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Sweet Sellers to follow guidelines concerning Safety and Quality of Milk Products

Safety and Quality of Milk Products

Recently FSSAI, the apex food regulator has issued some guidelines for the food businesses or the sweet sellers dealing in the manufacturing or sale of the milk products, especially sweets. These guidelines were issued for ensuring that the sellers are taking care of proper hygiene and sanitation in the preparation of sweets and other milk products as this will directly assist in the safety and quality of milk products. Further, some other regulatory compliances like mentioning of the manufacturing and expiry date on both the pre-packaged and non-packaged milk products for consumer information were also issued earlier.

FSSAI is the supreme authority dealing with all the food-related issues. It is established under the FSS (Food Safety and Standard) Act, 2006[1]. Further, it has been formulated with an aim to lay down science-based standards for food articles and to administer their manufacture, sale, distribution, import and storage to ensure the readiness of safe, wholesome and quality food for human consumption.

As we all know, India is a country of rich traditions and culture of sweets with a variety of ingredients, taste, texture and method of preparation. Further, traditional milk-based sweets are usually prepared from chhena, sugar, khoya, and from other ingredients such as maida, colours and flavours, e.g. burfi, peda, milk cake, rasgulla, rasmalai, gulab jamun, etc. Also, there are some sweets which contain cereal, starch or grain as their main ingredient such asmoong dal halwa, motichoor laddoo, suji halwa, jalebi, soan-papdi, boondi laddoo, gujiya, balusahi, etc. Further, there are also some sweet snacks like gajak, chikki, murrunda, gudchana coated with jaggery, honey, sugar and other ingredients.

Sweets typically have limited shelf life, but particularly those which are made from milk and milk products have a much lesser shelf life, like maximum one to four days and are very much prone to microbial growth. Hence, proper hygiene and sanitation in the preparation will guarantee safety and quality of milk products used, and whereas the consumption within the prescribed shelf life is also utmost important.

Need for Issuance of Guidelines

Earlier, there were a lot of issues arising because of adulteration and use of sub-standard products in sweets preparation. So, taking concerted efforts by FSSAI was the need of the hour, in order to ensure food safety of sweets by the stakeholders comprising of food business, consumers and regulatory authorities.

Further, there were a number of issues faced during the manufacturing and selling of sweets as people involved in the manufacturing process lacked in the adequate knowledge of the regulatory compliances and good hygienic practices. Furthermore, the requirements concerning packaging and labelling were also often neglected by them.

Also, there were certain issues regarding the use of non-permitted flavouring agents, colour or any other such ingredients. Moreover, the use of sub-standard quality raw materials for sweet manufacturing; recurrent use of the same oil in cooking or preparation leading to an increased level of trans fat, were some issues which were needed to be addressed.

Survey of Milk Products

FSSAI had conducted a pilot-scale survey of the milk products in order to ascertain the safety and quality of milk products sold in and around Delhi-NCR between 15 October 2019 and 7 November 2019 concurring with the festival season. Accordingly, samples were drawn from eleven districts in multiple locations acrossDelhi and NCR. Throughout the survey, a total of 1041 samples comprising of 438 packed and 603 loose milk products were collected. These samples included ghee, khoya, paneer, and milk-based sweets such as the chenna, chenna rasgulla, and khoya burfi were taken for testing at the National Food Laboratory located in Ghaziabad. Further, for the first-time surveillance was also focused on the microbiological parameters that comprised of process hygiene and pathogens.

Further, the survey divulges the trend that the collected milk product samples do not have any safety concerns in both chemical and microbiological examination. Hence, the samples collected were found to have mainly quality and hygiene issues, with more frequencies in loose samples as compared to the packed ones.

Guidelines for Food Businesses

Following listed are the guidelines issued by the FSSAI for the food businesses or sweet sellers involved in the business of manufacturing and selling of the sweets made from milk and milk products

  • The general hygiene and sanitary requirements provided under the Schedule IV of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 shall be scrupulously and duly complied with.
  • In the case of pre-packaged milk products, the list of all the ingredients along with the date of manufacturing and use by date or best before must invariably be mentioned as specified under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011
  • In the case of a non-packaged or loose sweet, the container or tray holding the items at the food outlet should unvaryingly display the following listed information –
  • Best before or the use-by date
  • Whether Oil or ghee or Vanaspati used
  • Record of the dairy-based products should be properly maintained
  • FSSAI License or Registration should be notably displayed at the unit
  • Use of the non-permitted colours, flavouring agents and the repeated use of oil must be avoided.
  • For the sale of sweets, savouries or other food articles, the notice board should clearly specify whether the concerned food articles have been cooked in vanaspati, ghee, edible oil, and other fats for the consumer information.
  • Capacity building and training of the manufacturers will assist in the basic understanding of the hygiene, handling, sanitation and storage. Further, the concerned manufacture may also get training under the FoSTaC (Food Safety Training and Certification) programme of FSSAI.
  • Get the collected samples tested from NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited by FSSAI notified laboratories at a regular interval and also display the same on the display boards at their respective outlets.

Suggested Logo for the Shelf Life

From now onwards the food business may use the following listed logos in order to display the shelf life of the products for the consumer information –

Logo for the Shelf Life

Suggested Logo for the Shelf Life

Shelf Life of Sweets

As we know that the Indian sweets use an assortment of ingredients such as the ghee, sugar, flours, khoya, dry fruits etc. Hence, the shelf life of the sweets depends upon the ingredients used. For example, the Khoya Burfi has a much shorter shelf life than the Boondi Ladoo. In this respect, an illustrative list of the sweets along with their shelf life is given below:

Very Short Shelf Life, i.e. Same day Kalakand and its variants such as the Butterscotch Kalakand, Rose Kalakand and Chocolate Kalakand.
Short Shelf Life, i.e. 2 days Milk Products and Bengali Sweets such as the Badam milk, Rasgulla, Rabri Rasmalai, Shahi Toast, Rajbhog, Ras Malai, Cham Cham, Sandesh, Malai Roll, Hiramani, Gur Sandesh, Hari bhog, Bengali Rabri, Anurodh, Anarkali, Madhuri, Pakiza, Gur Kaccha Gola Sandesh, Ras Katta, Raskadam, Kheer Mohan, Gur Rasmalai,Gur Rasgulla, Gur Rabri.
Medium Short Life, i.e. 4 days. These sweets are required to be consumed within 4 days from the date of manufacturing Ladoo and Khoya Sweets such as the Milk Cake, Mathura Peda, Milk Burfi, Plain Burfi, Pista Burfi, Chocolate Burfi, Safed Peda, Coconut Burfi, Boondi Ladoo, Coconut Ladoo, MotichorModak, Khoya Badam, Lal Ladoo, MewaBatti, Fruit Cake, Kesar Coconut Ladoo, Small MalaiGhewar, Khoya Til Fruit Cake, VratKesaria Coconut Ladoo, Pink Burfi, TilBugga, Rewari Rurfi, Small MewaLadoo, Dry Fruit Tilbugga, Khoya Kesar Badam Roll, Shahi Ghewar, TilBati, Kheer Kadam, Khoya Coconut Burfi, Kheera Beej Burfi, Moti Pak.
Long Shelf Life, i.e7 days. These sweets are requiredto be consumed within 7 days from the date of manufacturing Sweets made with ghee and dry fruits such as the Dry fruit ladoo, KajuKatli, Ghewar, Gur Para, Shahi Ladoo, Moong Burfi, Sakkar Para, Aataladoo, Dry fruit Gujia,Ladoo, KajuKaser Burfi, Kaju Baked Gujia, Moti Boond, BadamLaung, Balusahi, KajuAnjeer Roll, Kesar Big Malai, Badam Burfi, Chandrakala, ChhakMitthi, Maida Gujia, KajuKhazoor, Kesar Gujia, PistaLaung, Small Kesar Ghewar, Anjeer Cake, Kaju apple, KajuGujia, Kesar Chandrakala, Kaju Honey Dew, kaju Kesar, KajuLadoo, Kaju Kalash, Kaju Roll, Dil Khushal Burfi, Kaju Samosa, Kaju Rose Katli, KajuLadoo, Besan Burfi, kaju Baked gujia, Kaju Rose Katli.
Very Long Shelf life, i.e. Around 30 days. These sweets can stay longer and are required to be consumed within 30 days from the date of manufacturing Atta Laddoo, Chana Laddoo, Chana Burfi, Besan Laddoo, AnzeerKhajur Burfi, Sohan Halwa, Karachi Halwa, Gajjak, Chikki

More on FSSAI: FSSAI Guidelines & FSSAI License Requirement for Spices.

Guidelines for Consumers

The first approach for a consumer is to prevent an encounter of any adulterated product. For that, he or she needs to avoid the purchase of loose products, as the possibility of adulteration in these case increases. Further, the right flavour, colour and texture, body and appearance of the milk products determines the quality and freshness of the concerned milk product. The table has given down below talks about the flavour, colour, body, texture and appearance of some sweets and other milk products.

S.no Product Flavour Body and Texture Colour and Appearance
  Khoya A typical slightly cooked flavour similar to that of boiled milk is mostly acceptable. Further, the taste is also preferably sweet Soft and uniform body with a granular texture is most desirable. Further, Pindi khoa has a smooth, compact, and homogenous texture with very fine grains. Further, Dhap khoa has a granular texture and also has a slightly soft body. Whereas inDanedar khoa, there is a presence of big grains along with brown colour is desirable Cow milk khoa is in pale yellow with a tinge of brown having a moist surface, whereas the buffalo milk khoa is in white colour with a tinge of brown and also having a slightly greasy or oily surface
2 Peda Cooked in to a slightly heated flavour with some sweet taste. Soft, greasy to a dry body with a grainy texture. White to brown in colour with the absence of burnt particle
3 Burfi Mildly caramelised and pleasantly flavoured with some sweet taste The body characteristics of a burfi may range from a very loosely compacted to a close-knit body. Further, the texture could also vary from a smooth to a granular and crisp to a chewy The colour may range from an off-white to a creamy or light caramel, depending upon the type of milk solids being used as a base material and also to the extent of heat desiccation during the preparation. Further, it should also be free from burnt particles
4 Kalakand Fresh, clean, pleasant, caramel sweet flavour The cohesive body along with granular close-knit texture. Off-white to light brown in colour with an absence of burnt particles
5 Gulab Jamun Typical heated fresh aroma, and tastes moderately sweet. It is free from doughy feel and is fully saturated from syrup It has a soft and thin crust, along with a smooth granular texture, soft and spongy, and is free from lumps and hard central core. Lightly to a yellowish-brown, uniform, round or elongated shape, smooth, glossy, and moderate in size
6 Basundi Pleasant caramelized flavour It has a creamy consistency and a viscous body with some soft textured flakes uniformly suspended throughout the product. Cream to a light caramel colour.
7 Rabdi/Rabri Pleasant caramelized flavour The creamy consistency and a viscous body containing several layers of clotted cream along with a chewy texture Creamy white to a light caramel in colour.
8 Kheer Sweet, nutty and pleasant flavour Thick, viscous mass along with uniformly distributed rice. White to slightly brownish in colour. A rich creamy shade is always preferred
9 Chhana Mildly acidic smell along with pleasant sweetish taste are considered desirable. Moderately soft body and a uniform texture, along with slight springiness. Further, it should yield a round ball of even surface and should have no cracks. Further, it should not release fat on kneading or working on it Uniform yellow (if made from cow milk) to a whitish colour (if made from buffalo milk). Further, it has a slightly moist surface. Absence of burnt particles.
10 Paneer It is a characteristic blend of flavours of heated milk and acid, that is pleasant, mildly acidic as well as sweet (nutty). It must be sufficiently firm in order to hold its shape during the cutting yet tender enough not to resist while mastication or chewing. Further, it has a compact, smooth, velvety and a close-knit texture Uniform yellow (if made from cow milk) to a whitish colour (if made from buffalo milk).
11 Sandesh Typically, cooked and heated aroma along with sweet, fresh, creamy taste. The soft grade is cohesive, smooth and a little grainy. Further, the hard grade is a bit crumbly, smooth and has fine grains White colour, round shape, and has a smooth moderate size.
12 Rasgulla Pleasant flavour, and moderately sweet. It is free from doughy feel and is fully saturated with syrup Soft body and maximum sponginess, and it is free from lumps and hard centre. White colour, round shape, and has a smooth moderate size
13 Dahi Pleasant sweetish aroma of the diacetyl and clean acid taste A weak gel-like junket, along with a creamy layer of fat if in case the whole milk is used. Further, it has a Homogenous body, while cut surface is trim and is free from cracks and gas bubbles Creamy yellow if in case made from cow milk and in creamish white colour if in case made from buffalo milk. Further, it should have a smooth and glossy surface along with no whey separation
14 Shrikhand A clean, pleasant, sweetsour flavour indicating blend of sugar and fermented milk solids Typical semi-solid uniform consistency displaying a characteristic firmness and shall show a smooth texture with no graininess Uniform colour and a glossy appearance and devoid of free fat and syrup separation.
15 Mishtidoi Pleasant sweet fermented flavour Firm consistency along with smooth texture Uniform cream to a light brown colour.
16 Ghee A natural sweet, pleasant, nutty, slightly cooked or caramelised aroma and an agreeable taste Good textured ghee needs a large and uniform grain along with very little liquid fat. A greasy texture is objectionable When melted, it must be clear; transparent in colour and also free from sediment and uniform throughout. Further, it should be bright yellow in colour for cow and white with a greenish tinge for buffalo milk
17 Lassi Sweetish rich, aroma and a mild to high acidic taste, flavoured either with sugar or salt depending on the regional preference. Homogenous and a viscous liquid. White to creamy white in colour

Quick Test to Detect Adulteration

Consumers can now test common adulterants available in the milk products by using Quick Tests as given below –

S.no Name of the Food Article Adulterant Simple Method for Detecting Common Adulteration
1 Ghee, condensed milk, khoa, Cottage Cheese, milk powder etc. Coal Tar Dyes Firstly, Add 5 ml of diluted H2SO4 or concentrated HCl (Hydroc Chloric Acid) to one teaspoon full of the melted sample in a test tube. Now Shake well. If it turns into a Pink colour (in case of the H2SO4) or in crimson colour (in case of the HCl), then it indicates the presence of coal tar dyes. If in case the HCl does not give any colour repeat it once again after diluting with water
2 Ghee or butter or SweetCurd Vanaspati or Margarine Firstly, take a teaspoon of the sample in a test tube. Now add 10 drops of the hydrochloric acid (HCL). Then mix the contents by gently shaking the test tube. After doing it for 5 minutes, examine the mixture. If in case it turns Red in colour, then the same indicates the presence of Vanaspati in the curd.
3 Rabri Blotting paper Firstly, take a teaspoon of the sample in a test tube. Now add 3 ml of hydrochloric acid (HCL) and 3 ml of distilled water. Stir the content gently with a glass rod. Now remove the rod and examine. If there is a presence of fine fibres on the glass rod, then it will indicate the presence of blotting paper in the rabri.
4 Khoa or Chhana or Paneer or Ghee Starch Firstly, Boil a small quantity of sample with some amount of water, cool and then add a few drops of Iodine solution in it. Further, the Formation of blue colour indicates the presence of starch in the Khoya, Paneer or ghee.

Guidelines for Food Safety Regulatory Authorities

All the Food Safety Commissioners of States and Union Territories must ensure compliance and food safety for the milk products. For this special drive must be conducted frequently in order to ensure freshness and quality of sweets sold in the retails, including the sweets shops, halwai shops etc.

  • Firstly, the Surveillance activities should be undertaken on a regular basis, and the data so obtained must be analysed in order to identify the hot spots which must be intensely targeted. There should be intensive surveillance during the festive seasons when the demand for the milk and milk products increase.
  • Regular inspections should also be carried out in order to ensure that FBO (Food Business Operator) is maintaining food safety and hygiene as per the Schedule 4 requirements given in the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 and also meeting other regulatory requirements.
  • A vigil must be maintained on the sweet shops in order to eliminate the chances of adulteration, particularly in the milk products. Further, in the case of any violation is found, stringent action needs to be taken as per the provisions of the FSS Act, 2006 and Rules or Regulations made thereunder.
  • Generate a local intelligence concerning the malpractices. Further, the supervising officer must take action in order to ensure neutrality.
  • Further, some Consumer awareness programme should also be conducted in order to appraise the consumers about the common malpractices, and also train them for performing quick tests, lastly inform about the avenues in order to file their grievances.


These guidelines were issued by FSSAI, in order to ensure hygiene and sanitation in the preparation and sale of the sweets, which will directly assist in the safety and quality of milk products being used. Further, it also stated that all the regulatory compliances including the display of shelf life of pre-packaged along with non-packaged milk products for the consumer information. Further, these guidelines helped in ascertaining the freshness and probability of the adulteration by observing the colour, texture and flavour of the milk products. Also, there are some simple tests prescribed to identify the adulteration in the milk products. Lastly, regular surveillance and enforcement activities on the sweets by the regulatory authorities will help in increasing its quality and decreasing the chance of adulteration.

Read, More: What is FSSAI Guidelines for Food Handlers?.

Shivani Jain

Shivani has completed her B com LLB (Hons) and has the experience of writing various research papers during her college time. Earlier she was working as an Associate in a law firm, but her interest in writing made her pursue content writing as a career. Her core area of interest is in writing about various legal enactments, tax and finance.

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