Surplus milk production in Karnataka may have been posing a problem of plenty to most milk unions under the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF). However, Mysuru Milk Union, which is laden with a surplus of 3.5 lakh litres of milk every day, is unable to meet the growing demand for KMF’s Goodlife brand of Ultra High Temperature (UHT) processed milk.
KMF’s UHT variants Goodlife and Slim milk, which can be used till 60 days from the date of packaging without refrigeration, are increasingly being preferred by a large number of people in urban centres like Mysuru.
“Mysuru requires around 12,000 to 13,000 litres of UHT processed milk. But we are able to supply only 6,200 to 7,500 litres every day,” said Raghu H.R., the in-charge marketing manager of Mysuru Milk Union.
While Goodlife Long Life Milk comes with 3.5 per cent fat, its Slim Milk variant comes with just 0.5 per cent fat.
“It is sought by not only by the college-going youth and young professionals, who find it convenient to consume milk without boiling, a large number of diet-conscious people and diabetes patients prefer the 99.5 per cent fat-free variant,” said Kumar Hanumaiah, a milk dealer in Bogadi in Mysuru. He added that the supply was pathetically irregular.
Out of stock
Many consumers of KMF’s UHT variant in Mysuru complain that the milk is usually out of stock at supermarkets, departmental stores or at Mysuru Milk Union agents in the city.
Mr. Raghu pointed out that the Mysuru Milk Union does not have a UHT plant to cater to the demand. “We receive about 1,200 to 1,500 litres of UHT milk every day from the UHT plant at Channarayapatna. KMF’s depot in Mysuru receives another 5,000 to 6,000 litres,” he said.
The future of milk
Besides, there was a clear shift in the demand for milk from the regular sachets to UHT milk variants, he said. While the Mysuru Milk Union is unable to market its standard sachet milk, thanks to increased procurement, the Union is, ironically, unable to meet the demand for UHT milk. “Standard sachet milk appears to be a sunset industry. UHT milk is the future,” he added.
However, he expressed hope that the shortfall in the supply will be made good by the UHT plant at Hassan, which is expected to commence production from January 2016.
Have you come across Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk sachets that are puffed? The KMF has warned consumers against purchasing UHT milk sachets that are either puffed or leaking.
Attributing the puffing of UHT milk sachets to improper handling by the distributor, dealer or the consumer, KMF officials said there was no possibility of any faulty sachets being dispatched from the production units. “It (puffing or bloating of the sachets) can happen only due to pinholes during their handling by the distributor, dealer or the consumer,” the official said.
The KMF was responding to a complaint from a dealer in Mysuru that there have been instances of the UHT milk sachets bloating. “Occasionally, we find one sachet in a carton of 20 sachets bloated,” said Kumar Hanumaiah, a milk dealer in Mysuru.
While normal pasteurisation is carried out by heating the milk at 75 degrees centigrade, a KMF official pointed out that UHT processed milk is pasteurised by heating it up to 137 degrees centigrade for four seconds before cooling it instantly. This will ensure not only retention of all the vitamins and nutrition value of the milk, but provide zero-bacteria product. “Hence, there is no need for boiling,” the official added.
The milk is packed in a six-layer tamper-proof tetra-pack in a state-of-the-art plant that prevents milk from spoilage.
KMF officials also said that complaints of spoilt, leaking or puffed sachets can be sent to the toll free number and e-mail address printed on the sachets.