Paneer producers under scanner of Food Safety Department
A few paneer-making units in Erode are under the scanner of Food Safety and Drug Administration for alleged use of skimmed milk as input.
A soft texture is possible only if it has more than 50 per cent fat content. But, the few units at Solar and Mamarathupalayam where the Food Safety officials conducted the checks had seemingly used skimmed milk and more than accepted level of acid content in the manufacture process. “The samples have been taken for testing,” G. Karunanidhi, District Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration, said.
It is difficult for the public to make out if paneer is made out of whole or skimmed milk.
The results are best only when whole milk is used. Use of non-fat milk will make the paneer hard, Food Safety officials explained.
According to sources, the tests will also determine presence of starch, which is used for giving paneer rich texture, but could lead to digestive problems.
If the paneer has marble white colour, sweetish, mildly acidic taste, spongy body and closely knit, smooth texture, it would have been made with whole milk.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS 1983) imposed maximum of 60 per cent moisture and minimum of 50 per cent fat in dry matter for paneer.
The officials will also make sure if the coagulants: lemon juice, citric acid, lactic acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, acetic acid, fermented milk, sour/cultured whey, yoghurt and lactic cultures, had been used beyond accepted levels. Low acid strength results in soft body and smooth texture, while high acid strength results in hard body, officials explained.