English, Fake News

The white liquid seen in this video is Phenyl emulsifier/cutting oil, not adulterated milk


A video purportedly showing milk adulteration is being widely shared on social media. Let’s verify the truth behind it.

Claim: Video showing the process of milk adulteration.

Fact: The video shows mixing of Turkey red oil/ mineral oil with water to get a white solution called Phenyl emulsifier/cutting oil. Phenyl emulsifier is used in making white phenyls, whereas cutting oil is used as lubricant and coolant for machines. There are no reports to suggest that these fluids are used in milk adulteration in India. According to FSSAI, most common substances found in adulterated milk are water, antibiotics, pesticides, aflatoxin M1 etc. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

We searched the internet with relevant keywords and found that the same video with similar claims has been going viral since 2018. We then found similar videos on YouTube where a white solution is formed after mixing water with a concentrated chemical. Some of the videos can be seen here and here.

When the concentrated Turkey red oil is mixed with water, a white coloured solution is formed which is usually used in making white phenyl. Similarly, mineral oil when mixed with water turns into a white coloured liquid generally referred as cutting oil, which is used as lubricant and coolant in machines. There are no reports to suggest that they are used in milk adulteration process. Moreover, the taste and odour of this white liquid is completely different from that of milk, which makes it easy to identify.

Nevertheless, milk adulteration is a serious problem in the country. According to the FSSAI survey in 2019, 12 out of 6,432 samples of milk were found unsafe for human consumption due to adulteration. 77 samples contained residues of antibiotics above the permissible limits. About 5.7 per cent of the samples were also found to be contaminated with aflatoxin M1 residues, a chemical compound that gets into the milk through feed and fodder. Among 12 adulterated samples, six were found to contain hydrogen peroxide, while others had the presence of detergent, urea, or neutralisers. A detailed report on substances used in milk adulteration and detection techniques can be read here.

To sum it up, the white liquid seen in this video is phenyl emulsifier/cutting oil; the video doesn’t show milk adulteration process.


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