The Supreme Court issued a notice to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) while hearing a plea to prevent milk adulteration in the country on Friday, the LiveLaw reported.
The SC bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice P S Narasimha, and Justice J B Pardiwala was hearing a contempt petition arising from the apex court's 2016 judgement in Swami Achyutanand Tirth vs Union of India case.
"Liberty to implead the FSSAI. Notice shall be issued to FSSAI. Notice shall not be construed as a notice of contempt and is intended to ensure that FSSAI exercises its statutory power to implement the court's directions. Keep it after two weeks." the court said while hearing the contempt petition, according to the report.
In the 2016 judgement, the court had directed for implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and issued specific directions to curb adulteration and sale of adulterated and synthetic milk in different parts of the country.
How milk is adulterated?
Substances like urea, detergent, refined oil, formalin, ammonium sulphate, boric acid, caustic soda, benzoic acid, salicylic acid, hydrogen peroxide, sugars and melamine are most commonly used to adulterate milk.
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Common methods to detect adulterated milk at home:
1) Table sugar adds to the carbohydrate content and increases the density of the milk. Glucose may also be added to adulterate milk. Water is added in such milk to pass the lactometer test.
How to detect: One can detect sugar and glucose by using diacetric strip. If the strip changes colour when dipped into the milk for a duration of 30 seconds to 1 minute then the sample of milk is adulterated.
To detect presence of water in milk, put a drop of milk on a polished slanting surface. If the milk is in its pure form then it flows slowly and leaves a white trail behind it. Milk mixed with water will flow immediately without any trail.
2) Starch is generally added to milk to increase its solid content.
How to detect: One can detect starch in milk by adding Iodine or Iodine solution. If the mixture forms blue colour then starch is present in milk.
3) Urea is added to the milk to increase its fat content. Urea makes the milk look thick and pure.
How to detect: Mix a teaspoon of arhar powder or soyabean with the same quantity of milk and shake it thoroughly. Keep the mixture for five minutes and then dip a red litmus paper in it for 30 seconds. If the paper turns blue, then it indicates presence of urea in the milk.
One can also check presence of Urea in milk by using Urease strips which can also tell the quantity of urea in milk.
5) Detergents and soap
Often, soap or detergent may be added to milk which leads to critical stomach and kidneys infections. Synthetic milk is often made by adding colour water paint, oils, alkali, urea and detergent.
How to detect: Mix equal amount of milk and water and shake it for sometime. If lather appears after shaking it indicates presence of detergent.
Synthetic milk also may leave a bitter after taste, and give a soapy feeling on rubbing between the fingers. On heating such milk turns yellow.