Not so long ago, Supreme Court asked the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore (UVAS) and the Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) to conduct an analysis of all packaged milk available in Punjab. This was done following a petition against the government of Punjab for not banning unhealthy milk products.
The Supreme Court eventually made a decision based on the reports submitted by these evaluation authorities. However, the public still did not receive the detailed reports on which milk products were banned and which ones passed the testing phase.
PCSIR’s report has now been released to the public as well and the complete list of all companies and their milk products, which are healthy for consumption, are now in the public domain.
The Tested Samples
This report states that only six UHT (Ultra Heat Treatment) or pasteurised milk brands out the tested sixteen, are fit for consumption.
PCSIR conducted analysis of total 16 brands based on following categories:
- 06 UHT milk samples
- 10 samples of pasteurized milk
Note: UHT is heat treated milk which preservatives, comes in “cardboard” cartons and can be kept at room temperature for long amounts of time, while pasteurised milk needs to be refrigerated and expires after a couple of days.
Safe & Healthy Milk Brands
The milk brands which passed the testing are six in total. 5 of them belong to the UHT category while only one belongs to the more natural pasteurised category.
- Nestle Milk Pack
- Day Fresh
- Good Milk
- Nurpur Original
- Prema Milk
Unsafe & Dangerous Milk Brands
The other tested brands which failed to pass the evaluation and were deemed dangerous to the health are listed below. One belongs to the UHT packaged milk category while the rest belong to the pasteurised milk category.
- Haleeb Full Cream (Formalin and Cane Sugar traces found)
- Anhaar Milk
- Daily Dairy
- Doce Milk
- Gourmet Milk
- Nurpur Milk
- Nutrivo Milk
- Al-Fajar Milk
- Achaa Milk
- Adams Milk
All of the above failed in the microbiological parameters.
The following 27 parameters were considered by the PCSIR when testing the samples:
- Total Solids
- Starch and boric acid
- Total Coliforms
- Antibiotic Residues
- Total Protein
- Total Bacterial Count
- Solid Not Fat
- Fatty Acid Profile
- Fecal Coliforms
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cane sugar
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
- Total Fat
Quality Control Certification for Milk
Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) has the authority to monitor the quality of products in the Compulsory Certification Mark Scheme.
The Packaged Liquid Milk was not included in the mandatory list of PSQCA. However, after the uproar in the print and electronic media and the Supreme Court’s decision regarding unhealthy milk, Packaged Liquid Milk PSS: 5344-2016 has now been included in the mandatory list of PSQCA.
Following the inclusion of milk in the quality control list, PSQCA will be responsible to control and monitor the quality of packaged liquid milk. Therefore, PSQCA has begun working with milk manufacturers in the Certification Marks license regime.
Let’s hope that the authorities can do a better job pulling these milk brands out of the market until they refine and improve their standards and that such quality is ensured and it doesn’t become a one-time instance with no follow-up.