Mon, Nov 22, 2004 - Page 10 News List

COA defends local milk quality after enduring criticism


The Council of Agriculture (COA) defended the quality of locally produced fresh milk yesterday, saying the product is hygienic and nutritious.

The Cabinet-level council was responding to a study by a National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) research team that claimed that 80 percent of locally produced fresh milk, including most popular brands, were not very nutritious because their beta-lactoglobulin contents were almost completely lost in the process of ultra-high-temperature (UTH) flash sterilization.

The NCTU report also said that the quality of locally produced fresh milk lagged far behind that of US-originated fresh milk and even fell below that of imported powdered milk.

Beta-lactoglobulin is the main component of proteins in fresh milk that can enhance immunity, lower cholesterol and aid in vitamin digestion.

In response, Chen Hsing-hao (陳幸浩), a COA department chief in charge of husbandry affairs, and Chen Pao-chi (陳保基), chairman of National Taiwan University's livestock husbandry department, jointly held a news conference to defend the quality of locally produced fresh milk.

Chen Hsing-hao said local dairy farms have consistently followed the standard sterilization procedures widely used in the international community in keeping their products free of bacteria.

"Flash sterilization under a temperature of 130? C is not expected to seriously affect nutrients in fresh milk," Chen Hsing-hao said.

Chen Pao-chi admitted that UTH sterilization may slightly affect some temperature-sensitive nutrients.

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