Friday, December 18, 2009

DAIRY PRODUCTS-INDIAN DEVELOPMENTS


Though the "operation flood" program or the so called "white revolution" pioneered by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) during seventies and sixties of last millennium pushed India to the top of the milk producing nations, the dairy industry has been more or less confined to handling fluid milk through various cooperative milk federations at the state level. Value added products have been far and few, restricted to butter, ghee, flavored milk beverages, ice cream, evaporated and condensed milk till recently. Of course there are some other low volume products, again pioneered mostly by NDDB, like Canned Gulab Jamun, Processed Cheese, Shrikand, Canned Rasagolla and others. In contrast the unorganized sector has been concentrating on three main semi-finished products viz Paneer, Khoa and Chaana, derived from fresh milk, prepared on a cottage scale and sold through local markets. These intermediate products are essential in making many Paneer based dish and hundreds of milk based sweetmeats by the unorganized sector and they usually have very limited shelf life.

Why the above important traditional milk products could not be brought into the main stream industry still remains a mystery, though one of the reasons could be lack of sustained R & D inputs for stabilizing their keeping quality and in designing appropriate and cost effective equipment for increasing productivity without adversely affecting the sensory attributes. Using conventional vacuum evaporators, roller driers and latest high tech scraped surface evaporators, Khoa has been made but its acceptability to the sweet meat makers and consumers was very low, especially with regard to flavor and texture. Many studies in the past have brought out the unhygienic and unclean way these products are made in open kettles, wrapped for marketing and traded in the local markets. Nothing much seems to have changed this reality during the last three decades.

Yogurt or more popularly known in India as Curd, a product universally claimed as a probiotic food world over is produced to a very limited extent in India and here again the milk federations have taken the lead to pack them under refrigerated conditions in polyethylene pillow pouches with limited shelf life. Refrigerated Yogurt in plastic tubs, produced using specialized Lactic cultures having thick consistency, is also available in some niche markets. The initiative by the Gujarat based Amul cooperative to develop and launch spiced butter milk is one of the most serious attempts to "technologise" a traditional product like "Chaas" but the product promotion and marketing efforts seem to be woefully inadequate with lot of uncertainties in its availability in many parts of the country. In all such endeavors, one can see the basic strength of the dairy industry in developing and manufacturing diversified products but intriguingly volumes refuse to rise in spite of the goodness of these products.

Entry of foreign firms like Elbit of Israel for establishing modern dairy industry in Andhra Pradesh with 10000 imported high yielding cows from New Zealand and diversification by some of the Indian players into traditional milk products like Yogurt give hope that value added products from milk will pick up critical business volumes in the near future. Punjab Milkfed's Verka brand Lassi and Kheer and Parag Dairy's "Fruit & Dahi Fusion" range of yogurts are expected to stir up the market significantly. The reported growth of 49% for Lassi and 97% for Kheer by the Verka brand in the last one year may be an indicator of the potential for their pan India presence. Yogurt and fruit combination using true fruit extracts from Mango, Strawberry, banana, Pineapple etc will be welcomed by the Indian consumer provided the price is right.
V.H.POTTY
http://vhpotty.blogspot.com/
http://foodtechupdates.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Ross Taylor said...

Interesting and informative article. The Indian dairy industry handling the milk from various cooperative state levels. Day by day, the dairy industry improved the milk products. It included some lo value, some high value and restricted products. Value added products have been far and few, restricted to butter, ghee, flavored milk beverages, ice cream, evaporated and condensed milk till. Some low value products like Canned Gulab Jamun, Processed Cheese, Shrikand, Canned Rasagolla and others. Paneer, Khoa and Chaana, derived from fresh milk, prepared on a cottage scale and sold are mostly available in the local market. Yogurt is more popular in India as curd. Company Information