Why It Is Important To Know The Source Of The Milk That You Are Drinking?
Sources and Nutritional content
Milk, the first thing you taste after getting into this world. Considered to be a complete nutrition, milk is the pale liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. The first milk of the mother contains colostrum which carries the antibodies from the mother to the child and protects the child from many diseases. Throughout the world, there are more than six billion consumers of milk and milk products. Technically speaking milk is an emulsion within a water-based fluid that contains dissolved carbohydrates and protein aggregates with minerals. Typically milk is been extracted from cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, donkey, horse etc. but mostly cow and buffalo milk is preferred. Milk consists of 85% water, protein, fat, cholesterol, and minerals.
Some research suggest that playing certain kind of music can affect the increase the production of milk by 3 %. Many researchers suggest that calcium when coupled with Vitamin D can not only benefit bones and teeth but can also protect against cancer, diabetes and hypertension. According to another research, mother’s milk changed depending on whether she gave birth to a male or female. The nutrition can change as the male has different requirements than the female. It was also found that poor mothers produced creamy milk for their girls, but well-to-do mothers produced milk with more energy for boys. So not only is human milk different for boys and girls, it also seems to change based on social circumstances. A study in Sweden found that women consuming more than 3 glasses of milk a day had almost twice the mortality over 20 years compared to those women consuming less than one glass a day. Some scientists argue that most adults can’t stomach milk because as we grow the production of enzyme lactase, the chemical that allows to digest lactose, ceases.
Importance of the source
In developed countries such as the USA about 48 million people are infected from foodborne diseases per year. In India the number increases much more as we face more challenges in processing or storage of the dairy product in hygienic condition. Incorrect processing or storage of the milk products can represent a transmission hazard for a large number of pathogens and can cause diseases like brucellosis, listeriosis, tuberculosis, etc.
Most of the Indian consume milk in its raw form. There are some who are of the view that this not might be the right way to consume it. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses. It can seriously affect the health of individuals and is especially dangerous for pregnant ladies, people with weakened immune system and children. Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk at a specifies temperature for a specified time which kills most of the bacteria present but some scientists claim that some of the nutrients might be lost in the pasteurization process. But it is always safe to boil the milk from a hygienic point of view because germs can spread from the milkman or due to an infection in the udder. Mastitis is a disease which causes inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue due to which the white blood cells are released into the mammary glands. The resulting increase in the somatic cell count can cause a decline in potassium and lactoferrin. It also results in decreased casein, the major protein in milk. As most calcium in milk is associated with casein, the disruption of casein synthesis contributes to lowered calcium in milk. Chemical hazards include contaminants and residues of other chemicals that are used or added during the animal production or manufacturing processes, such as veterinary drugs, pesticides etc. In addition, some contaminants may enter the dairy chain during dairy processing and packaging or through deliberate adulteration (e.g. melamine). Growth promoters like rBST, a hormone used to increase milk production may remain in the milk or the meat. Not only basic measures like use of pasteurized milk, avoiding homemade cheese, respecting the cold-chain for milk-based products, etc. should be followed but also other measures in dairy industry like testing for any clinical infections or open wounds is required in workers who come in direct or indirect contact with the milk. The personnel is also required to wear face masks and hair covers and to use hand sanitizers every half hour or at regular intervals.
The aim should be proper utilization of the resources in the efficient management of the dairy products so that the hygiene and the nutrition can be maintained. Government must play its role properly in engaging with all stakeholders to establish national controls and standards, including inspection and surveillance to ensure that the private sector is providing safe product and guidance for the public sector.
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