Milk for Health Panel

On May 21, 2018, the "Milk for Health” panel was held at Yaşar University under the direction of Pınar Institute. Milk consumption in Turkey and in the World, the place and importance of milk in nutrition, and common false facts about milk were discussed and the opening speeches were made by İdil Yiğitbaşı, Chairperson of the Board of Pınar Institute and Zekeriyya Erdurmuş, İzmir Provincial Director of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

In her opening speech, İdil Yiğitbaşı made the following remarks "Although we are among the top 10 countries in milk production in the world, we are behind Europe in consumption. According to TURKSTAT data, drinking milk production figure increased from 1 million 378 thousand tons in 2015 to 1 million 548 thousand tons in 2017 with an increase of 12 percent. Although this increase is positive, according to Euromonitor data, in Northern European countries such as Estonia, Ireland, Finland, the United Kingdom and Iceland, where the milk consumption is the highest in the world, milk consumption per capita is more than 100 liters per year. While the average annual milk consumption per capita in European countries is around 60 liters, that figure is only 33 liters for Turkey. According to this data, the average daily amount of milk consumption per capita in Turkey was determined to be only 90 ml. This amount is equivalent to about half a glass. Efforts to increase milk consumption, which is very valuable for health, are of great importance. For the last 45 years, we have been supporting social responsibility activities to encourage our children to drink milk after breastfeeding. We invite everyone, especially our children, to drink 2 glasses of milk every day.”

İzmir Provincial Director of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Zekeriyya Erdurmuş stated that milk is one of the best sources of nutrients in the world; “The key to healthy milk production is through healthy animal breeding conditions. To transport the milk to industrial and processing facilities in a healthy way, making it drinkable, packaging it and present it to consumers in a healthy way is a long chain which requires great effort and care. Our country, especially Izmir, is successful in this regard. In Turkey, we will achieve considerable success with our industry, qualified human resources and our public institutions.”

Board Member of the National Dairy Council (USK) and Pınar Süt Quality Assurance Director Özlem Yalçın mentioned the activities that National Dairy Council is conducting while explaining the state of dairy production and consumption in the world and in Turkey.

Providing striking information about milk production in the world and Turkey; Ms. Yalçın stated that the total milk production in the world is 826 million tons and that the most produced milk is cow milk. According to the USK data of the regional distribution of cow milk production in the world is as following; 30% in Asia, 24% in European Union countries, 18% in North and Central America, 9% in South America, 9% in Other European Countries, 5% in Africa and 5% Oceania. She also stated that Turkey is the 8th largest milk producer in the world and 3rd largest milk producer in Europe. The amount of cow milk delivered to the industry in Turkey is 9.1 million tons and that the amount shows that 51% of cow milk production in the sector is unrecorded. She added that "The world average in delivery to industry ratio is around 64% and this figure is 93% for European Union countries and the United States, 100% in Oceania. “We have a way to go as a country with regard to transferring milk to the industry." she said.

In her speech, Yalçın explained that the National Dairy Council is a community formed by the public institutions including the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Health and milk producers, dairy industrialists, academicians and non-governmental organizations. In order to make Turkey a leading country in milk production and consumption and for the development of the sector, the National Dairy Council is developing politics using scientific methods, pioneer the practice of these politics and help regulate the market. Mentioning the USK projects; Yalçın explained the details of School Milk and I Drink Milk projects.

She announced that the IDF World Dairy Summit, which is the largest and the most comprehensive organization of the world with regards to "milk", organized by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in a different country every year, will be held in Istanbul in 2019.

Professor of Pediatric Metabolism and Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylül University Dr. Nur Arslan explained the importance of milk and dairy products in nutrient groups, milk consumption requirements and amounts, characteristics of milk and dairy products consumption according to age, milk consumption and its relationship with diseases. Stating that breakfast is the most skipped meal in childhood and adolescence, Arslan stated that; drinking milk and having breakfast is one of the most important indicators of healthy nutrition. She said that lactose intolerance sway children, adolescents and adults away from milk, but in order to prevent calcium levels of individuals with lactose intolerance from falling, it is more sensible to consume milk in more solid form such as lactose-free milk, yogurt, cheese or custard.

Professor of Pediatric Metabolism and Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylül University Dr. Nur Arslan explained the importance of milk and dairy products in nutrient groups, milk consumption requirements and amounts, characteristics of milk and dairy products consumption according to age, milk consumption and its relationship with diseases. Stating that breakfast is the most skipped meal in childhood and adolescence, Arslan stated that; drinking milk and having breakfast is one of the most important indicators of healthy nutrition. She said that lactose intolerance sway children, adolescents and adults away from milk, but in order to prevent calcium levels of individuals with lactose intolerance from falling, it is more sensible to consume milk in more solid form such as lactose-free milk, yogurt, cheese or custard.

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