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Five points for Consumers to keep in mind while buying “Quality Milk”

Binsar Farms
Friday, June 24, 2022
Founders with a vision

Milk has traditionally been regarded as complete & nutritious food. It provides essential components including protein essential for muscle building, carbohydrates & vitamins in addition to calcium, which is crucial for your bones. Pure Cow milk is rich in useful amino acids, enzymes, and fatty acids. Binsar Farms Cow Milk is nutrient-dense and suitable for people of all ages. Milk is utilized for a wide range of purposes, including topical applications and eating. Milk also helps you get a decent night's rest, which is crucial in our stressed lives. Milk consumption helps to build muscles, reduce stress, improve vision, and even reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Overall, drinking a glass of milk every day is beneficial to your health.

Any compromise with the milk quality can lead to negative impact on health of the family members. It mostly affects the children as it constitutes significant part of their daily diet. India, mostly being a vegetarian country has a lot of dependency on Milk to fulfil its nutritional needs especially protein part. Historically, being a rural and farming economy, we always used to have a cow or a buffalo in our backyard, there was no dearth of milk, never had to think about milk quality and hence never built procedures & techniques to check animal feed, hygiene, milk storage/forwarding which are main pillars of Milk quality & nutrition.

During modern times, a significant population has migrated to Urban areas in search of better lifestyle and in course forgot the basic human need for quality food. These consumers have to depend for food and milk on third parties. Due to this, the demand for dairy products in general, and for milk in particular is growing. Domestic milk producers have made great efforts to modernize their production lines as well as to improve the quality of their produce, to meet the needs of consumers. With increased demand of milk, numerous brands and varieties have also appeared in the market claiming so many things which are actually new and unheard concept to Indians. So, it becomes so much important to know that what we must consider while buying milk for our kitchen. Therefore, besides generally known concepts like adulteration, Fat, SNF, thickness of milk you must also be aware of following 5 important quality pointers before buying milk.

1. Milk Source must be “Traceable”

Milk is generally collected from 3 sources. In order of desirable good hygiene, they are:

1) Professional Farm (Single owner)
2) Village Level Collection (VLC)
3) Middleman (Bulk Purchase)

The ability to trace the movement of milk and its products from production to consumption is known as Milk traceability. The journey starts from the dairy farmer to the processing plant till distribution of each bottle/pack to the market or the end consumer. Everything is traceable back to the source in such a transparent manner that consumer is assured of safe and healthy product. It also enables consumer to take informed decision before buying and important aspect to build trust in the product.

While these practices become difficult for the processors/marketers who in general collect and sell mixed milk from all kinds of sources in point no 2 & 3 above. At Binsar Farms, we have single breed Milk produced directly at our own controlled farms without involving any middleman or collect from multiple sources to avoid contamination and loss of hygiene. We also deliver direct to home using our own dedicated supply chain. This leads to enhanced food safety, preserves nutrition and reduced wastage.

2. Milk must contain “Less Bad Bacteria”

Besides being important source of nutrients for humans, the unique composition of milk makes it an excellent medium for growth of bacteria and bacterial infections (10). There are number of good bacteria (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium) and bad bacteria (E. coli, Streptococci) which can grow in milk. The milk-borne pathogenic bacteria cause 90% of all dairy related diseases(11). In order to get rid of bad bacteria, preventive and reactive both approaches are used.

In preventive, we don’t let bad bacteria grow by taking care of cow health, cleanliness, hygiene and food. Also the plant where milking takes place should be automated and no hand milking is done so that environmental bacteria could be avoided. Upon milking, milk is immediately chilled to 4°C and never let it go beyond 10°C so that bacteria growth never takes place.

In reactive approach, pasteurization is done and in this process some bacteria are killed by heating whereas others are killed by cold shock. As always, prevention is better than reaction/cure stands true here as well.

Once again, general milk sellers, are unable to control bacteria in the milk (sometimes seen in crores) as its collected from numerous sources and they end up taking reactive approach to it. By the time, milk is pasteurised at factory to kill the bad bacteria, most of the nutrition is lost being eaten away by bacteria. At Binsar Farms, we take strictly follow preventive. Milk is produced and extracted from cows which are healthy and in completely automated “Milk Parlor” where milk never sees light or gets in touch with environment. It lands directly in Bulk Milk Chiller where its chilled immediately at 4°C and pasteurized at an appropriate temperature of around 73°C so that good bacteria are not killed and the milk proteins are not lost during the process. All this leads to A+ grade milk quality which always contains less than 50000 CFU/ml (Colony forming units of bacteria).Thereafter it is packed in Hygienic environment and supplied direct to home (D2H) under strict cold chain.

3. Milk must have intact “Available Protein”

Traditionally Indian consumer is tuned to judge any kind of milk based on fat content or total composition of milk i.e. fat & solid not fat (SNF). The quality part is completely ignored by even processors, institutions and regulatory bodies. With new age consumers, who are exposed to all good practices and aware of health and nutrition, this may change. Protein which is an integral part of milk denotes quality of milk and is an important part of diet for infants, Teens, Nursing mothers and Older people. India, traditionally being a vegetarian country, most of our protein requirements are fulfilled by Milk only. Thus, it is very important for consumer to understand that Milk is primarily needed for fulfilment of protein and fat is not the main part of same. Cow milk has more than 3.5% of protein which can be naturally absorbed. Unfortunately, due to being a tropical country and poor understanding of milk production, storage and forwarding we lack techniques which save milk from being destroyed by bacteria which consumes the absorbable protein.

Most of the animal breeding farmers don’t understand the benefits of green feed and cant maintain cold chain storage due to poor educational and economical conditions. Thus the milk collected at these sources is bound to lack quality nutrition. At Binsar Farms, we maintain this level and it’s an art that how we do it. We do it under two steps – first is to increase absorbable protein and second is the preservation of available protein. The absorbable protein in milk is increased when our cows are fed on more green feed which is raw not ripened. The total available protein is preserved by once again protecting it from bacteria by maintaining cold chain all along the supply chain. And while pasteurization, maintaining the temperatures at 73°C. If we take milk beyond this temperature (which we generally do when we boil), the protein becomes denatured and is non-usable. All this hard work leads to milk which has more than 3.5% protein content & 100% available nutrition for the family.

4. Milk must have “Low Somatic Cell Count (SCC)”

Somatic cells are naturally occurring components in the milk, and their count is seen as a measure of animal udder health and milk quality. In most research, the involvement of somatic cells in dairy processes and products is ill-defined since their role incorporates physicochemical alterations of milk. Since SCs are crucial in protecting the mammary gland from infection as part of the innate immune system, the amount of SCs in milk, also known as somatic cell count (SCC), is considered as an important indicator of udder health. Many factors, including animal type, milk production level, lactation stage, as well as individual and environmental factors, as well as management approaches, influence SCC in milk (1). High Somatic Cell Count (more than 5 lakhs) indicates udder inflammation leading to bacteriological issues in milk thereby impacting quality & available nutrition.

SCC is the most ignored subject by our general purpose processors whose main aim is fulfilment first and not the overall quality and availability of nutrition. At Binsar Farms, the animal health and nutrition is taken very seriously by our doctors and nutrition experts. The cows at Binsar Farms are regularly checked and hygiene is maintained. Afterall they are our invaluable assets. This practice automatically takes care of the milk quality which comes out of the animal udder. The value of Somatic Cell Count should always be lower that the safer limit which is 5 lakhs. Most of the times we maintain at 1 lakhs which is A+ grade quality as per international standards thereby making high quality, nutritious milk available for our consumers.

5. Milk must have “Zero Antibiotics” and “Low Aflatoxins”

In Tropical countries like India, generally Antibiotics are used in veterinary for disease prevention and treatment, but the excessive use of antibiotics may lead to residue violation in animal originated foods, especially milk. This milk with antibodies contamination may cause sensitivity and allergic reactions in humans. A regular consumption of this milk having even low levels of antibiotics may end up with building antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins or fungal toxins which generally gets developed in food products which are improperly stored.  This must be regulated and kept at very low levels which could be tolerated by human body.

In general, farmers and Veterinary doctors are ignorant of this aspect which end up compromising standards of quality. At Binsar Farms, the cows under the medication are kept isolated of herd. They are milked separately and their milk is not mixed with the bulk which is supplied to the consumer. This milk is generally disposed so that we don’t have to compromise with the consumers quality milk supply.

Equally, the cows at farm consume Minimum Residual Limit (MRL) of pesticides, chemicals, etc., with the feed they consume. This keeps the amounts of aflatoxins below the safe range of 5 μg. We take special care on keeping this limit as per International standards always.

There are few suggestions which one must keep in mind while deciding to buy milk

  • Milk must be bought from trustworthy brand, when you bring good quality milk to your kitchen, you actually bring good health to your family and children.
  • If you are buying Farm Fresh Milk, make sure you check that Farm actually is in place. Don’t go just by advertising and stories.
  • Buy small pack of milk if you do not consume much or you do not need it for immediate consumption.
  • While buying milk you should make sure that the milk packing is intact and the pack is not puffed or leaking from any side.
  • You must also see the label to check the date of manufacturing and use by date of the milk. Besides this also check that the contact details of the manufacturing unit and marketing company are clearly mentioned on the label. 
  • For a number of reasons, buying local products has its own significance. It actually takes less traveling time to reach from farm to consumer which helps in preserving cold chains and thereby nutrition . 
  • Buying from local farms also helps in supporting local economy.


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  2. Hunt KM, Williams JE, Shafii B, Hunt MK, Mehre R, Ting R, McGuire MK, McGuire MA. Mastitis is associated with increased free fatty acids, somatic cell count, and interleukin-8 concentrations in human milk. Breastfeed Med. 2013; 8:105–110.
  3. Sharma N, Singh NK, Bhadwal MS. Relationship of somatic cell count and mastitis: an overview. Asian Autral J Anim. 2011; 24: 429–438.
  4. Raynal-Ljutovac K, Pirisi A, De Cremoux R, Gonzalo C. Somatic cells of goat and sheep milk: analytical, sanitary, productive and technological aspects. Small Rumin Res. 2007; 68:126–144. 
  5. Lindmark-Mansson H, Bränning C, Aldén G, Paulsson M. Relationship between somatic cell count, individual leukocyte populations and milk components in bovine udder quarter milk. Int Dairy J. 2006; 16:717–727.
  6. Le Maréchal C, Thiéry R, Vautor E, Le Loir Y. Mastitis impact on technological properties of milk and quality of milk products—a review. Dairy Sci Technol. 2011; 91:247–282.
  7. Li N, Richoux R, Boutinaud M, Martin P, Gagnaire V. Role of somatic cells on dairy processes and products: a review. Dairy Sci Technol. 2014;94(6):517-538.
  8. Bennett J.W., Klich M. Mycotoxins. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2003; 16:497–516. 
  9. Iqbal S.Z., Bhatti I.A., Asi M.R., Bhatti H.N., Sheikh M.A. Aflatoxin contamination in chillies from Punjab Pakistan with reference to climate change. Int. J. Agric. Biol. 2011; 13:261–265. 
  10. Claeys W, Cardoen S, Daube G, De Block J, Dewettinck K, Dierick K. Raw or heated cow milk consumption: Review of risks and benefits. Food Control. 2013; 31:251e262.
  11. Ryser ET. Public Health Concerns. In: Applied Diary Microbiology; Steele Edition. New York: Mercell Dekker, Inc; 1998. p. 263–404.
  12. Germaniuk I. (1986). Gormony v moloke [Hormones in the milk]. Voprosy pitaniia, (1), 4–9.

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