#Australian Milk Reportedly Contains up to 16% Permeate

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The Sydney Morning Herald has broken a story that could do to Australia’s dairy industry what pink slime did to America’s beef industry: “cheese waste” is being added to milk.Permeate, defined in the story as a “watery, greenish waste product from the production of cheese,” was reported to constitute up to 16% of the milk Australians drink.
First exposed by a TV news program, “A Current Affair,” the addition of permeate to the milk is done as a way to cut costs as milk processors profit margins have continued to decrease as a result of competition between supermarkets.
The report also highlighted that by law, dairy companies did not have to disclose the presence of permeate on the labels of milk containers.
In Australia, processors are allowed by law to dilute milk with «milk components», such as permeate, as long as the total fat level remained at least 3.2 percent (for full-cream milk) and the protein at least 3 percent (for any milk).
However, the use of US permeate is not allowed to be used to standardize fluid milk.
In the US, permeate can be labeled as “dairy product solids” on product labels to reduce consumer confusion, according to the American Dairy Products Institute and the USDA.
Consumer Concerns
Dairy Australia is worried consumers might be frightened away from drinking milk, by stories about milk containing a by-product and points out there are two types of permeate, one being a by-product of cheese and the other a by-product of milk processing. However, only milk permeate is legally allowed to be mixed back into milk to standardize the fat and protein levels.
Dairy Australia’s dietician Glenys Zucco says permeate is a natural fluid, containing lactose, vitamins and minerals.
Dairy Innovation Australia’s ingredients and applications division manager Martin Palmer stresses that it is illegal to add cheese by-product to milk in Australia.
«The issue relates to the confusion of ‘milk permeate’ (which is just milk from which most of the protein and fat has been removed by filtration) and ‘whey permeate’ (which is filtered whey, a by-product of cheesemaking).
«The dairy industry routinely standardizes the fat and protein levels of drinking milk by using milk permeate – this is a legal and acceptable under all applicable food standards and regulations.
«However, the use of whey permeate for this purpose is not permitted and does not happen in the Australian dairy industry.
«This is an important distinction from the industry and consumers’ points of view, as it removes the connotation of a ‘waste product’ from another process being added back into milk.»
Milk Producer Views
Independent NSW milk producer Country Valley says there should be clearer labeling on milk, to show if any by-products have been added.
The milk his company processes is collected from farmers on the Southern Highlands and South Coast of NSW, and he says it has no additives.
«I like to inform people about their choices in food,» he said. «I really believe that the food industry is at a crossroad. Everyone is trying to buy products that are cheaper and cheaper, which means processors have to do cheaper and cheaper things.”
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 (Archive on Friday, June 15, 2012)
Posted by bsutton@adpi.org  Contributed by bsutton@adpi.org

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Así lo expresó Domingo Possetto, secretario de la seccional Rafaela, quien además, afirmó que a los productores «habitualmente los ignoran los gobiernos». Además, reconoció la labor de los empresarios de las firmas locales y aseguró que están «esperanzados» con la negociación entre SanCor y Adecoagro.

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