The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has provided clarity on the use of protein binders in milk and milk products, reinforcing its commitment to ensuring the highest quality and nutritional value of dairy products for consumers. This clarification was made by a press release issued on 5th October, 2023.
FSSAI has categorically stated that the addition of protein binders to milk and milk products is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, only additives specified for use in such products in the Appendix A of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, are allowed.
The decision is rooted in the understanding that milk and milk products already possess unique and well-accepted textural and sensory characteristics. Consequently, the use of binding materials like protein binders to modify these parameters is deemed unnecessary.
While protein binders have gained prominence as essential ingredients in the production of various food products, especially semi-solid or solid foods, FSSAI’s stance underscores the potential negative impact on the digestibility of bound proteins. Such an effect can alter the biological and nutritive value of milk proteins and influence the bioavailability and distribution of active compounds.
Milk proteins are renowned for their high biological value, serving as an excellent source of essential amino acids. They are easily digestible and lack anti-nutritional factors commonly found in many plant-based proteins. Additionally, milk and milk products contain a diverse array of proteins with various biological activities, including antimicrobial properties, facilitation of nutrient absorption, acting as growth factors, hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and immune stimulants.