Test report: Shrikhand
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Press Releases
Â Loose shrikhand: All samples found unsafe
Branded shrikhand complies with parameters and is less expensive
Ahmedabad, 27 June 2019
Grahak SathiÂ (June-July 2019), the National Consumer Magazine in Hindi published by Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad, recently released its test findings on loose shrikhand.
Loose shrikhand is prepared on a small scale by local sweet makers (halwais) using different techniques. As a result, there is wide variation in quality and taste. For this reason, we decided to test 10 samples of loose shrikhand picked up from different areas of Ahmedabad city. We also tested one sample of branded shrikhand,Â Amul, for comparison.
The samples were tested for two microbiological parameters as specified by IS standards â€“ Coliform Count and Yeast and Mould Count (indicative of deterioration and decomposition). The results were alarming. All the samples of loose shrikhand failed to comply with the Yeast and Mould Count limits. In fact, while the limit was 50/gm, the most contaminated sample had a count of 43,050/gm!
Safer and cheaper
The branded sample complied with both the microbiological parameters. People perceive branded products to be more expensive than loose ones. However, in this case five of the loose samples were more expensive than the branded product. The most expensive loose sample, from Gopi Kantilal Manilal, was Rs. 36 more expensive thanÂ AmulÂ for 400 gm.
The primary sources of microbial contamination of shrikhand include water and raw milk, whereas secondary sources include flavoring agents, dirty utensils and unhygienic handling.
Significance of parameters
Coliform bacteria: This group of bacteria is important in quality control as it is indicative of possible faecal contamination which can cause diseases.
Yeasts and moulds:Â Both yeasts and moulds cause various degrees of deterioration and decomposition of foods. Dairy products with a low pH value such as yogurt (such as shrikhand) are at a high risk of being spoilt by yeasts. Some moulds produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans. Other problems include allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
- All the 10 samples of loose shrikhand did not comply with the Yeast and Mould Count parameter. (See table for details)
- The range of Yeast and Mould Count was between 443/gm (Patel Dugdhalay) and 43,050/gm (New Kirti Dairy).
- All samples showed Coliform Count within permissible limits.
- The branded product,Â AmulÂ Amrakhand, complied with both the microbiological parameters.
- Five samples of loose shrikhand were more expensive than the branded product.
Loose Shrikhand: Test Results
|Origin||Area||Price/400 gm||Coliform Count||Yeast and Mould Count|
|Max. 10||Max. 50|
|Vipul Dudhiya Sweets||Maninagar||104||0||2166|
|Shreejee Dairy Parlour||Vatva||80||0||8600|
|New Kirti Dairy||Bapunagar||80||0||43050|
|Shree Harshiddhi Dairy Parlour||Chandlodiya||80||0||11225|
|Shree Milk Dairy||Vastrapur||88||0||805|
|Pinky Dairy Product||Hatkeshwar||80||0||3525|
|Gopi Kantilal Manilal||Navrangpura||120||0||10050|
|Amul Amrakhand (branded product)||Thaltej||84||0||0|
All the loose samples (the focus of testing) did not comply in one of the parameters (Yeast and Mould Count) and failed miserably. Even the lowest value of 443/gm was almost nine-fold more than the maximum limit as per the standard. Hence, rating and ranking has not been done.
The containers used by the vendor to pack the product for the consumer had insufficient labelling information printed on them. The batch number and vital information such as the manufacturing date and best before dates were missing in all the containers.
The branded product adhered to all the packaging norms as specified in the standards for dairy products.
Areas of action
- Consumers should be made aware that it is safer to buy branded products. If they buy loose shrikhand, they should buy it from a reputed shop.
- Manufacturers should procure raw material from reputed/licensed sources.
- The ingredients as well as the finished product should be stored at appropriate temperatures, especially at retail outlets.
- Good hygiene should be maintained at every step of manufacture and equipment, including storage containers, should be kept clean.
Grahak Sathiâ€™s conclusion
All the loose shrikhand samples tested from dairies from various parts of Ahmedabad city failed in the microbiological parameter of Yeast and Mould Count, indicative of decomposed and deteriorated samples. In fact, the counts were alarmingly high as compared to the standards. This is a reason for concern as this as a popular, widely consumed product. The branded product was found to be safe and less expensive than five of the loose products.Â So, why buy the loose product?
As for loose shrikhand, it is important that manufacturers adhere to the safety standards and the regulators enforce stricter hygiene/quality norms.
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For further information please contact
Ms Pritee Shah (O) 079-27489945/46Â Â (M) +91 99048 63838