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The history of Indian Milk Products is perhaps as old as Indian civilisation itself. Even as our ancestors began to domesticate milch animals, they found innovative ways to convert highly perishable milk into more stable and longer lasting milk products. It is a part of Indian culture to revere cows, and Kings of yore often gifted cattle as rewards to their kinsmen. Therefore, it is not surprising that Indians have a deep rooted tradition of using milk and milk products. It is a customary practice to grace Indian ceremonies and functions with ghee, butter and sweets made from mawa (khoa), chhana and chakka.

When we say 'Indian' milk products we tend to distinguish such products from Western milk products such as cheese, yogurt, ice-creams, sweetened condensed milk and butter oil. However, we do have parallels for all such western products in the form of paneer, curd/lassi, kulfi, rabri and ghee. Perhaps, the only major western milk product where it is difficult to draw comparisons is milk powder. In the days following Independence, we have generally concentrated our efforts in encouraging milk production through marketing of liquid milk, either as fresh milk or with the help of recombining milk powder and white butter. This was done for three reasons. Firstly, to encourage consumption of liquid milk since it provides nutrition in a more wholesome manner as compared to milk products. Secondly, as compared to value added milk products, liquid milk has always remained far more affordable. Thirdly, liquid milk has always been in demand for use as a whitener with tea and coffee.

Over the years, efforts at expanding liquid milk availability — through increased milk production — has resulted in per capita availability of liquid milk growing from 107 grams per day in 1970 to a current level of more than 200 grams per day.
The opportunity provided by increased availability of liquid milk can now be used for efficiently manufacturing and marketing Indian milk products with long shelf life. This will help in tapping the potential demand for Indian milk products in both the domestic and foreign markets.

I commend the efforts of Dairy India to combine the learning experiences of the dairy industry in manufacture of Indian milk products with new processes, technologies and modern management. I expect this effort to contribute in bringing about a new approach for offering quality Indian milk products.

Dr V Kurien, Father of White Revolution; Founder-Chairman, National Dairy Development Board; and Chairman, Gujarat Cooperative Milk and Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul)


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 White Revolution-II
"Time has come for the second phase of the White Revolution to focus on the traditional milk products by the application of modern technology for their large-scale production".
- Times Agriculture Journal, Mumbai
   
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