Impacts of Milk Fraud on Food Safety and Nutrition with Special Emphasis on Developing Countries

Caroline E. Handford*, Katrina Campbell, Christopher T. Elliott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Milk in its natural form has a high food value, since it is comprised of a wide variety of nutrients which are essential for proper growth and maintenance of the human body. In recent decades, there has been an upsurge in milk consumption worldwide, especially in developing countries, and it is now forming a significant part of the diet for a high proportion of the global population. As a result of the increased demand, in addition to the growth in competition in the dairy market and the increasing complexity of the supply chain, some unscrupulous producers are indulging in milk fraud. This malpractice has become a common problem in the developing countries, which lack strict vigilance by food safety authorities. Milk is often subjected to fraud (by means of adulteration) for financial gain, but it can also be adulterated due to ill-informed attempts to improve hygiene conditions. Water is the most common adulterant used, which decreases the nutritional value of milk. If the water is contaminated, for example, with chemicals or pathogens, this poses a serious health risk for consumers. To the diluted milk, inferior cheaper materials may be added such as reconstituted milk powder, urea, and cane sugar, even more hazardous chemicals including melamine, formalin, caustic soda, and detergents. These additions have the potential to cause serious health-related problems. This review aims to investigate the impacts of milk fraud on nutrition and food safety, and it points out the potential adverse human health effects associated with the consumption of adulterated milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-142
Number of pages13
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number1
Early online date02 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Adulteration
  • Food safety
  • Health
  • Milk fraud
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Impacts of Milk Fraud on Food Safety and Nutrition with Special Emphasis on Developing Countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this