Food horror: Gypsum, chalk and lime in Russian milk


Russian state-controlled food watchdog Rosselchoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) published a report on fraud practices by domestic milk manufacturers.

To lower costs of products and prolong their shelf life, Russian dairy companies added vegetable fats (palm, coconut or soya oil) to them. Sometimes a mixture of modified vegetable fats – a substitute of milk fat – was used.

“In addition to water, starch, chalk, soap, soda, lime, boric or salicylic acids and even gypsum were added to milk. In fact, the usage of these substances does not prevent milk from going off, but, what is the most important, often leads to food poisoning,” Russian officials said in the report.

Sour cream is mainly mixed with adding water, kefir or skimmed curd. To make ‘watered down’ sour cream denser, vegetable oil, soya protein, starch and other stabilizers are added.

As far as curds and quarks are concerned, unfair Russian manufacturers not only add flammable oils to them, but also reduce the amount of protein from 17 to 10 %. They also use margarine and other fats in the production of butter.

Many Russians who are facing hard times after the ruble’s fall cannot afford food products of high quality.

The increase in food prices is also the result of Russia’s embargo on western food imposed as a response to Western sanctions. The Russian authorities stated that introducing the restrictions would give a great opportunity to Russian producers. However, as the report of the state-run Analytical Centre show, Russian companies fail to make good the shortfall.

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