LAHORE - Pakistan Dairy Association (PDA) Chairman Anjum Saleem has said that the use of packaged milk must be encouraged and promoted at every level to keep the people healthy.

“It is our responsibility to feed our children with safe and healthy milk,” Highlighting the importance of wholesome milk and how the PDA members were trying to ensure the supply of pure milk to consumers, he claimed all milk processors conduct 25 to 32 tests on milk after its collection from farms and if a doubt about its quality arose at any stage, the whole batch was discarded.

“Milk is highly vulnerable to contamination and quality degradation that can occur during collection, transportation, storage and retailing at shops. However, the packaged milk value chain eliminates these risks through quality checks that are conducted at various levels. The aseptic processing technology, including the UHT process, eliminates bacteria and other impurities without the loss of essential nutrients,” he added.

Anjum asserted that packaged milk did not need chemical treatment because of its six-layer packaging that protects the milk from light, air and oxygen as it became bad and sour when it was exposed to light, air and oxygen that let microorganism form in it. But, he went on saying, the UHT process killed all the bacteria and milk was packed under aseptic conditions in aseptic packaging. No preservatives were added because the packaged milk was sealed to protect against air and light, he said.

Tetra Pak Dairy Category Marketing Manager Sarmad Abbasi said that their unique six-layered packaging ensured that there was no ingress of any contaminants into the package, making it completely safe to consume. He said that packaged milk could be consumed directly from the package without boiling or heating because it went through the UHT process.

Engro Foods Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Manager Dr Nasir said that packaged milk, once opened, was like any other natural product gets susceptible to bacteria, heat and moisture. Therefore, he said, it should be refrigerated and consumed like any other perishable food product was consumed. He said that nutrients were destroyed when milk was boiled at home for several minutes as the heat could never get high enough to kill all the harmful bacteria.