not operated properly. Excessive vacuum pressure, leaving milking units on too long, failure to disinfect units between animals, and detaching the unit with the vacuum still present are some ways in which machine milking can be harmful to the animal. Mechanised milking systems are also expensive, apart from consuming a significant amount of electricity. They need plenty of water to be cleaned or else the milk will spoil.

Cultivating A Happy Human-Animal Bond for Positively Happy Milk!

Large, industrial-scale dairy farms have no choice but to use these mechanised systems as there wouldn’t be enough hands to milk the animals. Micro-dairies, on the other hand, are ideally suited to hand-milking as these farms raise only a limited number of animals, each one being nurtured with love and care.

At the end of the day, a happy buffalo yields happy milk, the best kind of milk you can drink!

5 reasons you should give your family buffalo milk

29 January 2024 | 4 minute read
5 reasons you should give your family buffalo milk

Buffalo milk is not just your average drink but a delicious elixir loaded with plenty of perks. While its nutritional goodness makes it excellent for health, unlike many other healthy foods, this one’s tasty too.

And the more palatable the milk, the more likely it is you’ll drink it. It’s as if nature has conspired to make you consume this complete food. The other popular types of milk consumed in India are cow’s milk and goat’s milk. Why should you opt for buffalo milk? Let’s find out:

Palate PleaserPalate Pleaser

Rich, creamy and a party in your mouth – buffalo milk isn’t just a nutritional powerhouse; it’s got that yummy factor too! It gets its rich taste from its high fat content (7.06% versus 4.90% in cow’s milk) and creamy quality mainly from its relatively low water content (83% versus 89% in cow’s milk).

5 Reasons You Should Give Your Family Buffalo Milk

A Fat BonusA Fat Bonus

Buffalo milk has another extra edge – although higher on fat than cow’s milk, it is low on cholesterol, which makes it excellent for heart health. Some studies have shown that it can in fact lower cholesterol levels due to the presence of healthy, omega-3 and omega-6, fatty acids.

Bone BoosterBone Booster

This one’s a no-brainer. Buffalo milk is an abundant source of calcium, a crucial mineral for maintaining strong and healthy bones. It also contains significant levels of phosphorus and magnesium as well as copper, manganese and zinc, essential nutrients that contribute to bone density. When consumed consistently, buffalo milk can also prevent the onset of bone-related ailments such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

A Hearty FoodA Hearty Food

Buffalo milk helps keep your heart in good working order. It contains Vitamin B12, which lowers the risk of cardiac arrest and stroke. Its high calcium and potassium concentration reduces the risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which means it dilates the blood vessels and ensures easy blood flow. Potassium can also prevent other coronary complications such a hardening of the arteries, which in turn improves heart health.

Helps Bulk UpHelps Bulk Up

Buffalo milk is high on protein, which is crucial for the growth and repair of muscle tissue. It also contains all the amino acids the body needs, further strengthening muscles. This makes it an excellent choice for children as their bodies are constantly growing, and for adults looking to bulk up muscle mass.