Why is India Being Recognized for Its Dairy Products?
India has long been considered a laggard in the adoption of technology. In recent times, however, it is becoming evident that companies in the manufacturing sector are adopting state-of-the-art technologies. Since the liberalization of the Indian economy started, consumers' demand has been growing. Earlier, only corporations in the public sector were active in the food processing sector. However, in the late 1990s, cooperatives also jumped into the manufacturing of dairy products. Public sector companies, however, were not concerned about the value addition of products. Dairy product manufacturers have started providing the market with various products that can meet the demand of the consumers.
Adoption of New Technologies in the Dairy Sector
While the entry barriers in the dairy sector are low, it needs to be understood that the quality of the product depends on the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies. Since technology can help in providing the best to consumers, it is pertinent to adopt it. With the help of technologies, it is possible to ensure that the best milk is available in India. Processing the milk in an aseptic condition is an invariable part of dairy technology. This will prevent any contamination. New techniques of pasteurization are being leveraged to kill any microbe present in the milk. Transportation of raw milk from the dairy farms to the plants is also done in tankers which ensure that the milk does not get spoiled in the process.
The Latest Techniques Being Used to Pasteurize Milk
Dairy farmers all make it possible for milk to be abundant, but the best milk in India has to be safe for consumption. In order to ensure public health, milk must be pasteurized before it is supplied to distributors. Dairy product manufacturers in India are adopting global standards of milk pasteurization to ensure that it is safe for consumption. The following techniques are being used by the topmost brands.
- High Temperature Short Time – This method used in the US involves using metal plates and hot water to raise the temperature of the milk to at least 71 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes and then cooling it rapidly.
- Higher Heat Shorter Time – This technique uses slightly different equipment and higher temperatures for a shorter time
- Ultra High Temperature – UHT involves heating the milk using commercially sterile equipment and filling it under aseptic conditions into hermetically sealed packaging.
- Ultra Pasteurized – It involves heating the raw milk to 138 degrees Celsius for two seconds and then cooling it.
Varied Products to entice the Consumers
Dairy companies are coming up with products which are traditionally made in homes. This is also possible because the companies have the right equipment for processing the milk into the desired products. No wonder one can find traditional products like curd, ice-cream, shrikhand, buttermilk etc., on the shelves of stores. Dairy product manufacturers in India have the following equipment that helps them in manufacturing traditional dairy products in their production plants.
- Basket centrifuges – It is used in the manufacture of shrikhand as it helps in draining whey. The use of basket centrifuge increases the production of shrikhand for a dairy company.
- Butter Churns – Butter churns are multi-faceted equipment that is used for butter and buttermilk production.
- Scraped surface heat exchangers – They are used in the production of rabdi in plants by manufacturers. They are used for the pre-concentration of milk to solid levels.
- Paneer Press Machine & coagulating tanks – Milk tearing for the purpose of paneer production is done in coagulating tanks. A paneer press machine has a pneumatic cylinder-mounted stainless steel structure.
- Separators – Separators are used to prepare cream by manufacturers. Centrifugal separators are also used to make reduced-fat, low-fat or skim milk.
- Homogenizers – Best milk in India needs to have a smooth texture. Homogenizers are used to improve the texture of milk and sometimes fortify the milk with nutrients and add flavor to the milk.
A Strong Network of Dairy Farms
Dairy companies know how important it is to develop a strong network of dairy farms. In India, dairy farms are known to keep the cattle in poor conditions and provide feeds that are not really good for them. The quality of raw milk that is produced by many dairy farms is not good for consumption. Dairy manufacturers in India identify the dairy farms that maintain the appropriate standards in cattle management. Some of the points they keep in mind before sourcing their milk include the following.
- Nutrition of the cattle – Monitoring the feed of the cattle is very important. Many dairy farms do not care to provide protein supplements to cattle. And therefore, the milk they produce is not as nutritious.
- Hygienic Milking Machines – Traditionally, hands were used to milk cattle. But, it is slowly being realized that this can contaminate the milk. Therefore, robotic milking machines are used to milk the cattle.
- Health of the cattle – Cattle in India is also prone to diseases. It is necessary to make sure that the cows in a dairy farm are not suffering from a disease.
Packaging of the Dairy Products
For customer satisfaction, packaging dairy products is as important as manufacturing them. Secure packaging will be required to prevent any spillage. Aluminum foils are used to cover products like curd and shrikhand to prevent any contamination and increase the shelf-life. Packaging milk in bottles is no longer followed. Tetra packaging of milk is a common practice followed across the board. Since it is easy-to-use and safe, customers feel comfortable with tetra packaging. Polystyrene packaging is used for curd and shrikhand because it is environment-friendly.
Visionary Leadership is Necessary
To ensure that a dairy company caters to consumers in the best way possible, visionary leadership is necessary. The leadership is focused on gaining the trust of the consumers. A transparency is maintained regarding the processes that are followed in manufacturing. It engages with all the stakeholders, including the government and dairy farmers. The whole idea behind this is to manufacture quality products. Best manufacturing practices need to be followed to ensure that the quality of the products is up to the mark. An unflinching focus on continuous improvement of materials, activities and processes is required. Maintaining a strong supply chain is necessary to ensure that the products reach the customers on time. Having distributors in all the cities is essential to ensure that the product reaches every nook and corner. A visionary leadership will not ignore the training requirements of its staff. With an emphasis on the development of new products, the leadership continues to ensure customer satisfaction. It also recognizes the need to open stores in all the cities so that people have access to the products.