In this digital age, ruled by smartphone apps, how about one to tell you how fresh your milk is? Although there are stringent safety rules concerning the quality of milk, almost 68% of what is available in the country does not conform to them. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati have come up with a paper-based detection system to detect if a sample of milk is pasteurised and fresh. This technique, they say, is cost-effective, rapid, user- and environment-friendly.
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The milk you consume might contain antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, point out scientists from Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Kerala, in their recent study. A drug resistant strain of Stphylococcus aureus had been isolated from udders of cows with virulence factor Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL).
Thanks to the white revolution of the 1970s, today India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 % of world production. While this was possible due to sustained efforts in dairy farming, a new wave of genetic engineering looks to disrupt these numbers very soon. Apart from increasing milk production, scientists are applying techniques of genetic engineering to modify cow’s milk to make it more nutritious, free of allergens and easy to digest. By genetically engineering milk, scientists also hope to keep the food security scare at bay.