SKIMMED MILK POWDER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy/Sci & Tech)

News-CRUX-10     5th July 2024        
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Context: With many states implementing strict anti-slaughter laws, Indian dairy farmers struggle to dispose of unproductive cattle. Compounding their woes, they now face a surplus of skimmed milk powder (SMP).

Skimmed Milk Powder

  • About: It is obtained by removing water from pasteurised skim milk by spray-drying. 

oIt is classified according to the heat treatment used in its manufacture (high heat, medium heat, and low heat).

  • Storable Components: Only milk solids—fat and solids-not-fat (SNF)—are storable.
  • Composition of Milk: On average, cow milk contains 3.5% fat and 8.5% SNF, while buffalo milk contains 6.5% fat and 9% SNF.
  • Conversion During Seasons

oFlush Season Production: During the flush season, when milk production is high, dairies convert surplus milk into butter and ghee from cream (fat) and skimmed milk powder (SMP) from SNF.

oLean Season Usage: During the lean season, when milk production is low, SMP is recombined with water to meet liquid milk demand.

oRegional Flush Seasons: July to December in the South and Maharashtra (cow-dominant), and September to March in the North and Gujarat (buffalo-dominant).

  • Surplus SMP Problem

oExcess Milk Procurement: Dairies face issues when they procure more milk than needed, creating excess SMP and butter/ghee without buyers.

oAnnual SMP Production: Indian dairies produce 5.5-6 lakh tonnes of SMP annually.

oSMP Utilization: About 4 lakh tonnes are used for recombining during the lean season; 1.5-2 lakh tonnes are used in food and industrial products.