Status and Challenges in the Safety and Quality of Dairy Products in Ethiopia: A Review

Alganesh Tola Gemechu


In this paper, the status and challenges in the safety and quality of dairy products in Ethiopia were assessed with the objective of reviewing the existing scenario,  challenges  and revealing the gaps in the safety and quality of dairy products in the country. The review revealed that about 98 % of dairy products comes from the traditional informal sector. The major dairy products traditionally produced in Ethiopia are raw whole milk, spontaneously fermented milk ('Ergo' or 'Ittitu'), butter milk ('arera'), cottage type cheese ('ayib'), local  butter ('dhadha'), tradtional ghee ('nitir kibe' or 'dhadhaa baksa') and whey. The results of different reports on the safety of dairy products in terms of their microbiological quality parameters such as total aerobic mesophilic bacteria and total counts were substandard. Similarly, the quality parameters in terms of physicochemical characteristics such as freezing points of raw whole milk,  specific gravity and several other parameters were below standard. In this review, adulteration of milk is also proved to be an increasing trend. Ingeneral, the dairy products in Ethiopia do not fulfill the minimum standard requirements set by Ethiopian standard and other standards. Furthermore, the information on safety and quality of dairy products in Ethiopia is not comprehensive. Further research and policy guidelines on authentication of dairy products  is vital. Future research has to focus on data generation on spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, drug and pesticide residue levels, aflatoxin and adulteration practices in dairy products. There is a need to devise means of promotion of modern dairy industry that is responsive to market demand and public health concerns through enforcing quality assurance programs and fulfillment of minimum standard requirements for delivery of authentic dairy products.

Keywords: Safety, quality, challenges, dairy products

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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