Mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal facts, milk fats, pro­tein... in that or­der

Consumer Voice - - Front Page -

Eight brands tested

As an in­gre­di­ent, pa­neer lends it­self to a wide ar­ray of dishes – from soups, sal­ads, and starters, to snacks, main course, and desserts. It com­bines well with most veg­eta­bles and even with rice. Packed with pro­tein, it is a nu­tri­tious al­ter­na­tive to non-veg­e­tar­ian food. And it is avail­able al­most ev­ery­where, in branded pack­ets or in loose form. Pre­cisely this level of ac­ces­si­bil­ity and pop­u­lar­ity make it im­por­tant that one un­der­stands the safety and hygiene aspects – for one, know that pa­neer spoils bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cally within one or two days at room tem­per­a­ture (in In­dia, it can be 40 de­grees Cel­sius). Is there a way to know which pa­neer is bet­ter and safer? Where does your favourite pa­neer stand? Does it have the req­ui­site milk fat, pro­tein, cal­cium, and en­ergy value? Does it have just the right bal­ance of mois­ture and choles­terol? Most im­por­tantly, is there any de­te­ri­o­ra­tion due to high mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal count? Th­ese may be ques­tions that but rarely cross your mind and pre­cisely be­cause of this, this re­port may be an eye-opener.

A Con­sumer Voice Re­port

For the tests, we pur­chased eight reg­u­lar-sell­ing/ pop­u­lar brands of pack­aged pa­neer and one loosely sold pa­neer from a lo­cal ven­dor who also hap­pened to be a ma­jor whole­saler and re­tailer cater­ing to var­i­ous parts of Delhi. We as­sessed the pa­neer on key qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters spec­i­fied in Na­tional Stan­dards IS: 10484:1983 (spec­i­fi­ca­tions for pa­neer) and IS: 15346 (spec­i­fi­ca­tions for meth­ods of sen­sory eval­u­a­tion of pa­neer), as well as FSS Reg­u­la­tions, 2011. We also in­cluded a few pa­ram­e­ters

from con­sumers’ point of view. The test­ing was con­ducted at an NABL-ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory.

Here, we are be­gin­ning the re­port with re­sults of mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal tests as the re­sults of th­ese tests nul­lify all other re­sults (phys­i­cal, chem­i­cal, sen­sory). Even if the pa­neer per­forms fine in var­i­ous other tests, fail­ing the mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal test means that it is ‘not suit­able for con­sump­tion in raw form’.

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