In Pakistan, we are all used to hearing all sorts of negative things about packaged milk. For example, packaged milk is not actually milk but a mixture of detergent and milk powder, or that there are dangerous chemicals in the processing of packaged milk. Some people have gone so far that they filed petitions in the High Court asking for a ban on all packaged milk products. All these petitions were dismissed by the court. But the general public is still not convinced. So what is the reality behind packaged milk, and where does this milk actually come from?
This Saturday, Olper’s took bloggers from Lahore on a journey called #SachKaSafar in which they took us to their different facilities, debunking all the myths about packaged milk.
Where does the milk come from?
Our first stop was a small village near Sahiwal, where Olper’s has a milk collection center. The local farmers deliver fresh milk everyday to the milk collection center. Different tests are performed on every supplier’s milk to make sure that it is safe for consumption. Olper’s has more than 1500 such facilities in different parts of the country. The employees there are fully trained about safety and hygiene standards.
All the milk is kept in chillers to make sure it doesn’t get spoiled. It is then transferred to a facility called the Area Office. Olper’s has 24 such facilities all over Pakistan, which make sure that the collected milk from surrounding Milk Collection Centers meets the highest of standards before it is passed on for processing. At the Area Office, 24 different tests are performed on the milk to ensure that it is safe for consumption. If the milk doesn’t pass anyone of these tests, then it is rejected and disposed off.
This all looked too good to be true to most of us though. Because we still had hundreds of questions in our minds about the final product that is sold to the customers. Everybody knows that natural milk produces cream when it is boiled, but packaged milk produces no cream upon boiling. Also, there’s no way milk can stay fresh for 3 months in packages that are not even refrigerated. What is done during the processing of the milk that changes its natural behaviour?
We asked all these questions when we reached the Olper’s milk processing plant in Sahiwal, which was the final destination of our #SachKaSafar. Not only did our hosts encourage all these questions, but they also explained all the process in depth, leaving no doubt about the high standards that are followed by Olper’s.
I’ll try answering some of these questions here.
Boiling loose milk kills all the bacteria in it. So why should we buy packaged milk?
In our kitchens, we boil the milk at very high temperatures. It certainly kills the bacteria. But this process also deprives us of many essential vitamins and nutrients. At Olper’s facility, the milk undergoes a process called UHT, in which the milk is heated at around 140°C for 2 seconds, after which it is cooled. This process kills all the bacteria in the milk but also maintains the essential vitamins and nutrients. Packaged milk sold all over the world goes through this process.
What happens to the cream in the milk?
When we boil milk at home, it forms cream at the surface. But that is not the case with packaged milk. This is because packaged milk products like Olper’s are homogenized, which means that the milk is processed in such a way that all its particles become the same size, giving it a consistent and smooth texture. Homogenization ensures that every gulp of milk is full of richness.
How does the milk stay fresh for 3 months?
The milk is packed in Tetra Pak, which has 7 layers of packaging. This ensures that the milk stays fresh and free from bacteria even when it is not refrigerated.
In conclusion, I can only say that Olper’s milk is completely safe for consumption and probably the best in market. If you too are sick of your doodhwala mixing too much water in your milk, then Olper’s milk is the best choice out there.