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From time immemorial, India's traditional foods with their extraordinary variety and richness have served people's needs for nutrition and sound health. Within this wide range, dairy products from different regions of the country have provided a wide array of sweets and other specialities that are a gourmet's delight. These also meet the needs for proteins and calcium in people's daily diet. The story of Indian mithais is literally of epic proportions.

Although the processes of making sweets have undergone continuous change, the time has now come to integrate traditional methods with modern culinary technology to meet consumer demands for better standardized quality, longer shelf-life and greater convenience.

A socially responsive approach and more purposeful application of scientific and industrial techniques is required to rebuild our age-old practices to ensure the manufacture of indigenous milk products of uniformly high quality.

Various R&D groups in different parts of the country have initiated steps to meet these needs. As a result, better processes, equipment, packaging materials and systems have been developed.

In this scenario, the compilation of a handbook on traditional milk products highlighting the modern techniques that are being developed in different research centres is timely and welcome. It will help the transfer of technology to Indian entrepreneurs keen to apply these to meet the growing demands for our dairy products, both nationally and globally.

Dr (Miss) Amrita Patel, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board, Anand

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 New Economic Opportunities
One new revolution that India has embarked on is the industrial scale production of hitherto handmade traditional milk products. Recent innovations in technology are having a wide-ranging impact on the growth of dairying. These technical advances are creating new economic opportunities par excellence for a range of agribusiness enterprises to expand avenues for enhanced income in India.
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