Cow’s milk is packaged in a special carton pack of six layers of Tetrapack after heating for 13 seconds at a temperature of 135 to 140 sellC and completely sterilized. This method of storing milk is called Ultra High Temperature (UHT) method. It does not penetrate the Tetrapack cartons and does not allow air, moisture and sunlight to enter inside. As a result, milk stays at normal temperature for up to six months. The biggest advantage of UHT milk is that it can be drunk directly by opening the packet within a certain period of time.
Invented about 70 years ago, this UHT method is becoming increasingly popular in Bangladesh. Sales of UHT milk have also increased, especially at a time when human nutrition awareness is on the rise in Corona.
Today is World Milk Day. The day has been observed since 2001 at the initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to focus on dairy-related activities.
UHT milk has been available in Bangladesh since 2003-04 through Pran-RFL Group. The group still has an 80 percent market share. In addition, BRAC’s Arang Dairy and Akij Group’s Farm Fresh brand UHT milk are available in the market. Kamruzzaman Kamal, director (marketing) of Pran-RFL Group, said the product was not popular among the people at first due to lack of awareness.
However, over time, the demand for the product has increased as people’s perceptions of the UHT method have increased. Last year, UHT milk sales increased by 10 to 12 percent.
In general, people in Bangladesh are less likely to drink milk. According to the World Health Organization, a person needs to drink an average of 250 ml of milk daily.
According to various organizations and experts, the amount of milk consumed is one to two-thirds less than the recommended level of the World Health Organization.
One of the reasons for low milk consumption in the country is that production is less than the demand for milk. In addition, there is a lot of risk of boiling milk and sterilizing it. In this case UHT milk has become a good solution in this case.
Demand for UHT milk has increased not only in the country but also in the international market.
According to the US-based market research firm IMARC, the size of the world market for UHT milk in 2020 stood at 11,730 crore liters.
However, its recent growth rate in the international market is not very significant, there is a growing demand for UHT milk in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman, senior director of BRAC Enterprises, sees the possibility of increasing the demand for UHT milk in the coming years as well. He said, ‘The social system of Bangladesh is changing very fast, especially the participation of women in the work is increasing the provision of nutrition in the family. But working women do not have time to express milk in the traditional way in their busy routine. In this case, they are choosing UHT milk. Sales of Arang UHT milk increased by about 17% last year.
The only downside to UHT milk is that it is more expensive than pasteurized milk. One liter of pasteurized milk is sold at 75-80 rupees. One liter of UHT milk costs 90 rupees. Even then, buyers are buying the product at a higher price because of the storage facility.