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Technology of Indian Milk Products

Source: IRMA Network, April-June, 2003

Review by Katar Singh*

Modern technology is considered an engine of economic growth. In many ways, it is a sine qua non of economic development. Many development scholars, notably W. Theodore Schultz, Yujiro Hayami and Vernon W. Ruttan have propounded theories of development, which had modern technology at their core. More recently, Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug has been a crusader for widespread adoption of modern technology in agriculture as a means of eradicating hunger and malnourishment in developing countries. In the Indian context, it is well known that it was the widespread use of modern technology that ushered in the Green Revolution in the mid sixties and the White Revolution in the early eighties. Now it is time for a Quality Revolution in all the sectors of India’s economy, including agriculture and animal husbandry. In India’s dairy sector, this is possible only through widespread adoption of modern technologies for clean milk production, processing, storage, transportation, and marketing of milk and milk products. The book under review,
Technology of Indian Milk Products, is the pioneering effort on the part of its co-authors and its publisher aimed at compiling and collating various pieces of information relating to technologies in use for manufacturing of India’s indigenous milk products and bring out a comprehensive handbook on the subject. They deserve commendation.

The book documents India’s experience in mechanising and modernising the production of traditional milk-based sweets, puddings and desserts. It also explores the scope for large-scale manufacture of ethnic dairy products, while pointing to opportunities for their marketing in emerging national and international markets and prospects for attracting investment. It is designed to serve as a practical guide for manufacturers of milk-based sweets and other products as well as for students, teachers, trainers and researchers interested in the subject.

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 markets. Nutrition and health aspects of these products are also discussed in a separate chapter.

The market for traditional dairy products in India exceeds Rs. 50,000 crore, and it is the largest and fastest growing segment of India’s dairy industry. For example, the consumption of ‘dahi’, a plain yogurt-like traditional product, exceeds 5 million tonnes. This is 50 times the amount of all types of yogurt consumed in the United States.

The credibility of book is fairly high as it is co­authored by India’s four distinguished dairy professionals, who together have over 100 years of R&D experience. Dr. V. Kurien, the architect and the father of world’s biggest dairy development programme, Operation Flood, which ushered in the White Revolution in India and enabled India to emerge as the World’s highest milk producing country, has commended this book.

The book has come at a time when the wave of globalisation ushered in the wake of the new world trade regime launched by the World Trade Organisation 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 s/he would like to buy. S/he is demanding fresh flavours to tickle the taste buds to surprise and delight him/her. 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.

In short, this handbook puts together practical technical data and guidelines that are useful to dairy technologist, product developers, production managers and personnel, manufacturers and suppliers of inputs, services and equipment, consultants to dairy and food industry. It would also help enhance the technical knowledge of buyers and suppliers of various ingredients, technical sales representatives, research scientists, teachers and students, entrepreneurs, and market analysts and the like.

*Mr Singh is the Chairman, India Natural Resource Economics and Management (INREM) Foundation.

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New Economic 
Technical advances for production of traditional milk products are creating new economic opportunities for a range of agribusiness enterprises to expand avenues for enhanced income in rural India. These exciting developments have triggered a revolution that is transforming the socio-economic life of millions of small farmers and landless workers, largely women.
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