Milk, being a great source of calcium, protein and a high nutritional value, is consumed in its original form as well as a number of processed forms. Each processed product formed of milk too has high nutritional value and is a great source of protein and calcium. The fact is that, milk and its products have become an essential part of the people’s daily food intake. Every year more than 800 million tons of milk is produced all across the world in various countries. This milk is consumed in the processed form more like curd, cheese, butter etc. than its original form. Let’s first find out where does so much milk comes from? The top three milk producing countries are:
INDIA- Strange but true, India is the country with huge population and due to the huge size it is the country with maximum milk production and consumption. India is also the largest producer and consumer of tea, which is a very prevalent beverage, consumed early morning with milk. The annual milk production in India in the year2012-13 was around 132.4 million tons, which made it the largest producer. Recently numerous co-operatives have become operational in India for milk processing which have resulted in significant growth in the production of milk in India. The milk for consumption is mainly obtained from buffaloes and cows.
UNITED STATES-While the country has a population just one-fourth that of India, it is producing 85 million tons of milk each year. If the ratio of population and milk production is compared than we can say that it’s certainly better than any other country. However the consumption of milk in its original form is less and processed form is more in the US.
CHINA-Surprisingly, China had the lowest milk consumption averagely in the last few years, but now considerably the milk production and consumption have increased in China. The annual milk consumption in China is estimated to be 40-50 million tons.
Now when we know that which country has the highest milk consumption we shall move to some interesting facts about milk? Milk processing is a very essential and interesting step after it has been obtained from the animal’s body. Being highly vulnerable to souring, it has to be looked after with the utmost care. Depending on the size of the milk processing plant, each day 1000 to 5lac litre milk is processed. The most important step when the milk comes in is to store it in a temperature as low as 4ºC. After cooling the milk is transferred to the pasteurization containers for pasteurization. This pasteurized milk is then shifted to cream separator to extract cream and obtain skimmed milk, toned or double toned milk. Depending on the requirement, the milk is then further processed to form curd, cheese, cottage cheese, ice-creams, buttermilk etc.
However the market is flooded with high quality and all good milk processing equipments used by huge dairy farms, the standard of all the milk products is guided by Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. This organization ensures the safest and highest quality of product is being delivered to the consumers.