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VietNamNews

VN needs to learn the benefits of milk

Update: December, 04/2012 - 10:34

HCM CITY (VNS) — The importance of milk as a source of nutrition and ignorance of this in Viet Nam were discussed at an international milk conference held in HCM City last Friday.

Thai Huong, chairwoman of the TH Milk Group, one of the organisers, said Vietnamese need to realise that milk is an indispensable food, especially for children.

Anders Henriksson, senior application specialist at Dupont Nutrition and Health, Australia, said milk offers more benefits than many other foods.

For instance, milk protein receives a score of 1 on the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score, which means that it completely fulfills the body's need for amino acids. The score is only 0.92 for beef, 0.75 for black bean, 0.52 for peanuts, and 0.225 for wheat gluten, he said.

"The most likely effect of dairy product supplementation is a 0.4cm per annum additional growth per 245 ml of milk daily."

Fresh and fermented milk helps build and maintain strong bones throughout life besides providing a range of other health benefits.

According to the World Health Organisation, osteoporosis, or a decrease in bone mass, currently affects 200 million people globally.

Henriksson also urged businesses not to use hormones and additives/preservatives, and use environmentally friendly packaging.

Delegates said since milk products are an important food item, quality control and improvement are vital.

TH Milk Group said dairy farmers need to pay more attention to sanitation and modern technology to combat diseases, especially mastitis in cows and ensure milk quality.

Viet Nam has yet to issue regulations on milk quality standards, Huong noted, calling for such regulations soon to make consumers understand clearly about quality.

She said relevant agencies should carry out market inspections to classify the quality of milk products.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said with domestic businesses realising the rising popularity of milk in overseas markets and the global trend towards natural and less processed foods, they are likely to standardise milk quality to improve their competitiveness.

But the country's dairy sector is still young and depends heavily on imports for raw materials.

To reduce reliance on imports, he urged them to use technologies to improve their production of raw materials. — VNS

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