Tuesday, 4 October 2016

#SachKaSafar with Olpers

Big corporations nowadays like Engro face negative publicity as people publish things in the newspaper without authenticating them. To increase their TRP’s they put false claims on big organizations which causes the organizations a lot of problems. Likewise, Engro was accused of providing their customers with contaminated milk which is injurious to the health of people. Barrister Zafarullah Khan filed petitions in the Lahore High Court sharing two concerns regarding packaged milk:

1. Milk providers sell adulterated packaged milk.
2. Milk providers add detergent powder in their products that can cause Hepatitis C and cancer.
The petitions were dismissed by the high court after several investigations from four different labs which proved that there was no element in the milk injurious to health but this still wasn't enough as the High Court decision didn't reach out to the general masses. 
Engro thought it was their social responsibility towards the general public to show them how hygienic and safe their milk is, they organized a trip taking different bloggers from Lahore and took them  to their plant in Sahiwal.  I, being one of the bloggers, was taken to Olper's Milk Dairy Collection and Processing Factory at Sahiwal where the main activities of milk collection and packaging happens. We met engineers and specialists from Olpers who guided us with everything in detail clearing a lot of myths and doubts in our minds. 

The bus ride from Lahore to Sahiwal went well where all the bloggers communicated with each other and a little discussion regarding Olpers milk took place. We were taken to Arifwala, which was the closest Milk Collection Centers (MCCs) of Olpers in Sahiwal. The specialists there expounded how milk is put away in chillers. In the collection center, milk is collected by their latest technology without even touching the animal. They also get milk from over 40,000 farmers all over Pakistan. The quality of Olpers milk depends directly on the quality of its raw material i.e. raw milk. Raw milk used in Olpers Milk is of superior quality and is collected from their own dairy farm or from our approved dairy farmers. Their agri-services team develops a close liaison with farmers and helps them with improved yields and productivity of milk from their animals. Dangerous practices like hormonal injections etc. are strongly discouraged and such raw milk is not accepted at their processing facilities. 

Following this, we moved towards the Area center in Zonal. The Zonal office is to make sure that the milk is purified and 28 tests are conveyed to check if the milk meets the norms set or not. On the off chance that any of the test fails out of 28, the milk is rejected. 

One of the things which I was convinced was their hygiene and cleanliness levels. They made us wear coats, caps, and even masks during our plant tour at the Area centre in Zonal. The facility was very clean and well maintained. We were not allowed to take our smartphones or any other item inside the main plant area at the factory too as they did not want any sort of contamination in the core activities.

We, then, went to the main planet where three main processes are done to ensure milk is packaged in hygienic conditions: 
Homogenization: All fat is mixed with the milk so every drop is full of nourishment.
Pasteurization: Heat milk at 16 degrees so pathogens are removed from the milk 
Nutri-heat: Heating milk at 104 degrees for 2 seconds and then cooled so only bacteria is killed and vitamins remain in milk.  After all these processes and tests, milk is brought to the filling area where it is packed. With their aseptic tetra-Pak packaging milk is protected from light, air or any other environmental factors. This is the main reason why their expiry is 3 months. It was also told to us that if we open their seal, like any other milk it will be spoiled. Hence it shows they add no artificiality or preservatives to counter the natural quality of milk. 

A briefing and question and answer session was conducted at the main plant where our concerns and questions were catered. We could ask anything we wanted to so that we could get a clear picture of the product. One of the questions raised was: 

'Does it contain any preservatives?' 
The answer to which was: It is important for Olpers to have your trust which is why they make no false claims. Olper’s milk is indeed 100% preservative-free and full of nutrition that children need for their growth and development. Their NutriHeat process eliminates the bacteria and pathogens and it is the aseptic Tetrapak packaging which prevents any bacteria or germs from getting into the milk which is why Olper's shelf life is longer. If Olper's is left open to the environment after the pack is opened and not refrigerated then it goes bad like any other milk, and there are no preservatives to counter this natural quality of milk.

 Another question was: What is the difference between the stabilizers and emulsifiers that Olpers use versus what people think are chemicals?
The answer to which was: Stabilizers which are 100% plant origin. Emulsifiers are also vegetable fat based. Both Stabilizer and Emulsifier are categorized under Permitted Food Additives list with E-numbers by international food safety bodies (Codex, FAO, WHO etc.) and national (PSQCA, PFA) food laws.

It's very easy to write something and get it published in the media these days but looking at the other side, it can cause serious issues and trouble to the other party. As a blogger it is my job to get the real information to reach out to the general masses and this is what I have done here. This #SachKaSafar visit to the factory cleared my own personal doubts about Olpers Milk and hygienic issues. I can personally vouch on behalf of Engro Foods that Olpers Milk is safe for consumption. For more information and clarity on this you can watch this video or visit Olpers Facebook page.

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