COA defends local milk quality after enduring criticism


Mon, Nov 22, 2004 - Page 10

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.