Indian mothers are blissfully unaware that prolonged and repeated boiling of milk depletes nutrition that is vital for children, a survey released Friday stated.
The survey by Tetra Pak reveals that "around 59 percent of mothers felt boiling (milk) increases its nutritional value and 24 percent felt that it does not impact its nutritional properties. Only 17 percent of mothers surveyed believed that boiling milk affects its nutritional properties".
"It is surprising that most households are unaware that prolonged and repeated boiling of milk leads to loss in nutrition. In a majority of Indian households, milk is boiled more than thrice, skimmed and hence devoid of most of the essential vitamins, proteins, amino acids and minerals," said Sanjeev Bagai, paediatrician and nephrologist.
Vitamins and proteins are denatured and destroyed when milk is boiled at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius for over 15 minutes. Milk is a vital source for Vitamin D and Vitamin B 12, which help in calcium absorption. Both these vitamins are highly heat sensitive and boiling milk destroys both substantially.
"Any loss of vital ingredients in milk, especially proteins and vitamins, could cause growth deficiency, weak bones, poor muscle development and neurological impact, among other long-term effects. Mothers need to be sensitised regarding improper boiling practices as it depletes milk of nutrients. At the same time, they should be aware about technologies that best protect milk," added Bagai.