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Indian Milk Product Go Global

Source: APHCA (Asian Livestock) Bangkok, Thailand, December 27, 2002

The market for traditional dairy products in India exceeds US$10 billion, being the largest and fastest growing segment of the Indian dairy industry. For example, the consumption of 'dahi', plain yogurt-like traditional product, exceeds 5 million tonnes. This quantity is 50 times the amount of all types of yogurts consumed in the United States.

A flourishing market for India's milk sweets is also expanding overseas. In North America alone, its value is estimated at US $500 million among four million South Asians. In Canada, a dairy farmer cooperative has recently set up a pilot plant in New Brunswick for production and marketing of Indian milk delicacies.

In this emerging scenario, one success story has come from India. It is the transformation of production of traditional milk-based sweets, puddings and desserts from an age-old art to an exact science. Some 20 years ago, India's first plant was set up to mass produce some of these milk specialities, using modern technology. These delicacies became a hit with consumers and are now also being exported.

India's experience in mechanizing and modernizing the production of these dairy products is documented in the first-of-its-kind handbook on the "Technology of Indian Milk Products". Exploring the scope for large-scale manufacture of indigenous dairy products, the handbook also highlights opportunities for emerging markets and investment prospects. It aims to serve as a practical guide of recommended practices for the dairy and food industry as well as related scientific and educational institutions.

The book has come at a time when the wave of globalization is changing the ways in which the world is looking at food. The search for new, exotic dairy delicacies is rapidly transforming the profile of today's food market. The consumer is in search of something new and different that would expand the choice of food that he would like to buy. He is demanding fresh flavors to tickle his taste buds to surprise and delight him. One new source to meet this need is the wide range of ethnic dairy delicacies. They provide an exciting opportunity to expand the choice of gourmet dairy delights.

Through this handbook, dairy and food professionals would have access to key technical information such as basic chemistry and functional properties of milk, needed for its processing into traditional milk products. This data is supported with problem-solving tips, processing characteristics, analytical tests, product specifications, labelling information, food safety regulations and the like.

In short, the "Technology of Indian Milk Products" handbook puts together such practical technical data and guidelines, that are useful to dairy technologists, product developers, production managers, manufacturers and suppliers of inputs, services and equipment, consultants to dairy and food industry. It also helps to broaden the technical grasp of ingredients buyers and suppliers, technical sales representatives, research scientists, teachers and students.

India's four distinguished dairy professionals, combining over 100 years of R&D experience, have co-authored this handbook. They are: Dr R.P. Aneja, International Food Consultant and formerly Managing Director, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand; Dr B.N. Mathur, Director, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal; Dr R.C. Chandan, President, Global Technologies Inc, USA, and formerly Associate Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, Michigan State University, USA; and, Mr A.K. Banerjee, Dairy Consultant, Delhi, and formerly Director (Engineering), NDDB and Counsellor (Dairying), Indian Embassy, Belgium.

The legendary Dr V. Kurien, who put India on the world dairy map, has commended the efforts of this book to share the learning experience of the Indian dairy industry for manufacturing ethnical dairy products and to combine it with new processes, technologies and modern management. It is bringing about a new approach in producing quality indigenous dairy products.

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 Expanded Livelihood Options
Beneficiaries of these innovative technologies are India's 70 million milk producers, largely women, who look after cows, as they have done from time immemorial. This group includes a large number from non-farm sector who are landless and have limited livelihood options.
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