A panel discussion on ‘Are Analogues Invading the Image of Dairy Products?’was organized by Verghese Kurien Centre of Excellence (VKCoE), IRMA in association with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), National Cooperative Dairy Federation India (NCDFI), National Academy of Dairy Science India (NADSI) and Indian Dairy Association (IDA) on 10 September 2021 (Friday). Dr. Umakant Dash, Director, IRMA delivered a brief welcome address. Shri Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB addressed the plant based beverages as the potential threat to dairy industry. He highlighted the increasing intake of milk while the consumption expansion of cereals has been dwindling. Dairy analogues portrayed as dairy products create unhealthy price competition for dairy industry, said Shri Shah.
Dr. R. S. Sodhi, MD, GCMMF expressed concerns over the power hungry corporates who sell vegan products with fake taste adding flavours and emulsifiers over fake selling stories. He appealed individuals, various departments, milk federations and politicians to join hands depending on their capability to fight against such negative propaganda. Dairy industry is also necessary for the survival of rural India or ‘Bharat’. Shri Kishore Supekar, MD, NCDFI highlighted the sustainability of dairy sector during COVID-19 crisis. Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Chairman, NADSI put forth the detailed scientific facts on milk. He suggested that milk is naturally irreplaceable due to its unique matrix and cannot be replaced with the synthetic dairy analogues. Promoting analogues may create a big issue of nutritional deficiencies.
Dr. G.S. Rajorhia, President, IDA called out PETA for influencing school children against dairy consumption, promoting veganism and misleading consumers. Dr. Satish Kulkarni, Vice-President, IDA and a legal expert spoke about the new enforcement circulars from FSSAI sent to commissioners of various states, recommended for another representation from various stake holders that would forbid the misuse of words – milk/cream/butter for non-dairy products for commercial purposes and encouraged about consumer education.
Dr. J. V. Parekh spoke about the protection of dairy products from dairy analogues from industrial point of view. Shri Aditya Jain pointed out the use of dairy terms for dairy analogues in various countries while the European Union does not allow except for milk and composite milk products. He added that emphasis should be given on the consumer understanding and national priorities in terms of economic importance for India.
Shri Kuldeep Sharma apprehended the use of vegetable oils for manufacture of dairy products and highlighted about the seriousness of adulteration. Shri C.K. Kotak, Director, Export Inspection Council spoke about the necessity of export mandates for dairy products. Dr. A.K. Singh, Head, Department of Dairy Technology, NDRI talked about their plan on systemic studies to generate original database on the effect of digestibility of dairy and dairy analogues on the overall growth performance and wellbeing in small animal model.
Shri Ramachandra Chaudhury, Chairman, Ajmer Milk Union advised for strict legal action so as to maintain the position of India on global milk standards. Dr. J.B. Prajapati Chairman, Verghese Kurien Centre of Excellence (VKCoE), IRMA moderated the entire program and concluded the discussion. He requested the top leaders of dairy industry to write to the committee on the importance of dairy products in nutritional and health and do not allow any other commodity to use dairy terms in the interest of the society and the dairy industry.
Dr. J.B. Prajapati
Chairman, VKCoE, IRMA, Anand