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Hallqvist, Jennifer, 2019. The importance of buffalo milk in the curd manufacture of Sri Lanka. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Department of Molecular Sciences



Sri Lanka is a developing country located south of India, in the Indian ocean. It is a country with multiple cultures, ethnicities and languages, and it is rated as “high” on the Human Development Index (HDI). The total population is 20.9 million, of which 28% are employed in the agricultural primary production. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector of Sri Lanka is limited in terms of mechanization, market-oriented production and agriculture-based industries. The total number of farmers in Sri Lanka is estimated to be around 11 million, of which 3.5 million keeping livestock. In year 2017 there were 444,912 domesticated buffaloes in Sri Lanka and the buffalo milk-production increased by the double from 2009 to 2017. Buffaloes are unique in their way of surviving during very hard nutritional conditions as well as under less beneficial management. This makes them favourable as milk producers at certain places with hard conditions.

The small-scale dairy processing is found to play an important role in the marketing of Sri Lankan dairy products. Products with high production value, such as curd, is manufactured by farmers themselves for both private use and for resale. Curd is one of the oldest fermented milk products in Sri Lanka, and can be made from both buffalo milk and cow milk. The buffalo curd is named Meekiri, and curd made of cow milk is named Deekiri. In the process of making curd, the lactose in the milk is converted into lactic acid. Buffalo milk is preferably used in the curd production, rather than milk from cattle. Because of the higher content of fat and protein, buffalo milk gives a higher yield of curd, as well as a creamier texture.

In this project, milk from three buffaloes and from six European cattle, was collected and analysed in terms of fat-, protein-, lactose- and solids-not-fat content. The other part of this project was to produce buffalo curd (Meekiri) and cow curd (Deekiri). With help of a test panel, the products were evaluated and compared considering appearance, odour, colour, texture, flavour and syneresis.

The results regarding milk composition showed that buffalo milk had a generally higher content of fat, protein, lactose and solids-not-fat than the European cattle breeds, especially concerning the fat content. There was little variation in lactose between all milk samples. Furthermore, the visual appearance of the two curds was that Meekiri had a whiter colour, while Deekiri had a distinct yellow colour. Also, Meekiri was slightly firmer with a sourer taste than the milder tasting Deekiri. A panel of judges tasted the two curds and ranked Meekiri slightly higher in all perspectives. However, some people did prefer Deekiri with its mild taste and less firm texture. It was less syneresis in Meekiri, most probably because of its higher fat- and total solid content.

Curd is not yet very well known in the western world, for example in Scandinavia, due to the lack of buffaloes in this area. The priority of this study was to investigate and collect information about buffaloes as a dairy animal in Sri Lanka and its importance in the curd manufacture of the country.

Main title:The importance of buffalo milk in the curd manufacture of Sri Lanka
Authors:Hallqvist, Jennifer
Supervisor:Johansson, Monika and Vidanarachchi, Janak
Examiner:Lundh, Åse
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2019:5
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY010 Agronomprogrammet - livsmedel, för antagna fr.o.m. 2016 300 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Molecular Sciences
Keywords:Sri Lanka, curd, Meekiri, Deekiri, buffalo milk, milk composition, milk fat, fermented milk products
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Food science and technology
Deposited On:10 Jul 2019 07:44
Metadata Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 11:28

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