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Food Safety Focus (32nd Issue, March 2009) – Food Incident Highlight

The Addition of Osteoblast Milk Protein in Milk

In February 2009, the media reported that a Mainland dairy company had added osteoblast milk protein (OMP) in its milk product, which was not permitted under Chinese laws without prior approval. According to records of the Centre for Food Safety and information provided by importers, the product has not been imported into Hong Kong . The local public showed concerns on the safety of milk with added OMP.

Summarising the public information released by the relevant authorities of Mainland China and the dairy company, OMP is the bovine milk protein fraction derived from milk and is composed primarily of lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase.

According to an announcement made by the Ministry of Health of Mainland China, Mainland experts have looked into the food safety aspects of OMP, and believed that milk products added with OMP currently available in the market do not pose adverse health effect to consumers.

However, manufacturers should ensure that their products are safe for human consumption and the consumers are advised to maintain a balanced diet and avoid overindulgence in food.