Milk and Nutrition
Milk is also popularly called the complete balanced food. If we are unable to consume food on a particular day and compensate it with a glass of milk, the nutrients that the body ought to receive through solid food can be easily generated by milk itself.
Milk contains all the essential nutrients that our body requires on a daily basis, and hence called the complete balanced food. Mothers give their children a glass of milk first thing in the morning. Milk provides all the essential nutrients to provide healthy bones and muscles to our body.
It strengthens the immune system. Whenever we have cold, we can take a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric added to it. We can easily ward off cold in this way. Milk contains calcium that is very essential for our body. It provides healthy bones and aids in body development.
Milk is a store house of nutrients. Our everyday dose of calcium requirement for the body is met through intake of milk, twice a day. Milk contains essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, riboflavin and proteins. Little children consume milk with nutrient powders.
Many of the essential nutrient powders such as Complain, Bournvita, Boost, etc that rule the market shelves provide that extra energy when we consume them with milk.
Ideally, one or two heaped spoonfuls of these powders are added with milk to give milk that extra flavor and make it delicious to drink. They come in different flavors to attract little taste buds and provide for a good energy stock house in the body.
Milk in Different Forms
Milk is also used for a variety of cooking purposes. Milk is used to prepare milkshakes, sweets such as rasogullas, rasmalais, pudding of carrot, many sweets and savories are prepared by adding milk to them in relative quantities.
Milkshakes are very popular among children and they have the combined nutrient value of milk with the fruits that are added in combination to make it a high energy and high protein drink.
Elders consume milk in other forms such as coffee or tea by mixing milk with coffee/ tea decoctions to make it tastier.
Milk is also available in different flavors at milk parlors that serve both warm and chilled milk in milk packets and sachets / small boxes to increase taste of the milk; they quench thirst and can be had whenever necessity arises.
Many flavors such as strawberry, vanilla, Pista, almonds, etc are available for children and adults to drink and enjoy varieties.
Milk Production Process
Milk is taken from farms where cows are milked to get huge yields of milk. Milk federations of various dairies collect milk by sending their transportation in charge to these farms. Special vans to collect milk are provisioned to maintain the cleanliness of milk.
Right from the farms, the milk is then transported to factories where they are treated. Large containers to store milk in good condition are placed at these factories and it is made sure that milk does not get separated from its fat.
After storing the milk in its ideal condition, several quality checks are performed to check standards and to maintain cleanliness of milk. After performing several quality checks and ensuring good standards of the milk, the milk is then taken forward for processing.
Here, it undergoes process of pasteurization and the milk is toned down before it is sealed into packets for sending out to delivery systems.
These delivery systems then send bulk packets of milk to local milk sellers who further forward them to residents and hotels through a network of milk men. Thus the milk reaches our doorstep every morning.
The milk that we drink has to be tested for its quality and only then should it be consumed. Milk dairies ensure special quality checks before sending it out for delivery.
There are special persons, trained and qualified to test the standards of milk according to the laboratory tests they conduct and based on optimum results, they set the milk standards.
The milk federation works in a close knit network and ensure cleanliness of the milk from cow to customer. Cows are fed with sufficient fodder and grass two times a day. Special machines aid in quick milking of cows to generate yields. Milking is also done almost twice in a day.
After collection of milk and safe transportation to the milk factories, they are stored in huge silos. They are ideally made up of stainless steel.
The milk carrying vans are also made of stainless steel to ensure cleanliness of milk. Earlier, milk vans used to be made of aluminum along with other milk containers. In modern days, these aluminium vessels are replaced by stainless steel vessels since stainless steel has longer shelf life, does not corrode and has good durability.
There have also been many technological developments taking place from time to time when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of milk.
Other Useful Milk Products
From the processing centre, milk is taken to be processed into other milk products such as curds, paneer, butter, ghee, cheese, milk powder, soya milk, etc. Milk offers many products but they too have certain storage conditions like refrigerating them, storing them at certain required temperatures, etc.
Milk that is brought from milk diaries in packets do not last longer than 48 hours, ideally they should be consumed the same day the milk is bought from the shop.
They should be refrigerated in case we need them for later use. Milk diaries and federations use a date stamp and publish it on the milk packets to indicate the expiry date of the milk. Milk bought in packets from the shop or the ones that are delivered at our doorstep should be heated till they boil and a layer forms on the milk.
This way we can be sure of discarding any unwanted bacterial matter present in the milk and its cleanliness can also be ensured. The milk we drink can thus be consumed without any worries.
The most famous milk co-operative unit operating in our country is the AMUL union. It was started by the legendary Varghese Kurien, who formed a union of milk suppliers in Anand, a region in the state of Gujarat and took the milk co-operative unions to form a strong collaboration and undertook different welfare measures.
In this way, the brand of AMUL became a household name and the model adopted in Gujarat for paving a new revolution for milk supply came to be popularly known as ‘White Revolution’. Dr. Varghese Kurien is the main man behind this achievement and it is because of his contribution and great efforts that several governments still adopt his model and have successfully made our nation the largest producer of milk in the whole world.
Amul products are famous worldwide and their products include milk, cheese, ice creams, paneer, bread spreads, curds, ghee, milk powders, chocolates, butter milk, fresh cream etc. All these products are derived from milk and they need to be stored properly in order to retain their freshness.
An Essential Everyday Routine
Milk forms part of our essential daily diet. Any mother would give her children milk first thing in the morning. The day starts with a glass of milk for a majority of the people. As pointed out before, milk contains all the essential nutrients for proper growth and development of the body.
If we don’t drink milk on a daily basis, we tend to become anemic, our hairs start falling, and we lose calcium form our bodies and increase the risk of osteoporosis and other bone related disorders.
Milk supplies all essential and vital nutrients to the body and two glasses of milk per day is quiet essential to maintain good balance of nutrients in our body. Proper storage of milk and taking care of heating it before using it can keep many allergies at bay.
There are many people who suffer from lactose intolerance and get advice form doctors to stay away from dairy products, especially milk. By consuming milk, they may attract several allergic reactions in their body. Such people should find alternatives to compensate for the nutritive value of milk.
They should look into calcium rich foods and other supplements that provide high protein present in milk. Children love milk with their favorite additions like complan and bournvita and nobody really likes to taste it plain without any additions. Milk is thus very important to us and acts as a complete balanced food.
Parvez Arif Choudhury says