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DAIRY PRODUCTS

FSSAI operationalises stds for camel milk; Traders can obtain licences
Saturday, 03 December, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Pushkar Oak, Mumbai
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has operationalised standards for camel milk. The move will grant access to traders to obtain licences under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.  
The direction stated, “The standards are at the final draft stage, and the final notification of the same would take a significant time for publication. Considering the fact that several food business operators (FBOs) have started producing camel milk and in order to facilitate trade, FSSAI has operationalised the standards for camel milk (as enclosed) with immediate effect.”

It added that FBOs should ensure that they comply with the standards below:

In the (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, in regulations 2.1 relating to dairy products and analogues in the sub-regulation  2.1.1, in the table:

Class of milk

Designation

Locality

Milk fat            

Minimum per cent milk solids not fat

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

Camel Milk

Raw, pasteurised, boiled, flavoured and sterlised 

All India

3.0

6.5”



Valamjibhai Humbal, chairman, Sarhad Dairy, Gujarat, said, “There were demands from FBOs to reduce fat content to 2.5 per cent. This is because camel milk is not rich in fat content if compared to that of cows, buffaloes or goats. The recent direction issued by FSSAI prescribed three per cent milk fat in camel milk and 6.5 per cent solid-not-fat as standard.”

A year ago, Sarhad Dairy installed its plant near Bhuj for processing camel milk. It also fixed procurement points and collection centres.

“About two years ago, we applied for the government to grant us a loan in this regard. The government of Gujarat assured us that there would be a positive follow-up of standardising camel milk, and finally it is standard food which can be sold. We submitted our consent to Sunil Bakshi, advisor (regulations), FSSAI, who worked hard to get it standardised,” stated Humbal.

FSSAI’s task force on milk and milk products discussed this issue in the meetings held in August 2014, November  2014 and February 2016, which considered data provided by the National Research Centre (NRC) on Camel, Bikaner, and government of Gujarat to include camel's milk into the Food Safety Standards Regulations (FSSR), 2011.

Further, on the request of the task force, the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) carried out statistical analysis of the data pertaining to 2,535 samples of camel milk, provided by NRC, which was further discussed on May 2015. Based on the recommendations, FSSAI framed the standards.

Meanwhile, the move has benefited the traders, who can now procure licences under the Food Safety and Standards Act. It will ensure legal trade of camel milk henceforth.

Several regions of Kutch, north-western Gujarat and some areas in the state of Rajasthan depend on camel milk. It is priced between Rs 30 and Rs 40 per litre, where it is sold. Humbal said, “If processing increases, it could yield a rate of Rs 50 per litre due to its medicinal properties. It can cure respiratory and kidney diseases.”
 
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