The department of Animal Husbandry, dairying and fisheries has implemented Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS) for generating self-employment opportunities in the dairy sector, covering activities such as enhancement of milk production, procurement, preservation, transportation, processing and marketing of milk by providing back ended capital subsidy for bankable projects. The scheme is implemented by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
The major challenges faced by the startup business are the hygiene requirements of the farm and to the gain the farmers trust. Stringent quality control and hygienic measures are required at a dairy farm level to maintain the milk quality. The milk quality is determined by aspects of composition and hygiene of milk. The clean milk production (CMP) involves cleanliness at different phases. The four factors considered in CMP practices: Animal hygiene, milking hygiene, equipment hygiene, and processing hygiene. Requirements of Food safety regulation (FSSAI) as a part of hygiene compliance as per Schedule-4 shall be ensured.
Milk can be contaminated at any point in the milk production process. It is the responsibility of the food business operator (milk producer) to identify these points and implement control measures to protect milk from contamination. Dairy startups need to look into hygiene compliance for overall growth of the organisation.
Animals must have clean teats, udders and adjacent parts (flanks, hindquarters, tails and abdomen) before milking. Housing must be managed to avoid soiling of the animals. Milk from animals that are deemed to show a positive reaction to a Tuberculosis (TB) or Brucellosis test must not be used for human consumption. Milk for human consumption must come from animals that are in good health. Clean animals are more likely to remain disease free and at milking time, are less likely to contaminate the milk with harmful bacteria. When an animal is not in good health and especially where there is a discharge from the genital tract, enteritis with diarrhea and fever or an infection of the udder, the milk must not be used for human consumption. Milk from cows failing a test for Brucella or for TB must not be used for human consumption.
‘Smart ear tag’ with a microprocessor that transmits all kinds of information about the animal shouldused by startups to keep a track on the animalsand enhance traceability.
There should be at least one cubicle per cow, designed to encourage cows to lie in them. Dimensions should be calculated to accommodate the largest cows in the herd. Loose yards should not be overcrowded. For average cows of 600 kg, a bedded area of 6.5sqm and loafing area of 2.5sqm per animal is recommended. As per the recent studies, loose yards are shown to improve the health of the cattle as well as affect the quality of milk. Large dairy industries are using different technique and concepts to enhance healthy and happy milking.
Classical music therapy is practiced by companies as it has shown to improve the health condition of the cattle. The therapy shows increased milk yield and decrease in diseases.
The milking area must be sited and constructed to ensure satisfactory hygienic conditions during milking. The milking area and immediate surroundings must be kept clean. Sufficient clean or potable water must be available in the milking area for the cleaning of soiled teats and udders, equipment, hands, fittings and floors, during and after milking.
In automatic milking systems (AMS) the milking area should be closed off as much as practicable. Positive pressure ventilation may be required to force air away from the milking area. Floors under and adjacent to the AMS should slope away from the milking area. No dung or slurry storage is permitted within close proximity to the AMS.
A good milking technique is essential for the production of safe, raw milk.
Cleaning of teats before milking is important to remove both visible soiling (e.g. faeces, bedding, mud, residual post milking disinfectants) and bacteria which could contaminate the milk. Thorough washing and drying may be followed by wiping with disinfectant impregnated towels or treating with an approved sanitiser, which must be effectively removed before cluster attachment. Teats, udder and adjacent parts must be clean before cluster attachment. Milk from animals showing clinical signs of udder disease must be kept separate and not used for human consumption. Animals producing milk that is unfit for human consumption must be clearly identified. Milking equipment must be kept clean at all times.
Hands must be cleaned before milking and kept clean during milking and milk handling but ideally hand milking is not avoided.
Proper sanitisation of milk cans:
Immediately after emptying of milk can/containers, they should be cleaned as followed:
Cold water rinse and scrubbing with brush and warm detergent (any unperfumed liquid soap will do). Sterilisation (sanitisation) can be done with boiling water or steam or use dairy sanitising solution such as hypochlorite or commercial brand preparations in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Dry cans on a drying rack. Exposure to sunlight will enhance killing off bacteria during drying of cans but contamination due to dust and dirt becomes a concern.
Milk transport from farm to processing area:
BMC (Bulk Milk Coolers) are being used by the dairy industry for quick chilling of milk. Milk chilled on the farm should be transported in milk cans or in bulk tankers to the processing area. Milking pails and utensils should be cleaned and sterilised regularly to avoid contamination. Bulk tankers are insulated, so the milk will remain cold until it reaches the processing factory. Milk should be chilled to less than 5?C as quickly as possible after milking as a part of regulatory compliance.
Milking equipment hygiene:
Equipment must be made from appropriate food-grade material and must be kept clean and in good condition at all times. Immediately after milking, equipment must be cleaned, disinfected and rinsed with potable water. Clean interior surfaces after each milking by either:
Hot circulation cleaning is donewith a warm pre-rinse, a hot re-circulation wash with a sanitizer solution and a final cold rinse. Acidified boiling water cleaning is done with hot acid and water solution.
Pasteurisations and preservation:
At room temperature milk can be stored only for limited duration of 3-4 hours after milking. The shelf life of milk can be extended to 24 hours by chilling to 5°C. Shelf life is further extended to 3-4 days by pasteurisation. By UHT treatments the shelf life is extended to few months.
The main purpose of pasteurisation is to destroy the undesirable and pathogenic microorganisms present in milk and to enhance the keeping quality of milk. HTST pasteurisationat 72°C (161°F) is generally followed. This temperature varies with various factors like initial contamination and so on.
Packaging materials should be in stored in a dry place away from manufacturing areas and should beused in a clean and sanitary manner.Packaging should be carried out in such a way that it avoids contamination of processed products and protects the product against contamination until the product reaches the consumer.
Products should be transported in clean vehicles under appropriate condition and be kept away from other goods. The temperature of the transport vehicle should be maintained at chilled temperature range i.e. 4°C- 5°C.
In addition to the hygiene compliances, dairy startups need to capture the new trends in milk segment. Classification of A1 and A2 milk is getting significance in consumer demand & is based on the nutritional quality of milk. Regular milk contains both A1 and A2 beta-casein, but A2 milk contains only A2 beta-casein.Indian Desi Cows produce A2 Milk. Holstein and Frisians, non-native Indian breeds produce A1 milk. Mostly European and hybrid cows are known to produce A1 milk which contains A1 Beta Casein.
Desi Cow milk only has A2 protein. A2 Milk contains A2 Beta Casein and also contains colostrum like human mother’s milk. Hence, A2 milk is considered more nutritious than A1 milk.
A2 Milk contains high levels of Omega 3 that helps in cleaning cholesterol deposits in blood vessels. The cerebrosides present in A2 milk is known to boost brain power. A2 milk is naturally easy to digest, and cures irritable bowel. It can be consumed by everyone from children to adults, and seniors without any problems. On the contrary, many people are intolerant to the protein in A1 milk.
(The authors are food safety expert and trainerat Safe Foodz Solutions, and a food safety advisor and trainer. They can be reached at email@example.com)