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Ethnic Dairy Delicacies Expand Consumer Choice

Source: Dairy Outlook Forum of Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN)


I have received a review copy of the recently published handbook on Technology of Indian Milk Products (see
press release below). I read it last night before I left the office and found that my stomach was in a knot all the way home through the Rome traffic, thinking about the delicious Indian desserts described and illustrated in the book. In fact, as I write this after lunch, I would happily settle down with a portion of the Indian sweets described.

Anyway, enough of dreaming,
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a comprehensive guide to the Indian dairy products sector: characteristics, regulations and processing techniques. There are also very useful sections on the Indian dairy market, including statistics, and on the main dairy processors and equipment manufacturers - I especially liked a picture showing the product range of "Britannia" which recently entered into a joint venture with Fonterra: perhaps we will shortly be seeing some of the Fonterra products being marketed under the Britannia brand?

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in doing business with India.

Michael Griffin
Dairy Outlook Forum of Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN)


Press Release:

Indian Experience Documented in New Handbook

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 Indian ethnic milk products is 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 traditional 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 products 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 detailed in the first-of-its-kind handbook on the "Technology of Indian Milk Products". Exploring the scope of large-scale manufacture of ethnic 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 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 specialities 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 the he would like to buy. He is demanding fresh flavours 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.

Topics covered include: Principles of processing that deal with composition and process characteristics of raw milk, including its hygienic handling and recommended practices; basic commercial and technical information on ingredients used in product formulations; process development including production planning and implementation that is supported with more than 50 flow diagrams, mass-balance charts and list of equipment required and various technical aspects of packaging.

The technology of as many as 50 ethnic Indian dairy delicacies is presented, grouped under the following five major headings: o Desiccated semi-solid milk products; o Coagulated cheese-like products; o Fermented/cultured yogurt-like products; o Fat-rich butter-oil-like products; and, o Milk rice-pudding-like desserts and puddings.

Different management systems for product quality and food safety such as ISO and HACCP have been dealt with at length. These aspects are becoming increasingly important to win consumer confidence in domestic and export market. Nutrition and health aspects of these products are also discussed in a separate chapter.

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 and personnel, 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, dairy R&D 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 combine it with new processes, technologies and modern management. It is bringing about a new approach in producing quality dairy products.



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Indian Dairy Market
"There are also very useful sections on the Indian dairy market, including statistics".
- Mr Michael Griffin, FAO Commodity Specialist
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