Does Milma add harmful chemicals to extend the shelf life of its milk packets? No, know the truth… 

Consumer Misinformation Consumer Safety Fact Check False

Milma distributes pasteurized milk in the market which does not contain any type of chemicals

Milk and milk products are part of the daily diet all over the world. As it is not possible for everyone to raise a cow for milk, the only option is to depend on the packaged milk. Many state governments in India operate dairies. Examples of such dairies are Mother Dairy in Delhi, Vijay Dairy in Telangana, Nandini in Karnataka, Amul in Gujarat, etc. Many people purchase government dairy products due to their reputation for reliability. Milma Milk Corporation, owned by the state government, is the primary milk distributor in Kerala. However, a circulating video alleges that Milma mixes chemicals in its milk to prolong its shelf life. 

A widely circulating video in the Malayalam language on various social media platforms claims that a pack of Milma milk, stored in the refrigerator and boiled after ten days, remains unchanged. The video also asserts that even milk distributed by Milma, a government agency, cannot be trusted, as it allegedly contains high quantities of chemicals to maintain freshness even after ten days.

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However, upon investigation of the video, Fact Crescendo found that the claim is baseless, misleading and false. 

Fact Check

When we searched more about the video, found that it first appeared on an online channel named Karma News Malayalam. We reached out to Karma News Editorial for more details and here’s their response: “The consumer send the video to our news studio along with the recording of his conversation with Milma authorities. Then we did a story on it. We have nothing to explain more about this video.”

Fact Crescendo reached to an approved lab run by Food Safety Department to find out the reason why Milma milk packet, which comes in the market with a shelf life of three days did not get spoiled even after 11 days. Their explanation was as follows: “The milk undergoes pasteurization before reaching the market. During this process, the milk is heated to 72 degrees Celsius and then cooled to 5-0 degrees Celsius. Pasteurized milk can be stored for 10 to 12 days in a tightly chilled atmosphere because it does not contain spoilage bacteria. Milk consists of 85% water, with the remaining solid part mostly being protein, making it susceptible to spoilage if not properly stored.”

Then we reached out to the headquarters of Milma in Thiruvananthapuram district to find out what Milma officials had to say. Murugan VS , Head, Marketing and Quality Check, Milma, clarified that: “Milma milk maintains its quality due to pasteurization, a process that eliminates microorganisms that cause milk to spoil. This involves heating the milk to 72-75 degrees Celsius and then cooling it down, effectively neutralizing harmful bacteria while keeping beneficial ones dormant. Milma exclusively distributes pasteurized milk in the market.

Consumers store milk packets in various conditions, some in the freezer, others on the normal refrigerator shelf, and some even in water. In a freezer, Milma milk can maintain its quality for 10-12 days. However, we cannot guarantee this shelf life to all customers due to varying storage conditions. Boiling the milk after this period will alter its smell and texture, similar to what happens with meat, fish, or vegetables stored in the refrigerator for extended periods.

As a government initiative, Milma doesn’t resort to adding chemicals to extend product shelf life, unlike some private companies. Milma sources milk from a consortium of dairy cooperatives involving around eight lakh milk farmers. Our milk undergoes pasteurization, skimming, and homogenization at our plants before reaching the market. All purchases for Milma are transparent and subject to strict oversight, making it impossible for any unauthorized chemicals to be introduced into our products.

We have addressed the allegations raised in the circulating video, which only focuses on a single milk packet. It’s important to note that milk stored at room temperature should be consumed within 24 hours. Milma products are approved by FSSAI, and we have lodged a complaint against online media platforms spreading false and misleading information about Milma.”

Then we contacted the headquarters of FSSAI and the office of the Food Safety Commissioner, who also clarified that Milma milk packs get approved for marketing only after quality checks at regular intervals by FSSAI approved labs and no harmful chemicals or other elements have been detected in Milma milk packs.

According to government regulations, every milk sample must contain a specified amount of SNF (Solid-Not-Fat). Milk production typically increases during the rainy season and decreases in summer. Surplus milk collected during the rainy season is converted into powder form. The quality of milk is assessed daily before packaging to ensure it meets standards, and milk powder is added as necessary to regulate SNF levels. Stringent measures for cleanliness and hygiene are adhered to throughout the process.

Our investigation confirms that Milma does not use any chemicals as preservatives. The extended shelf life of the milk packet featured in the viral video can be attributed to it being stored deep frozen.

Conclusion

Fact Crescendo found the claim made in the viral video is False. Milma does not add any chemicals to preserve milk packets. Milk packets distributed by Milma are pasteurized and it does not contain any spoilage bacteria but milk will spoil for sure within 24 hours if it is stored in normal temperature. But, it will remain fresh for 10-12 days if stored in deep freezer. 

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Title:Does Milma add harmful chemicals to extend the shelf life of its milk packets? No, know the truth…

Fact Check By: Deepa M 

Result: False

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