Officials have discovered that to prolong life of milk and milk products, many dairy owners had been using a cocktail of chemicals whose consumption can damage kidney and liver.
Food and drug officials detected Hydrogen peroxide (a common paper and hair bleaching agent), potassium hydroxide (used in soap preparation) and hypo (a bleaching agent) in milk at some dairies during raids in Madhya Pradesh recently.
This is the first time when the department noticed use of these chemicals whose short term consumption can cause gastroenteritis but damage liver and kidneys if ingested for a longer period.
Of these, hydrogen peroxide in particular is almost impossible to detect in laboratory tests, leading the officials to suspect the dairies could have been using these in plenty.
Usually dairy owners mixed argemone oil, a poisonous substance, and starch in milk during preparations of products like paneer and mawa.
In fact, it was the presence of a tin containing huge quantity of hydrogen peroxide at a dairy in Morena which alerted them about the misuse of these chemicals.
Unscrupulous dairy owners "have their own research and development wings". While dairy manufacturers are experimenting with chemicals to prolong life of milk products, risking people's health in the process, old methods of adulteration continue to flourish, especially in Chambal region.