Automotive and farm equipment giant Mahindra & Mahindra is keen to take its agribusiness to the next level. From a mere ₹70 crore from sales in 2010-11, the company expects to close this fiscal with ₹900 crore from sales.
Ashok Sharma, President and Chief Executive of agribusiness, said the company has ambitious plans for the division.
In an interview with BusinessLine, Sharma said the company wants to play a big role in the market, which is spread across the country and has a yearly turnover of ₹20 lakh crore. The company has identified dairy products, pulses and edible oils as key growth areas. Excerpts:
How do you plan to expand your agribusiness further?
In 2009, Mahindra and Mahindra became the top tractor maker in the world. But from 2007 itself, the management was thinking – what is the next level the company could reach. Then it was decided that the company must be present in the whole farming value chain.
It was realised that agriculture was a ₹20-lakh crore annual opportunity, with many under-served areas and lots of quality and consistency challenges. Given Mahindra’s rural connect with farmers due to the tractor business, a separate vertical for agribusiness was created in 2010.
Initially, the company started selling seeds, agriculture chemicals and micro-irrigation systems. About three years back it moved closer to farmers by dealing in horticulture products. Today, it is the largest exporter of grapes and handles 13,000 tonnes, which is mostly exported to Europe. The grapes meet all the European Union-stringent quality and safety norms. The success in the grapes business will be replicated in pulses, edible oils and dairy products.
For better agri-products the company is always interacting with farmers.
How big is the opportunity in the Indian dairy sector?
In the dairy business, the company realised that milk distribution and sale was very unorganised. In the last ten years, the sale of loose milk has fallen from 80 per cent to 70 per cent. It means there is a shift in consumer preferences, and they want milk from organised players.
The all-India milk products market is ₹4-lakh crore. Even the largest player in the market manages to sell only ₹20,000 crore of products per year, which is only five per cent of the market. Rest of the 95 per cent still consist of small players and local sellers.
How is the company going about its milk business?
When the milk is collected from farmers, the quality and fat content in the milk are measured. The process is electronic with no human intervention. Based on these parameters, the remuneration of the farmers is set. The company also ensures that cattle are fed with better, nutritious food so that they give more milk. Once a cow is milked, bacteria start to build-up. Therefore, in order to reduce the bacterial load, the company has provided the farmers with stainless steel cans instead of aluminium cans. It reduces the bacterial load significantly.
The quality of milk is also maintained by chilling the milk at 4 degree Celsius within four hours of milking the animal.
Mahindra has also brought in a tamper-proof packing for milk pouches. If the plastic pouch gets tampered with a syringe, then it will show a blue colour at the site where it is pierced. Milk suppliers sometimes use large syringes to extract milk from the pouch and fill it with water.
The company is it targeting to supply 10,000 litres of milk per day to the consumers in Indore. Once the milk business gets stabilised, curd, Lassi, Ghee and other milk products will be launched.
The agri-product market in India is a large but fragmented market. What strategy has Mahindra adopted?
For pulses, the company is targeting consumers in Mumbai. For edible oil and milk, we are tapping customers in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, respectively. The company wants to establish its brand in one geographical area before moving on to other markets.
For getting the supply chain in order, the company officers are working with pulses farmers in Latur region of Maharashtra and mustard farmers in Kota region of Rajasthan. The best farming practices are being shared with farmers.
Despite strong criticism from various quarters, the state government is determined to allow Gujarat-based SUMUL Milk Dairy in Goa’s dairy business. Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Ramesh Tawadkar in an interview with our senior reporter Soiru Velip said the farmers in the state are upset with the functioning of Goa Dairy, which has failed to provide support to milk producers
Q: Despite of having its own Goa State Co-operative Milk Producers Union, popularly known as Goa Dairy in milk collection sector, why the government felt that SUMUL Dairy should be allowed in the state?
The farmers in the state are upset with the attitudes of Goa Dairy, as it has failed to provide technical support as well as to supply good quality fodder to their animals. Since it is a farmers’ dairy, the government had asked them to take corrective measures to support farmers in order to increase milk production in Goa. However, despite calling the office-bearers of Goa Dairy for discussion with the government, they did not turn up. So, the government had no option but to allow other milk dairy in the interest of the farmers, which will bring about healthy competition and provide ample opportunity to the dairy farmers to choose the agency to sell their milk to the one which would offer them best rate and facilities for their cattle.
Q: You mean to say that the SUMUL Dairy will be the best option for the milk producers in the state?
When Goa Dairy – the only milk dairy of the state – has failed to support the farmers it is prime duty of the government to intervene in the interest of the farmers and the state. Most importantly, the Goa Dairy has not been coordinating with the government. Thus we felt that this kind of attitude not only hampers the efforts of the government to make Goa self-sufficient in milk production but also discourages the farmers of the state. As there is no competition in the milk production sector Goa Dairy has become indolent. Therefore, the government has decided to allow SUMUL Dairy in the state to set up business on experiment basis. If the SUMUL Dairy fails to fulfil the expectation of the farmers, then the government will not hesitate to send it home.
Q: You once alleged that there are rampant irregularities in Goa Dairy. Can you elaborate on it?
One should not forget that today there is a huge demand for milk in Goa. There is a tremendous scope for milk production and marketing in the state. However, as I said earlier, the Goa Dairy has failed to take up the concerns of farmers with the government or resolve them on its own. As far as irregularities are concerned, one could see the Goa Dairy diverting 10,000 litres of milk to neighbouring states, on which the government had been giving support price of about Rs 9 per litre…. the state exchequer was losing Rs 90,000 per day. Besides, the Goa Dairy has been creating financial burden by recruiting unnecessary labourers and other staff.
Q: There are allegations that the government is trying to take revenge on Goa Dairy for political interest. How you would respond to the charges?
These allegations are baseless. There is no motivation from the Goa Dairy to the farmers. The government has given enough time to Goa Dairy to improve its functioning. Unfortunately, it has failed. No one can deny these facts.
Q: Do you mean to say that lethargic attitude of the Goa Dairy resulted in milk production remaining stagnant over the years?
Definitely! The figures on milk collection for the last 10 years throw light on how Goa Dairy has failed in increasing milk production in the state. For example in 2009-10 a daily average milk collection decreased to 35,000 litres. Today, a daily milk collection is 63,000 litres and it is because of the introduction of Sudharit Kamdhenu scheme by the BJP government, with support price on milk up to 40% per litre, and not due to the efforts of Goa Dairy.
Q: What target have you set to increase milk production in the state in future?
With the efforts initiated by the government, I am sure that in next two years the state will see more than 50,000 litres of milk production per day.[NT]
Jayesh Desai, managing director, SUMUL was in Goa for an eight day visit recently with his team comprising of officials, veterinary doctors and workers. The team was busy with visiting villages and trying to assess supply. Here he talks of future operations in the four talukas of Sanguem, Canacona, Sattari and Quepem where SUMUL will procure milk and plans to expand operations to other talukas in future. Desai is a dairy technologist and in the co-operative field for about 35 years. SUMUL will co-exist with Goa Dairy, he says Q: How do you assess your prospects for increasing business in Goa?
I am surprised at the turmoil in the media and dairy community about our entry. It is the reason why I extended my stay from three to eight days. Local resistance is experienced by us in other states wherever we have made first time entry. But it tapers off when dairy farmers work with us and see our transparent manner of functioning. Our rate chart for purchase of raw milk of varying grade, charges for fodder, vet services are there for everybody to see. When SUMUL started marketing milk and milk-based products in Goa, in September 2013, our sale was 8,000 litre per day. Currently it is 30,000 litre per day and growing. I want to stress that although our market is increased the share of Goa Dairy in the total market is not reduced. We have grown at the cost of private players and plan to co-exist with Goa Dairy. We expect to procure milk from at least 40-50 farmers in the talukas where we have received permission to operate.
Q: How do you assess the Goan dairy farmer’s attitude to you and your modern milk production methods?
We found local farmers fearful as they are afraid that we will go away and they will be left high and dry. We are here to stay. We also found farmers keen to learn and interested in the infrastructure that we offer. They want to increase their earnings and that is good sign. They are also happy about the bulk coolers that will be run by women SHGs.
Q: What is your opinion on Goa’s dairy activities?
The Goa government gives lot of incentives for dairy sector. There is incentive for purchase of animal, for milking machine, chaff cutters. No other state with the exception of perhaps Karnataka gives as much as incentives that Goa does. However compared to the incentives milk production is not made a significant improvement. We hope to change that.
Q: How much of investment will you be making in the state?
We will be spending Rs 50 lakh initially for five bulk coolers in five collection centres.. Gradually we will be increasing investment depending on response.
Q: What about quality of SUMUL milk?
The quality of milk everywhere is determined by fat and protein content. It is also determined by purity and no adulteration. Our procurement and process systems are so strong that no adulteration takes place.
Q: What is your outlook for milk price increasing in India?
I see no major price increase for at least a year or two. Due to the success story of our co-operatives production is surged in India and currently we are the number one producer in the world. India is also the world’s largest milk consumer with a small demand supply gap of about two per cent.
Dinshaw’s Dairy Foods Ltd was started in 1933 as a small dairy business. Later it focussed on other dairy products including ice cream. Today, the company has presence in many Indian states. In an email interaction with Anurag More, Zervin Rana, executive director, Dinshaw’s Dairy Foods Ltd, spoke about the company in particular and Indian dairy industry in general. Excerpts:
At what rate is the Indian dairy industry expected to grow by 2020?
Some 11-15 per cent is achievable. With availability of milk improving at 4-6 per cent per year, growth in terms on volume and value is possible.
How will increase in import duty on dairy products affect the domestic market?
For India, dairy exports is 95 per cent SMP only. It will only safeguard interest of bulk SMP manufacturers and sellers. It will also help in keeping raw milk prices stable. However, government should be flexible in changing import duties and maintain fund circulation to keep the prices in check. It’s not good to see profitability get affected on cyclic basis. Consistency is the key. Only then, the dairy industry will grow and flourish.
What are the driving factors for the growth of the sector?
Value-added products like yogurts, flavoured milk etc. in tier II and III towns.
What are the barriers for the growth of the industry?
1. Product innovation is slow. 2. Quality cold chain storing facility in general stores will be critical factors that slow down growth. 3. If raw milk prices are stable, growth becomes long term.
What is the consumption pattern in India?
On an average 300gm/ day would be overall consumption rate. This should increase with deeper penetration in tier II and III towns. Value-added products like dahi and paneer, still have a long way to go.
Tell us about products offered by Dinshaw’s.
Ice cream, packaged milk, paneer, butter, shrikhand, dahi, ghee and SMP. Bakery products have also been launched.
Tell us about your expansion plans.
Another 1 lakh lit per day ice cream plant will be set up in Western Maharashtra in the next two years.
How much will you be raising for the same?
Rs 60-70 crore.
Any plans to launch any new products?
Frozen yogurt and frozen bakery products (R&D going on).
Use of advanced technology in dairy industry in India and global markets improves sustainability, efficiency, and traceability of operations. The dairy market is extremely dynamic and competitive, reflecting rising demand for healthy, nutritious products that meet the needs of people in emerging nations. Dr Peter Martin, VP, business value solutions, Schneider Electric, in an interaction with Nandita Vijay talks about the current scenario in dairy market and way forward. Excerpts:
How have your solutions helped the dairy sector in India?
Schneider’s farm-to-fork solutions help our customers in the dairy industry improve sustainability, efficiency, and traceability of operations. These comprise solutions in milk reception, processing, packaging, warehousing & expedition and delivery to customers.
Such solutions are based in the spheres of energy and sustainability, manufacturing management, power management, supply chain management, and food safety compliance.
Energy and Sustainability Solutions improve the sustainability of the dairy company’s operations and reduce energy bills by 30%. Manufacturing Management Solutions strive for zero waste while increasing flexibility on the client’s plant floor. Power Management Solutions improve safety, availability and flexibility of power during the entire plant life cycle. Supply Chain Management Solutions give full visibility into the client’s value chain, increase end-to-end throughput, and reduce logistics costs. Food Safety Compliance Solutions help the client’s food safety compliance and preserve its brand equity and shareholder value.
Such solutions help customers seize new market as well as profit opportunities based upon zero waste and 100% traceable production.
How receptive are the Indian dairies to adopt these solutions?
Once the dairy companies comprehend the benefits of these offerings, they are most receptive, perceiving them as investments that boost quality and improve production. For example, in energy-sourcing solutions our cost-control options are useful for regulated as well as deregulated energy markets. In energy-efficiency consulting, our experts with specific experience in dairy utilities and process like Clean-in-Place (CIP), pasteuriser, and dryer, find efficiencies in a utility’s operations that reduce and optimise energy and other resource use (water, chemicals, waste, etc.) for all the clients’ facilities around the world.
Given our expertise and its benefits, clients are eager to adopt such solutions once they are aware.
What are the key strengths of your dairy solutions?
The strengths lie in addressing critical dairy industry challenges that cover managing a growing number of SKUs (stock-keeping units). Trace critical control points and detailed genealogy. Improve CIP station efficiency. Improve efficiency of spray dryers by online milk powder quality analysis.
Reduce milk product loss. Decrease specific energy and water usage. Improve the utility’s Coefficient of Performance (COP). Integration machine and process control to synchronise on common standards. Liquid Food Library for Milk Processing application. Batch processing to improve manufacturing efficiency. MES to improve production planning to improve production line efficiency.
Digital recording and traceability in compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, FDA Grade-A PMO (Pasteurised Milk Ordinance) and other global standards. One Click track solution for monitoring the milk quality at Bulk Milk Cooling stations and truck monitoring.
Besides this, by building standard applications using object libraries, Schneider can develop an architecture and application for the specific dairy company that can be reused to duplicate their plant design anywhere in the world. Through an extensive network of local application centres and systems integrators, Schneider offers rapid, cost-effective services and support from experts that are close to the client.
From reception to shipment, clients can be provided with suitable solutions for all their challenges in terms of design, development and production site operation. Building on a thorough understanding of production processes, building utilities and site management, the client’s plant will witness increased performance by enabling team members at every level to work with greater efficiency and confidence.
What is the competition for your company in this space?
After acquisition of Invensys, Schneider Electric is the integrated solution provider in industry. However, for electrical packages, ABB & Siemens are major competitors and for automation package, Siemens & Rockwell Automation are the major competitors.
Globally, how have you captured the dairy market and which are the dairies and countries using the solutions?
In India and globally, the present dairy market is extremely dynamic and competitive, reflecting rising demand for healthy, nutritious products that meet the needs of people in emerging nations. In this scenario, innovation, responsiveness and flexibility are critical for the industry, where growth hinges on the ability to quickly introduce new products, improve existing formulations, and update packaging – while simultaneously striving to curb costs.
Schneider offers sustainable solutions that help clients meet challenges in terms of competitiveness, innovation and food safety, while fully complying with environmental policies. Using the expertise of a network of dairy process experts, Schneider works with clients to develop flexible, optimised solutions that meet local requirements anywhere in the world. Our control systems and electrical distribution solutions cover all process, packaging, utility and building applications, while helping clients make the most of their energy.
To cite an instance, Danone’s Cikarang factory in Indonesia was completed within eight months, from basic design to commissioning. The project was drawn up in accordance with Danone’s Affordable Strategy concept in order to provide affordable long-life products that were easier to produce and had good nutritional content. Schneider Electric offered Danone a complete system to control the entire production line from raw materials reception to the final products. The solution manages the main processes from reception to inoculation.
Similarly, other such initiatives have helped capture the dairy market in different geographies. All the major international dairy players and top Indian dairy customers are using these solutions.
In your opinion, how much would technology drive the growth and revenues for the dairy sector?
In the dairy industry, public health is too important to take any risks. Compliance with standards, quality raw materials and critical point monitoring are all key factors in building and maintaining trust in a brand. Accordingly, it is important to meet traceability requirements set by health and safety authorities. For this, Schneider provides a comprehensive material flow management service specific to the dairy client’s needs that generates a complete genealogy of each batch. This provides a reliable system for tracing all batches affected by an ingredient, production phase or another batch so the client can alert recipients should a problem be discovered at a later stage.
Technology can play a major role in ensuring quality as well as boosting production and profitability. For example, in Plant Management there could be a slew of initiatives to ensure such favourable outcomes by reducing inventories; measuring and lowering product and energy loss; downloading work orders from the ERP system; improving processes online; improving the HACCP system; implementing global production tracking; managing products and materials genealogy; managing process and machine safety; and producing healthy and affordable products.
Clearly, such benefits across the entire value chain via various technology solutions could increase output and outcomes in a major way.
What is the game plan for your company to improve presence in the market?
Schneider is well positioned to offer collaborative platforms to improve a dairy company’s products and performance. Our collaborative platform offers: high-performance tested and approved architectures; transparent integration of equipment; open connectivity with ERP (enterprise resource planning) software tools. Schneider experts and consultants offer to help clients analyse what exists and to define and deploy specific solutions.
Today, the focus globally is on environment-friendly, sustainable operations. Given this scenario, Schneider’s commitment is guided by three key objectives: reducing consumption through active energy-efficiency solutions, promoting renewable energy to achieve cleaner production, and optimising consumption by making eco-design products and equipment more widely available. Many of Schneider’s easy-to-implement solutions can generate substantial energy savings and ensure rapid, quantifiable return on investment.
Each solution is developed through a 3-stage process involving measurement and auditing of energy use, energy optimisation and sustaining the level of performance of a client’s installations. A customised response is provided to suit the client’s requirements and budget, drawing on a range of speed variation, reactive power compensation and control system technologies. Additionally, clients will benefit from end-to-end project support from Schneider’s teams of experts.
Depending upon the dairy company in question and various other allied parameters, Schneider Electric is committed to reducing the energy bill and carbon emissions of its customers by 10 to 30%. Based upon the above comprehensive solutions, Schneider believes it is well placed to increase its presence in the market once there is awareness about these customised solutions that boost a dairy company’s operational efficiency and help build plants at lower costs in lesser time.
In addition to helping dairy companies effectively and efficiently control energy consumption and manage a sustainable operation, Schneider Electric can help to control the raw material, production value and overall operational profitability of dairies through the effective application of real-time controls in all aspects of the production operation. As a global leader in real-time automation and control, we bring the latest, state-of-the-art advance technologies to dairy companies to improve dairy performance.
In the booming food processing sector in India, the dairy segment has been somewhere left behind due to crunch in cold storage capacity. This is evident, especially, with regard to the cheese market whose exponential growth is clipped by lack of adequate cold storages.
R S Sodhi, managing director, GCMMF Ltd (Amul), in a telecon with Pushkar Oak talks about the dairy industry, the challenges that it is facing in view of issues such as poor FDI inflow in cold storages and the underlying benefits in
tackling them. Excerpts:
How is the dairy industry likely to benefit from FDI (foreign direct investment)?
FDI has always shown to have gained better business in developing countries and in India too, it will help in overall improvement in infrastructure and once FDI comes into play, the quality of the products will improve. Food processing sector is one such example. Today FDI has enabled India to have cold chains. There are huge foreign players who are investing in the cold chain mechanism.
How can the dairy industry encash PM’s Make in India campaign?
Make in India campaign is definitely supporting the industry in making business. Government has designed policies to make a favourable environment for foreign players to invest. There are loans offered and advisories set up with Badal, ministry of food processing industries. Foreign or interested businessmen can avail the facility by establishing a dialogue with food processing ministry.
Why the dairy industry does not voice out its issues, when food manufacturers and others are doing so by approaching the government?
What will it help? What will the government do? It has already laid down before people that it will be providing loans to people for opening cold chain. There are several cold chains which exist but the quality is miserable. Our products cannot be assured safety. There, I think, we (dairy industry players), on our own, are setting up cold chains in our own factories and also at certain hubs where we need it.
Are there any long-term plans for Amul to tie up with international companies?
No, no such plans for any of the new advancements. Instead, we have come up with an in-house machinery equipment manufacturing facility of our own at Amul to meet the customised machinery requirements. This facility addresses our machinery issues and develops new machinery too to suit our needs. Our R&D team avails perfect precision through their perfect design and consistent effort. In the above mentioned in-house machinery wing, we have a French solution provider who adds up to our expertise.
Why is it that the northern belt from Punjab to Bihar has cold chain/ storages but such a belt is missing as one moves towards south? What are the reasons?
Most of these cold chains have storages of potatoes rather than any other perishable commodities. The share of perishable commodities is very less. Mostly southern belt only has cold chains in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Rather there are cold chains in other storages which are scattered and may not be there near the dairy processing plants. Dairy processing plants have their own cold storages as they need proper attention to the temperature and humidity and the third party cannot be trusted easily. Thus, dairy processing factories have their own cold storages. Even the southern belt has the same idea when it comes to dairy processing and storage.
What is the solution to increase the cold storages for perishable products?
Where there is market there are cold storages and where processing takes place there are very few cold storages which lead to loss. Thus, cold storages should be developed at the manufacturing hubs or a chain of refrigerated van transport should be established.
But we have to give some time. Fortunately, cold storages are coming up in various areas. Once foreign investments are regular in practice it will give a boost to the development of the cold chains. Even the rate at which the cold chains and storages are developing will be seen rising when foreign investments rise in India. The recent rigorous inspections on safety by government, which is good has resulted foreign investors to hesitate while investing in India.
Many cheese manufacturers complain of procuring low quality milk. What are the quality checks for milk that happen when milk is procured for cheese processing?
We, at Amul, have quality checks at every level. Beginning from the procurement level to the final end-product packaging. Yes, there is a need to get good quality milk into processing cheese. On the procurement stage itself, milk is checked to ensure that the milk procured is of fine quality. Later, we at our manufacturing unit, segregate milk as per market requirements like low fat milk and high fat milk.
The recently-held Global Economic Summit noted, “We have ample production but milk processing rates are only 2% out of whole production.” How can the dairy industry come out of this scenario?
Processing rates are low, as I mentioned earlier with regard to FDI, that the dairies which operate on smaller scale cannot avail benefits of processing. This is primarily due to the lack of investment in the mechanisation which is required in processing. We, at Amul, are investing our own money into setting up of the processing plants. FDI (companies) are not investing their money due to lack of cold chains. And FDI is not investing in cold chains because people are not ready to process the dairy products. A dairy product like cheese can be stored in a cold storage for a six month-long period before it hits the market. It is a vicious cycle which is interdependent for processing and cold chains and both are affected by FDI. Efforts should be made to develop both dairy and cold chains, simultaneously.
How big is the cheese market in India and on what scale is it growing at the global level, where does India stand in consumption, production and exports?
In India, cheese market is growing at a rate of 15 to 20 per cent. The cheese industry accounts to just around Rs 1,000 crore which is a mere contribution and is just negligible if compared globally. Forget about the exports, cheese as a commodity has no chance to stand before the foreign players in terms of quality. It has to even penetrate in Indian markets. The cheese market is still in its stage of infancy.
What is the difference in the milk market with regard to pasteurised milk and unpasteurised milk?
Amul procures milk and has its own pasteurising processes in various plants spread across India. If we see, the two types of milk available, they can be sourced from packaged milk which will be available in pasteurised form while the local cattle breeders have their own local network which can be accounted for a share of 25 per cent even today. Earlier the share of pasteurised milk was only 40 per cent, which increased to 75 per cent in the last two decades.
What is the progress of the dairy parks of Amul in Faridabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Kolkata? What are the various products to be processed?
The dairy plant of Faridabad will be operational in next 20-25 days. The plants of Kanpur and Lucknow will be operational within next six months and one in Kolkata will take a year to be operational. All these plants will have regular processes under the umbrella of brand Amul like cheese, milk, casein (a protein base found in several dairy products) and milk powder.
Which state in India has highest procurement volumes of milk for Amul? How much growth in milk production is visible from these states?
Certainly, Gujarat as we have our hub there and it is one of the largest milk producers. We are procuring large volumes of milk from other states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab. Around 5-6 per cent growth is visible every three years in milk procurement.
Milk which is termed as the elixir of life, is the precursor of various relishing indigenous milk products throughout India that contributes maximum to the GDP of India.
With the current trend of value addition in food products, various research works are done to strengthen the business world in terms of sound marketing and customer care output.
Indigenous milk products have grabbed 50% of the market share in dairy sector with rapid urbanisation that quantitatively enhanced modern marketing. The quality of these products has improved substantially with the arrival of FSSAI. In the current scenario, manufacturers and consumers are in a combative mood to give and take the best product without compromising on quality.
Business economics may be a major concern for launching new and innovative indigenous milk products that may regulate the industry. Whatsoever the trend may be, in India with a predominance of vegan population, indigenous milk products are unparalleled to any food commodity even now. The business world must tap this potential treasure to have greater share in national economy.
The major indigenous milk products that rules the north Indian market are khoa, chhana, paneer, ghee and resultant sweets viz. kalakand, rasgulla, sitabhog, srikhand, sandesh and many more mouthwatering relishing sweets that have been recognised as significant contributors of important nutrients to the human diet. In India, there exist huge varieties of indigenous milk products, specific to the different regions, across the country. Most indigenous milk products are produced and sold loose by local halwais/ mithaiwalas (David, 2013). Several government and private organisations have been conducting research on the mechanised and hygienic production as well as distribution of the indigenous milk products. With the current upward trend in national and international health awareness among the consumers, the demand for functional, herbal, low fat food has increased. This has forced the food industry for launching indigenous dairy products in the market with acceptable sensory characteristics.
Overview – Major Indigenous Milk Products of North India Paneer
Paneer is a popular indigenous variety of soft cheese (David, 2013). Paneer is obtained by acid and heat coagulation of milk. Good quality paneer is characterised by a white colour, sweetish mildly acidic and nutty flavour, spongy body and a close knit structure. Paneer is highly nutritious since it retains about 90% fat and protein, 50% minerals and 10% lactose of the original milk. Paneer is nutritious and wholesome food. It provides one of the methods of conserving, preserving and prolonging shelf life of milk solids in highly concentrated form.
Functional Coconut Paneer
Coconut is an indispensible ingredient in many of the traditional cuisines of Southeast Asian countries including India. Coconut milk and fat is popular for its characteristic nutty flavour and nutritional content. Coconut milk is extracted from freshly grated coconut meat. Fat in coconut is similar to fat in mother’s milk and have similar nutritional effects. Coconut fat helps to maintain a healthy ratio of Omega-6 (w-6) and Omega-3 (w-3) fatty acids, when consumed as a part of a diet. The coconut paneer with 90:10 ratios of buffalo milk and coconut milk was found to be the best among others.
Peanut Paneer Prepared from the Admixture of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Milk and Skimmed Milk
Peanut and Peanut milk products have nutritional benefits because of their extreme richness in protein, minerals and essential fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acids, which are considered to be highly valuable in human nutrition. Being free in cholesterol and lactose, peanut milk is also a suitable food for lactose-intolerant consumers, vegetarians and milk allergy patients. Peanut milk may be produced by soaking and grinding full fat raw peanuts with water to get a slurry, subject to filtration. Many ways of producing peanut milk have been done by various researchers (Benchat and Nail, 2006). Peanut paneer prepared from the admixture of peanut milk and skimmed milk 60:40 ratio is best.
Among the indigenous milk products, Kalakand occupies an important place and found to be attractive product amongst all the classes of consumers. Kalakand is partially desiccated milk product with caramelised flavour and granular texture prepared from acidified milk (David, 2013). The granular mass is fused and held together in loosely compact body. The colour of Kalakand varies from off-white to light caramel colour. Being a whole milk concentrate, Kalakand is a good source of protein, mineral, energy giving fat and lactose. It is 4-6 times more nutritious in terms of per unit weight and calorific value. It can be made by two methods, i.e. from milk or from khoa. Kalakand made from milk slightly differs in respect of its manufacturing process to that of kalakand made from khoa.
Herbal Kalakand using Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is rare and endangered plant and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and it is one of the ingredients in many formulations to increase energy, improve overall health and longevity and prevent disease. Supplementation of Ashwagandha with milk is recommended in treatment of stress-oriented hypertension (Kushwaha et al., 2012). Ashwagandha possesses immune modulatory anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, antioxidant, anticancer properties and having many pharmacologically and medicinally important chemicals, that protect the cells from oxidative damage and disease (Sharma et al., 2011). They are effective in prevention and treatment of different kinds of cancer like colon cancer, lung cancer, blood cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, renal cancer, fibrosarcoma and pancreatic cancer (Singh et al., 2011). Herbal kalakand using 1% Ashwagandha is found to be the best.
Functional Kalakand Fortified with Ash Gourd Pulp
Sensory qualities of Kalakand can be altered by addition of Ash gourd pulp. Ash gourd is loaded with nutrients. It is excellent source of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), good source of vitamin C. It is also rich in many minerals like calcium. Ash gourd is used to treat summer fevers, obesity, because it is low in calories and it prevents conversion of sugar into fats. It also helps in boosting memory and other elements. In Ayurveda, the fruit is used to treat epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma, coughs, urine retention and internal hemorrhage. According to the analysis, Kalakand with 15% Ash gourd pulp is found to be the best for preparation of kalakand.
Low Fat Dietetic Kalakand (Maltodextrin as Fat Replacer)
Maltodextrin is easily digestible carbohydrate made from natural corn starch. The starch is cooked and then acid or enzymes are used to break the starch into smaller polymers. Maltodextrin is defined as a product having dextrose equivalent (DE) less than 20. It is recognised as safe food ingredient. Maltodextrin is excellent solids builder for standard and low fat products. Maltodextrin can be used as a fat replacer (Dorp, 1995), texture modifier and bulking agent in dairy products. It provides only 4 calories/g of food. Kalakand prepared from skim milk and 3% maltodextrin was found to be the best in chemical and organoleptic parameters.
Milk cake is a delicious, mouthwatering dessert .This is a unique cake made with just a few ingredients. (Anonymous, 2011).The milk cake is a very popular sweet in northern and central parts of India. It is prepared traditionally by untrained manufacturer (Karwasara et al., 2001).
Milk cake from admixture of buffalo milk and Chickpea (Cicer aritienum Linnaeus) solids.
Bengal Gram or Chickpea (Cicer aritienum. Linnaeus) is very rich in nutrients, especially in protein content (21%). It has therapeutic value and held high by Ayurvedic sciences. According to the analysis, milk cake with 8% was found to be the best among the three chick pea solids milk cake. Milk cake is a common sweetmeat which can be enriched by addition of chickpea solids.
Shrikhand is one of the important fermented milk products which derives its name from the Sanskrit word Shikharani meaning a curd prepared with added sugar, flavouring agents (saffron), fruits and nuts. It is popular in western parts, especially in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. Shrikhand is known for its high nutritive, characteristic flavour, taste, palatable nature and possible therapeutic value. It is very refreshing particularly during summer months. It can be recommended as health food for specific patients suffering from obesity and cardiovascular disease due to its low fat and sugar contents (Swapna and Chavannavar, 2013). Shrikhand is a semi-soft, sweetish-sour, whole milk product prepared from lactic fermented curd (David, 2013). The curd (dahi) is partially strained through a muslin cloth to remove the whey and thus produce a solid mass called chakka, the basic ingredient for Shrikhand (Singh et. al., 2014).
Herbal Shrikhand prepared with Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Extract
Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae), respectively, named Basil, is an aromatic herb that has been used traditionally as a medicinal herb in the treatment of headaches, coughs, diarrhoea, constipation, warts, worms and kidney malfunctions (Mahajan et al., 2013). The extracts obtained from the plant are extensively brought to use for curing various diseases such as the common cold, inflammation, malaria, heart disease, headaches, stomach disorders, kidney stones, heart disorders, and many more. Herbal shrikhand prepared by incorporating 3% basil extract is found to be the best in organoleptic properties.
Lassi is a ready-to-serve popular and traditional fermented milk beverage of the Indian subcontinent. Good quality Lassi should have creamy consistency, smooth texture, glossy sheen and white colour with yellowish tinge. Milk acidic flavour and sweetish taste of Lassi make it a refreshing soft drink. It is flavoured either with salt or sugar and other condiments or spices like ginger, coriander and mint depending on regional preferences. (Aneja et.al., 2002).
Lassi prepared from skimmed milk blended with coconut milk
Coconut milk and fat is an excellent source for preparation of filled milk, infant formulae and margarine. It is popular for its characteristic nutty flavour and nutritional content. Lassi can have good potential market in India, by making the product more palatable, by reducing the production cost and by encouraging people to make lassi adjunct. Skimmed milk and coconut milk can be satisfactorily blended to prepare lassi – 60:40 ratio was found to be the best. Sandesh
Sandesh is a popular chhana based sweet. Sandesh (meaning “message”) is perhaps the oldest sweetmeat of Bengal where there is a traditional custom to send some Sandesh along with a good message to relative and friends (David, 2013). Steam Sandesh (vapa) is one of the traditional milk products which are still very popular in Bengal. Generally the product is made from cow milk. The sweet is known for its palatability and aroma. It is a good source of milk protein and fat.
Colostrum Steam Sandesh
Colostrums are breast milk produced after the birth of the new born and last for 2-4 days (Kaushik et al., 2002). Colostrums are very important part of breast milk and lays down the immune system and confers the growth factors and other protective factors for the young ones in mammals. This is the source of passive immunity achieved by the mother and is transferred to the baby (Thapa, 2005). Bovine colostrums have been used in many disorders in human beings. Five different types of immunoglulins viz. Ig A, Ig D, Ig E, Ig G and Ig M have been isolated from colostrum. Bovine colostrum contains 8-25%, Ig G whereas human colostrum contain2% IgG. These are protein molecules, which have important role in the body to fight against infection (Davidson et al.,1989).There is a need for utilisation of colostrum to prepare Steam Sandesh as it will enhance the therapeutic value of the product which otherwise go as waste. Steam Sandesh having 50:50 ratio of colostrum and cow-milk was most acceptable.
Sita Bhog is a very popular sweet of West Bengal, especially in Burdwan district. It is dazzling white in colour with moist shining surface. It has a pleasant flavour, soft body and a small noodle like structure. It is prepared from chhana and good quality rice dust in 4:1 ratio (Ghosh ,2009). Special variety of Govind bhog rice gives best flavour and taste to Sita Bhog. Then the mixture of chhana and rice dust was put into the ‘sev’ mould for the preparation of noodles. These noodles are fried in ghee and then soaked into sugar syrup for 2-3 hrs. Then the sugar was drained and Sita Bhog was ready to serve.
Colostrum Sita Bhog
There is a need for utilisation of colostrum as it will enhance the therapeutic value of the product which otherwise go as waste, colostrum may be added with cow milk to get a better Sita Bhog. Sita Bhog having 50:50 ratio of colostrum and cow-milk was most acceptable.
Rasgulla is regarded as the king of Indian milk sweets. It is prepared by kneaded chhana balls under controlled cooking in boiling sugar syrup. Rasgulla is a juicy and spongy sweet meat and prepared from cow and buffalo milk chhana, but good Rasgulla is prepared from cow milk chhana. In appearance, it is snow white, soft and succulent sphere shaped (David, 2013; Tarafder and Prasad 1987).
Whey protein concentrates for Rasgulla manufacture
Whey protein is one of the major proteins found in cow’s milk comprising 20% of total milk protein. Whey protein referred to as a group of individual proteins contains water, lactose, protein, minerals (Calcium, Phosphorous, and Magnesium) and fat. The best known effect of whey protein is its ability to increase lean muscle mass and boost the immune system. Whey protein contains minerals for bone strength, plus essential, semi-essential and non-essential amino acid for tissue formation. Thus Rasgulla was manufactured, 0.5% WPC proved to be the best.
Since time immortal indigenous milk products occupied the heart of Indian masses from grass root level up to top layer of society. Modern advances made these products rather attractive and competitive in the business world. Technical knowhow made quality of the products rather comprehensive to national and international scenario as well. Thus qualities of indigenous milk products are embedded now with utmost care to catch business trend of the market for greater revenue and consumer satisfaction.
(The writer is professor, department of dairy Technology, Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Sciences, Allahabad. He can be contacted at [email protected])
Godrej Agrovet Limited, a subsidiary of Godrej Industries Ltd , hiked its stake in Creamline Dairy Products Ltd (Creamline) by 25 percent and now has controlling stake as it earlier had 26 percent stake in the company. Creamline Dairy operates in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka as well as parts of Maharashtra and has a capacity of nearly seven lakh litre of milk processing a day with revenues of Rs 858 crore for the year-ended March, 2015. The products are sold under the ‘Jersey’ brand. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group, says the deal provides for great synergy as the company is a big player in the animal feeds business. Furthermore, Godrej says the scope for milk-based value added products in India is immense and the company hopes to become a big player in the same.
Below is the verbatim transcript of Adi Godrej’s interview with Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy on CNBC-TV18.
Sonia: I just wanted to understand this Creamline Dairy business. You have gone ahead and hiked stake there, it had revenues of almost Rs 900 crorein FY15. So far how has that business done and what do you have lined up in future for this business?
A: The business is doing well and we think there is tremendous scope of growth. The value added milk business is growing very rapidly in our country and we have had a stake in this company earlier. As we are the largest manufacturers of animal feed in the country, we have a great synergy with this business. We think now that we have acquired a majority stake, we will be able to add tremendous value and have tremendous synergy with our animal feed business and use our knowledge of the consumer products business to enhance the success of this company. Latha: Do we therefore hear from the Godrej’s table more products related to dairy? Do we see you in a few years a big player in the dairy market, dairy products market? A: We certainly hope so and we certainly feel that there is tremendous opportunity.
Sonia: When you say tremendous opportunity what kind of growth are you looking at? If you can put some ballpark numbers to it, is it a 20 percentgrowth or 15 percent growth that you see over the next couple of years?
A: It is difficult to tell at this point of time but I think the growth will be quite considerable. It is too early to tell. We know the company well as we were shareholders but now we will be working extremely strategically on it and work with the current management to see that we put all the inputs from the Godrej Group to take it forward very rapidly.
Latha: Will it be flavoured milk, will it be butter – what kind of dairy products are you thinking of first off?
A: We will look at all opportunities in dairy products. It could be any value added milk product including things like cheese, etc. So, in time we would look at everything. Latha: How much is in time, should we hear it in FY17? A: Yes, possible. It shouldn’t take too long to workout. However, obviously in a company like that, as any FMCG company you go stage-by-stage and you have new products coming in every year.
Sonia: The reason we are probing so much is because the Agrovet business has been showing lack luster growth. Even if you look at quarter gone by, the revenues were flat, the animal feeds revenues has not been growing as well as expected. Will this slowdown continue you think?
A: That is entirely because of the two poor monsoons. As you know, the rural economy has not been doing too well. As soon as the situation in the agricultural economy of the country improves, Godrej Agrovet will get back to its very high growth rate as in the past. However, you know that we have had two bad monsoons.
Latha: I am more interested in the fact that you are entering the dairy business. Until now you were more in FMCG products, of course that gives you a great distribution but you have not been big in foods. Now we see Godrej as becoming a big food player? A: We have a food business, we have a joint venture in Godrej Agrovet with Tyson in the chicken business and value added other food businesses. This is another addition to our foods portfolio. This is to our mind is a great synergy with Godrej Agrovet’s cattle feed business because it is basically you are dealing with farmers who produce the milk, you procure the milk, you can help them improve their productivity through our very high quality animal feeds, etc and then value add to that milk.
Latha: Certainly you have a downstream and an upstream link already in that business, I agree with you, you have links with farmers, you have links with the entire retail chain to sell your products, I give you that but there will be investments in cold chains for instance that you will have to make as well as in the processing industry. What kind of money have you set aside over the next two years for capital expansion in the foods business?
A: I don’t think we will invest in a cold chain, etc because that to the extent required because there are many other diary players who are managing so I don’t think that will be a major issue. Obviously it will be first strong in the South, we will continue to develop the South first and only then branch out into the other parts of the country.
Sonia: What kind of margins do you enjoy in this milk products business? Your overall margins stand at somewhere around 14 percent or so, with a consolidation of this milk products business as well will your blended margins grow further?
A: I don’t have those figures with me.
Latha: You are giving us a headline that you are getting into the foods business, that is big, there are already couple of very big players over there like Britannia , don’t you see that as a daunting competition?
A: Not necessarily because there is regionality in it, there is a question of what kind of products you are in. It is already a successful company, profitable company growing very well and we think our coming into it will only add value, both from the R&D point of view, product point of view, marketing point of view and distribution point of view.
Latha: Will you be taking an inorganic route in the sense of buying up companies? After all this is in the foods business, there are a lot of unbranded players, do we see you taking over?
A: No, we are not looking to any further inorganic growth in the foods business at this point of time. However, if a suitable opportunity arises in the future, we will certainly look at such opportunity.
Latha: How big might the foods business be in terms of sales say two years down the line?
A: We have not worked on that yet; it is difficult to tell but I think this business will grow quite substantially.
Sonia: For now the company runs operations in just certain parts of the country – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and some parts of Maharashtra. Would you at any point look at expand geographically as well?
A: Yes, we would but initially we would increase our presence in the South and then look to other parts of the country.
Latha: Since you have a very good command both over urban discretionary demand, urban consumption as well as rural consumption can you give us an idea whether things are turning around in the rural consumption area and are they improving in the urban area?
A: I think marginally. Unfortunately consumer demand in most industries is still a little slower than we would expect with a 7-7.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth. We are hoping it will keep improving. We are doing quite well; as you know, in Godrej Consumer Products we have grown in double digits in terms of sales and our profit growth has been very high at high 20s and low 30s.
Latha: Godrej Industries sold 27 lakh shares in Godrej Properties to Kotak Mahindra Bank . Why were you raising this money, should we see more of it?
A: It was not to raise money. We are doing a merger of two companies in our group into Godrej Properties which would have led to the group shareholding in Godrej Properties exceeding 75 percent which as you know is not permitted. So, the merger wouldn’t have gone through until we did this.