Source: Nanyang Daily, 9/22/2008
On September 19th, 2008, Sanlu company announced product recall of infant formula made before August 6th contaminated with melamine, which can cause kiney stone, renal failure, even death. Subsequent government inspections discovered affected infants across 10 provinces in 6244 cases, 158 with acute renal failure, 3 deaths. At the same time all powder milk were inspected, and melamine were found in 22 powder milk producers, including some name brands. The bureau of quality control also conducted emergency inspection of fresh milk and found some milk with melamine, raising this to a industry wide incident.
Many people have choose to “wean from milk”, as Mrs. Wu from City District who decided to stop feeding her child milk.
Soy milk becomes hot commodity.
This incident has hit the dairy industry hard, as many people like Mrs. Wu has decided to “wean from milk”. At Jiuyang Home Appliances the reporter met Mrs. Liu, who was there to purchase a soy milk blender. “Can’t drink milk, so I’ll make soy milk at home.” According to a salesperson soy milk blender sales have been brisk, sometimes selling 30-40 units a day: “We’ve sold out at times”, “when choosing an alternative to milk, soy milk is the first choice.”
Nutritionist from the First People’s Hospital says, while soy milk has less calcium than milk, it has many times more iron, copper, and trace element than milk. For menopausal women drinking soy milk may relieve symptoms like hot flash, mood swing, as soy protein lessen the effects of lower estrogen level. Because of the effects food safety has on people’s daily lives, dairy products market may take a long time to recover. With discovery of melamine in fresh milk, dairy products is affected industry wide. With dairy products affected by “problem milk powder” incident, soy milk is readily seen as a replacement.
As a traditional staple, soy milk has thousands of years of history in China. Since milk’s introduction from the west, there existed a competition between soy milk and milk. Objectively speaking, milk and soy milk each has its own benefits, and can not be replaced by the other. At the same time the main nutritional value that are interchangeable. Milk contains more animal protein and calorie, more fat and cholesterol. Too much cholesterol and fat may lead to high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, obesity and pulmonary diseases. Soy milk contains vegetable protein and fiber, fewer calories, lower fat content and no cholesterol. Both have vitamin A, B1, B2, E, and beneficial elements such as calcium, Phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, making them replaceable.
After the “problem milk powder” incident, people’s lack of confidence in dairy products will increase soy milk’s market share. As demand for food safety increases, market for soy milk blender will also increase. Jiuyang as a major manufacture of soy milk blender, have noticed increase in sales along with change in consumer habit. The Northeast as a soy bean producer, are helping the quality of soy milk by selling blenders and quality beans.