Stringent Rules for Dairy Production

Stringent Rules for Dairy Production
Stringent Rules for Dairy Production

Data has it that one out of three men and one out of two women in Iran suffer from osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D deficiency are common health problems in the country with 80% of school-age children affected. This further indicates the urgent need to encourage dairy food consumption as well as improve the quality of products.

In spite of this dire need, many Iranians have reduced their dairy consumption for fear of the effects of palm oil against which they were warned via social networks. Nutritionists however maintained that people regularly use dairy products because the calcium in milk is easily absorbed and used in the body. Iran’s Food and Drug Organization also took a major step toward improving the quality of dairy by banning the use of palm oil in all milk products except ice cream, IRNA reported.

Over the past two years, the FDA has actively worked toward detecting and reporting violations in dairy quality, especially the use of vegetable oil, in collaboration with medical science universities, said the director general of the food, beauty and health products supervision department at the FDA.

“Quality control is pursued actively and the products in the market are regularly sampled and tested for their fat type. Offenders are prosecuted,” added Behrouz Jannat.

The official pointed to data about the import of palm oil which saw a 42% decrease in 2014 compared to the previous year. The import of healthier kinds with lower levels of saturated fatty acid like super palm olein increased.

“The import of unhealthier types of the oil like palm kernel declined considerably and palm stearin (with highly saturated fatty acids) was banned in 2014,” the FDA official said.

A committee for ‘curbing use of palm oil in food with particular focus on dairy’, comprising university teachers, supervisors and dairy industry experts was formed and the results of their deliberations have been drawn on to set rules and standards.  

According to Jannat, confectionaries have been instructed to replace vegetable oil with minerin cream (a type of vegetable cream) which contains the least amount of saturated fatty acid and trans fat. The guidelines for vegetable butter were also revised and the standard level of trans fat was reduced from 10% to 2%.