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BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products: An Extensive Outlook

calendar02 Sep, 2021
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products

The Indian Government has underpinned extensive guidelines for producer and exporter for milk & milk products which have been made a legal compulsion vide the Milk and Milk Product Order 1992.  As per this order, any individual/milk plant processing more than 100000 L/day or 500MT of milk powder annually needs to obtain consent from the registering authority working under the aegis of central authority. The primary goal of the order is to administer & escalate the supply of liquid milk of desired quality in the interest of the masses & also for governing the supply chain of milk and milk product.  In this blog, we will cast some light on the BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products.

In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has setup the nodal ministry for administering the food standards in India. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 (PFA) entails the guidelines regarding the food quality and safety at the national level

BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products

BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products have been outlined on the basis of the following parameters:

BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products

Type of Cream

Type of Count

Level in cfu* (colony-forming unit )/ml or g


Raw Cream


Plate count / ml or g

< 4 lakhs

Very good

4-20 lakhs



20-100 lakhs



>100 lakhs



Coiform count / ml or g

Not more than 100



Pasteurized cream

Standard plate coun / millilitre or gram

Not more than 60,000


Coliform count / millilitre or gram

Not more than 10



A colony-forming unit, as the name suggest, refers to a unit extensively used in microbiology to compute the number of fungal cells or viable bacteria in a sample.

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PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Standards

PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Standards

BIS Microbiological Standards

Yeast & Mold count/millilitre Quantity
Less than 20 Good
21-50 Fair
51-100 Poor
Greater than 100 Very Poor

SPC (Standard Plate Count*), No standard has been introduced

Standard Plate Count* refers the measure of the total number of aerobic bacteria present in the milk products.

Coliform count butter has been maxed at 10/ ml to ensure optimal quality.  


AGMARK* Standards

AGMARK* refers to a certification mark affixed on the agro-based commodities in India[1]. The product under AGMARK certification renders the assurance of quality and standards approved by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection.

S.NO. Tests PAN India Winter Summer
1. Phytosterol acetate Negative Negative
2 Baudouin Negative Negative
3. B.R. reading (40 degree celcius) 40.0-43.0 (degree celcius) 41.5-44.0 (degree celcius) 42.5 – 45.0 (degree celcius)
4. R.M. Value Not lower than 28.0 Not lower than 23.0 Not lower than 21.0
5. P Value 1.0-2.0 0.5-1.2 0.5-1.0
6. Moisture (%) Not higher than 0.3
7. Free fatty acid (% oleic)
a. Special grade Agmark Red label Not higher than 1.4
b. General Grade Agmark Green label Not higher than 2.5

R.M. Value sets out for the state of Tamil Nadu: 24

Ice Cream


Characteristics Requirements
Weight (gram/Li) (min) 525
Total solids (% weight) (minimum) 36.0
Milk Fat (%weight) (minimum) 10.0
Acidity (% lactic acid) (maximum) 0.25
Stabiliser / emulsifier (%weight) (maximum) 0.5
Sucrose (%weight) (maximum) 15.0


Test Limit
Plate Count (per gram) not higher than 2,50,000
Coliform count (per gram) not higher than 90
Phosphatase negative

Milk Powder


Whole Milk Powder

Skim Milk Powder

Flavour & Smell



Moisture (%weight) (maximum value)



Total milk solids (% weight)




a. Solubility index (maximum) millilitre


(if roller dried out)


( if roller dried out)


(if spray dried out)


(if spray dried out)


b. Solubility (% weight.) (minimum)

85.0 millilitre (if roller dried out)

85.0 millilitre (if roller dried out)

98.5 millilitre (if spray dried out)

98.5 millilitre (if spray dried out)


Total ash (on dry basis) weight (maximum)



Fat (% weight)

Not lower than 26

Not higher than 1.5

Titratable acidity (% lactic)



Microbiological standards

Types WMP & Extra Grade SMP Standard Grade SMP*
Overalll bacterial count, maximum value (cfu/g) 40,000 50,000
Coliform Count Absent in 0.1 gram Absent in 0.1 gram
Salmonella Absent in 25 gram Not mentioned
Staph. aureus (coagulase positive) Absent in 0.1 gram Not mentioned
Shigella Absent in 25 gram Not mentioned

Skim Milk Powder (aka SMP) refers to a product that produced after the partial extraction of fat & water from pasteurized milk.


Characteristics Natural Cheese (hard variety) Processed Cheese Processes Cheese spread Cheese Powder
1. Moisture % by mass. max 43 47 60 5
2. Milk Fat (on dry basis) % by mass. Mini. 42 40 40 40
3.Salt (added NaCl) % by mass max 3 3 3 5.5
4. Coliform count/ gram max 10
5. Stabilizer / 0.1% 4%
6. Sorbic acid / Nisin 0.1% 0.1%

Recommended bacteriological norms

S. No. Product Yeast & Mold Count Coliform Aerobic spore count Anaerobic spore count
1. Processed cheese/gram 60 200 100
2. Processed cheese spread/gram 60 200 100

Concentrated Milk

Characteristics Full Cream Skim Milk
Total milk solids ([percentage by wt., minimum) 31.0 26
Fat (percentage by weight.) min 9.0 max 0.5
Sucrose (% by wt., mini) 40 40
Acidity (% lactic acid, max) 0.35 0.35
Bacterial count (cfu/g, max) 500 500
Test for Coliforms Negative Negative
Yeast & Mold count (cfu/g, max) 10 10


Milk is the widely consumed commodity in India and there are handful of companies that are involved in it production. The volume at which daily products are produced in our nation is beyond monumental. Hence, there is a need of a safety protocol that can ensure 100% hygine and quality of such products. BIS is doing a commendable job in this regard by incorporating relevant measures every now and then. Hope this detailed snapshot on BIS standards for Milk and Milk Products would provide you with adequate information. For clarification, please drop your message in the comment box.

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