The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said addition of protein binders is not permitted in milk and milk products. Only those additives specified for such products in the Appendix A of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, can be used in milk and milk products.
Almost every dairy product has a unique and well-accepted textural and other sensor characteristics. Hence, addition of any binding material such as protein binders to milk and milk products is not warranted to modify the textural or sensory parameters, FSSAI said in a statement.
Binding agents have emerged as an important and required class of ingredients to manufacture a wide range of new food products, especially semi-solid or solid foods. However, such application is known to affect the digestibility of the protein bound and can affect biological and nutritive value of milk proteins. Protein binding also influences the bioavailability and distribution of active compounds.
The milk protein has a high biological value as it is a good source for essential amino acids.
Besides, milk proteins are easily digestible and do not contain any anti-nutritional factors unlike many plant-based proteins. In addition, milk and milk products contain a wide array of proteins with biological activities ranging from antimicrobial ones to those facilitating the absorption of nutrients, as well as acting as growth factors, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and immune stimulants.
Business Standard quoted Jayen Mehta, managing director of dairy brand Amul, saying the company uses only pure cheese whey for its range of recently launched protein products that include lassi and buttermilk.
R S Sodhi, president, Indian Dairy Association, told the same newspaper that the clarification is a welcome step and will ensure that only pure products are sold in the market.