Feta cheese to hit shelves across Gujarat soon

November 19, 2021

Rajkot: Mahatma Gandhi always espoused the virtues of goat milk.

Now, feta cheese, which is made from goat milk, will soon hit the market with Surendranagar’s Sursagar Dairy chalking out elaborate plans to make this milk product.

Sursagar Dairy will soon have a meeting with Sahjeevan, a voluntary organization working with pastoral families in Saurashtra and Kutch and apprise the Gujarat Milk Marketing Co-operative Federation (GCMMF) to finalize the launching of feta cheese in December.

GCMMF, which markets the Amul brand, has already shown interest in selling feta cheese, which has no fat. Manoj Mishra, executive director of Sahjeevan, told TOI: “We had a meeting with GCMMF officials last week about the launching of feta cheese. They tested a smaller volume production of cheese and are going to test the production from 2,000 litres of milk.”

Mishra said the launch is being planned in the first or second week of December.

GCMMF, Sursagar Dairy officials and Sahjeevan team will meet soon to finalize the date and they are planning to invite Parsottam Rupala, union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, for the launch.

Feta cheese is made in a few select places and India imports this cheese from Denmark and France. Goat milk has almost nil fat and that’s why it’s useful for making cheese. There are many pastoral families in Surendranagar engaged in goat breeding.

Currently, they sell goat milk in the open market and some of them also mix it with cow or buffalo milk.

Sursagar Dairy, which procures milk in the district, has already identified 17 pockets in Sayla and Chotila talukas to procure this milk. This milk will be initially procured in existing bulk milk chillers (BMC) and if required, they will also have mobile BMC which can keep milk cool for six to seven hours.

There are some 500 families engaged in goat breeding and the dairy can procure 8,000 litres milk per day but in the initial stage they are planning to procure 2,000 litres.

Gurdit Singh, managing director, Sursagar Dairy said, “I got a message from GCMMF that they will launch feta cheese. We have provided them goat milk for trial and we have infrasture ready to procure this milk.”

GCMMF’s managing director R S Sodhi said, “We are positive about marketing goat cheese which is our initial planning. We are doing trials and the date of launching is yet to be finalized.”

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