Due to increasing health awareness, people become more concerned about what they consume. As a worldwide popular drink, milk has high nutritional value. Yet, we should pay attention to its quality and safety to best protect our health.
To find out the truth, Test-it™ selected 68 most popular milk products in the market and joined hands with a professional laboratory to perform safety test using the world leading bio-testing technology Testing 2.0. Based on the test results, it rated 46 products as Green Fish (Excellent), 10 products as Yellow Fish (Basic) and 12 products as Red Fish (Sub-optimal).
Test-it™ found that the more expensive the milk, the better its quality. Samples produced in Europe and America are better in terms of safety. None of the samples contain estrogenic endocrine disruptors that exceed the standard. In other words, all samples passed the chronic toxicity test.
According to the World Health Organization and United Nations, choosing the wrong product could cause cancers, infertility, precocious puberty, obesity and neurological disorders. Test-it™ provides clear, direct test reports with lifestyle tips. Equipped with scientific and objective information, consumers can make safer purchasing choices. Stay tuned for more interesting facts.
Interesting Facts of Milk
Findings of Test-it™
Samples under test are categorized into two groups: liquid milk and dairy beverages.
[Milk encyclopedia] Products which contain milk as the only ingredient are classified as milk.
Products comprise liquid milk and additives including emulsifiers, stabilizers, flavorings and colorings are classified as dairy beverages.
Test-it™ found that over 70% of liquid milk samples passed the test and were rated Green Fish. Comparing with dairy beverage samples containing additives, liquid milk performed better in terms of safety.
Samples were grouped into whole milk, low-fat milk and skimmed milk in terms of types.
Among these 68 milk samples:
There are 14 low-fat milk samples, with 11 (79%) of them rated Green Fish, 1 (7%) rated Yellow Fish and 2 (14%) rated Red Fish.
There are 46 whole milk samples, with 28 (60%) of them rated Green Fish, 9 (20%) rated Yellow Fish and 9 (20%) rated Red Fish.
There are eight skimmed milk samples, with seven (88%) of them rated Green Fish and one (12%) rated Red Fish.
Brands of milk products under test are mainly from Asia, Europe & America and Oceania.
Among the total of 46 samples of Asian brands, 29 (63%) products were rated Green Fish, 9 (20%) were rated Yellow Fish and 8 (17%) were rated Red Fish.
Among the total of 10 samples of European brands, 8 (80%) were rated Green Fish and 2 (20%) were rated Red Fish.
Among the total of 12 samples of Oceanian brands, 9 (75%) were rated Green Fish, 1 (8%) was rated Yellow Fish and 2 (17%) were rated Red Fish.
By comparing the data for brands of different origins, Test-it™ found that 80% of European and American brands passed the bio-testing and were rated Green Fish, meaning that they are safer that brands from Asia and Oceania.
In terms of product origin, the test selected milk produced in Asia, Europe & America and Oceania.
Among these 68 milk samples:
46 samples were manufactured in Asia, with 28 (61%) rated Green Fish, 9 (20%) rated Yellow Fish and 9 (20%) rated Red Fish.
9 samples were produced in Europe and America, with 8 (89%) rated Green Fish and 1 (11%) rated Red Fish.
13 samples were manufactured in Oceania, with 10 (77%) rated Green Fish, 1 (8%) rated Yellow Fish and 1 (15%) rated Red Fish.
In comparing data for different product origins, nearly 90% of samples produced in Europe and America were rated Green Fish, indicating better safety performance than samples manufactured in Asia and Oceania.
Samples were classified into high-priced, mid-priced and low-priced ones and the results are as follows:
Among the 68 samples tested, the most expensive one costed 10HKD/100ml, which was around 10 times of the cheapest one that costed 1.1HKD/100ml. The average price was 2.6HKD/100ml.
Through the testing of milk products, Test-it™ found that more than half of the mid-priced and high-priced samples passed the safety test. Nearly 80% of high-priced samples were rated Green Fish, which indicates that they have better safety performance.
Milk requires high standard of storage, which incur costs in every process. More refined process leads to higher costs, and at the same time, better quality. This may explain the more satisfying safety performance of higher-priced milk.
84% of genes known to be associated with human disease have a zebrafish counterpart. Therefore, substances that are toxic to zebrafish embryos are likely to be toxic to human. When exposed to toxic substances, fish embryos develop abnormalities, such as head tumour, tail tumour, heart swelling and even immediate death in serious condition.
Test-it™ found that 46 (68%) samples passed the acute toxic test and were rated Green Fish, ten (15%) were rated Yellow Fish and 12 (18%) were rated Red Fish.
Samples were also examined using the transgenic fish embryos technology to test for chronic toxicity. When chronic toxicants (estrogenic endocrine disruptors) are detected, embryos emit green florescence light in various luminous intensity, which can be used to quantify toxicants, enabling evaluation of human health risks according to WHO/FAO guideline.
It is worth noting that all 68 milk samples passed the chronic toxicity test and none of them exceeded the standard for estrogenic endocrine disruptors.
[Milk Fact] There are many factors affecting the quality of fresh milk, including residual pesticides and mildew in livestock feeds, medication of the cows, quality of containers for milking, processing and storage, logistics and packaging. All steps in the production process may affect milk quality and become the major sources of harmful substances in the milk products.
Conventional chemical test 1.0 and the basic regulations only reflects the basic requirement for a product’s market entry. The mission of Test-it™ is to further improve product safety with world leading technology Testing 2.0. Though horizontal analysis in similar products, Test-it™ provides consumers with information and data for better consumer choices. Products are categorised as Green Fish, Yellow Fish and Red Fish according to test results.
Test-it™ has developed a high standard as a third party consumer goods evaluation platform. Developed by an experienced research and development team and an advisory board of toxicology experts from 12 countries, Test-it™ references from the global standard of China, EU, the U.S., Japan, WHO and OECD. With the application of fish embryo toxicity (FET) test technology (Testing 2.0), The standard of Test-it™ could be higher than the existing regulations.
Market research and product
Test-it™ selected 68 best selling liquid milk products brands by analysing sales and attention span from the Test-it™ fans group. The research is conducted in both e-commerce platform and physical store.
Purchasing Method and Channel
All tested samples were purchased by Test-it as a common customer. Samples were purchased from the brands’ official beauty counters and their globally recognised sales channels ( official flagship stores ) on major E-commerce platforms ( JD, Tmall, Koala, Amazon) . All sample were purchased anonymously.In order to maintain neutrality and objectiveness, Test-it reports will not accept products submitted by manufactures.
1、 Transgenic medaka embryo testing for chronic toxicants
2、Zebrafish embryo testing for acute toxicants
Vitargent adopts an exclusive ingredients screening system comparing restricted and high risk ingredients regulated by the CODEX Alimentarius of the WHO&FAO, USFDA, EU, Food and Drug Administration of Japan and China to further enhance product safety.
Ingredient Screening: Products must not contain any chemicals that are associated with health complications, eco-toxicity, or contamination by scientific safety evaluations, or are banned by the following governmental agencies and authoritative bodies.
US: USFDA’s ‘Summary of colour additives for use in the United States in foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices’, ‘Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients’, and 'Everything Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS)'.
EU: European Commission Nos. 1333/2008, 1223/2009, 1129/2011, and 1130/2011, and Candidate List of substances of very high concern for Authorisation (SVHC) by European Chemicals Agency (2017).
China: China FDA’s ‘Safety and Technical Standard for Cosmetics’ (2015), and 'National food safety standards: food additive standard (GB2760-2014).
Japan: Japan’s ‘Standards for Cosmetics’ (2000), and 'Standard for use of food additives (2017)
WHO&FAO: CODEX Alimentarius
Results Analyzing Method
|Category||Medaka embryo testing for chronic toxicants||Zebrafish embryo testing for acute toxicants||Ingredients check|
|Pass WHO guideline on Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)||No LC50 (50% fish death) detected at highest concentration||No banned or high concernedingredients|
||Pass WHO guideline on Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)||LC50 detected within highest centration to Vitargent category-based reference line||No banned but contain high concerned ingredients|
||Fail (reading exceed ADI or over 50% fish death at Vitargent category-based reference line )||LC50 detected below Vitargent category-based reference line||Contain banned ingredients|
|Hong Kong Technological Achievement Award(2014)||Davos Global Innovation Pioneer (2015)||Geneva International Inventions 43rd Grand Prix Winner (2015)||World Intellectual Property Organization Gold Medal (2016)||APEC & GIC Future Maker (2016)||Unreasonable Impact (2017)|