November 26th is celebrated as National Milk Day– all over India. It marks the birthdate of Dr. Verghese Kurien. Announced a couple of years earlier, this decision was unanimously taken by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Indian Dairy Association (IDA), Gujarat’s Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) to commemorate the birth anniversary of the veteran Dr. Kurien.
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Know all about the man behind it all- whose birthday we celebrate it as National Milk Day. Famously known as the “Father of the White Revolution” – he spearheaded the extremely successful “One Billion Litre Idea- Operation Flood”- world’s biggest agricultural development programmme. This Operation took India from being a milk-deficient nation to becoming the world’s largest milk producing country. He was the founding chairman of the Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation and was behind the success of the famous Amul dairy brand in India. He created an upstream supply chain by which various co-operative stores were formed which would collect milk from the farmers twice a day. These were then transferred to the Milk Chiller Unit on the same day and later to the pasteurizing unit and cooling and packaging unit. This was then delivered to the wholesale distributor- and the retailers next and finally the consumers received it. Impressed with this pattern formed at Anand-Gujarat- the then Prime Minister Dr.Lal Bahadur Shastri asked Dr.Kurien to replicate the model across the country and thus the herculean task- Operation Flood began.
The practice of regularly consuming milk by humans started as early as Neolithic Revolution. Initially the domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, goat etc were used only for their meat- but later consumption of the milk soon started. By 14th century AD- cows’ milk gained more popularity than sheep milk and dairy cows were brought from Europe to North America by early 1600s. Louis Pasteur invented the concept of pasteurization for the first time in 1862 and it is considered a milestone in the dairy industry- with regard to preservation and safe consumption of milk.
Classification of Milk:
- Whole Milk
- Partly Skimmed Milk/Toned Milk
- Skimmed milk
- Unpasteurized milk
- Evaporated Milk
- Condensed Milk
- Powdered Milk
- Organic Milk
- Filtered Milk
- UHT Milk
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Whole Milk: Milk from which no constituent- such as fat or water has been removed. Usually known as Full Fat/Full Cream Milk- this is a preferred ingredient in making desserts for adding richness and taste to it.
Partly Skimmed/Toned Milk: This method reduces the fat content present (Single Toned- 3%, Double Toned – 1.5%) and increases the quantity of the available milk and tones up the non fat solids level to the original amount. This is the most widely used milk distributed in all households.
Skimmed Milk: Here- the entire cream/fat content in the milk is removed making it lighter to consume. It is known to help those with diet restrictions and helps in strengthening the bones.
Buttermilk: This is prepared by the remaining liquid left after churning out the butter from the cream.
Raw Milk: The milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. While there are conflicting reports suggesting better taste of raw milk- medical reports have suggested that unpasteurized milk is dangerous to consume owing to the pathogenic bacteria present in it.
Evaporated Milk: It is a canned milk product where in almost 60% of the water is removed from the fresh milk. It is ideally used for baked goods.
Condensed Milk: It is prepared by condensing milk to almost one third its original quantity and adding sugar to the same. This milk is very thick and is bottled in cans. It is ideally prepared in most of the homes to make sweets.
Powdered Milk: Evaporated milk is heated and dried instantly. Powdered milk is prepared from whole/skimmed milk. They are instant and regular formulas.
Organic Milk: Milk that is obtained from cows that are fed on organically grown crops. They are safe and nutritious.
Filtered Cream: Regular milk that is passed through many filters to remove microbes and appear creamier.
UHT Milk: This is sterilized milk that is heated at ultra-high temperature and stored in sterilized Tetra-Packs. Unopened packs can be stored for several months at room temperature. Open packs are to be emptied in 3 days.
Also read: Essential Immunization Chart for Children
Nutritional content in Milk:
Whole milk contains – 146cal, 8gms of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.
Single Toned milk contains – 59kcal, 3.1gms of fat, 4.7 grams of carbohydrates and 3.1 grams of protein.
Double Toned milk contains – 47kcal, 1.5gms of fat, 5.0 grams of carbohydrates and 3.3 grams of protein.
Skimmed milk contains – 86kcal, 0 gms of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.
Boiling Milk- the Right Way
Milk- that is packed and delivered at the doorstep needs to be boiled/heated the right away- else we could be killing the nutrients unintentionally. Milk should always be heated slowly and gently. Excess heating will cause a burnt odour to stick to the milk- rendering it tasteless. Also- by doing so- a protein film would be formed on the top of the milk.
Reports suggest that most of the households heat and reheat the milk several times in a day at high temperatures- thus killing the essential nutrients. Vitamins B1, B2, B12 are lost in addition to proteins by over-heating.
Experts suggest that milk bought in packets are already pasteurized- hence they need to be boiled at 100 degree Celsius for less than 6 to 8minutes. Also- stirring the milk while boiling is considered essential. Thus- to avoid the heating and killing of germs- UHT milk or milk sold in tetra packs are advised- where extreme heating is already done for sterilization and gentle warming is sufficient to consume the milk.
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