Nationwide Survey on Antibiotic Residue Prevalence in Dairy in India

The objective of this F1rst-organised project is to create awareness on antibiotic residue prevalence in dairy amongst students across all universities and institutes in India.

Antibiotic residues in dairy is a systemic problem. Anecdotal evidence points to the presence of antibiotic residues in milk in different parts of the country. Qualitative and quantitative observation from different publications shows that antibiotic residues are prevalent in vendor milk from medium and small-scale dairy farms, where awareness towards judicious antibiotic usage is required. Over 12-20% samples have antibiotic residues, of which around 5% have levels over maximum residue limits (MRL). Among the antibiotics, penicillin (amoxicillin) has been found at higher frequency and at levels higher than Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Geographies such as Hisar, Haryana, Bihar and Chennai, Tamil Nadu were covered in these studies. Yet, there has been no systematic survey of the presence of antibiotic residues in milk in India. A statistic such as this, repeated over the years, will make a compelling case for all stakeholders to act in a concerted manner.

Given the diverse nature of dairy practices in India, there is a need to conduct region wise sampling and tests for antibiotic residues, to understand its prevalence in dairy and impact in the rise of the antibiotic resistance among the Indian population.

F1rst is a specialist business research & consultancy organization specializing in food ingredients, additives and related fine chemicals and technologies. It has a more than 10 year of experience in tracking the Indian food and beverage markets, and 45 years of tracking the global food and beverage markets through its associate – Giract, Geneva. F1rst has created an ecosystem of products and services around the theme “Processed Indian Traditional Foods”, including a study, conference and student promotion programme. It has vast experience in running academic outreach programme to promote research among the Indian academia.

Following three highly successful programmes, F1rst is conducting the first edition of the survey on the antibiotic residue prevalence in dairy in five selected cities in India, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. This survey project is organized and administered by F1rst, an organisation long involved in training and information for the dairy industry (see

The purpose of this project is to create awareness on antibiotic residue prevalence in dairy amongst food and dairy science and technology students across Indian universities and academic institutes.

The project aims to conduct nationwide survey and understand the prevalence of antibiotic residues in dairy in India. The programme is planned to be conducted in five selected cities including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. This is to have a pan-India coverage with representation from 5 divisions (north, east, west, south and central).

Geographical scope: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai

The project attracts dairy and food science/technology students to:

  • Assess the presence of antibiotic residues in a qualitative manner
  • Publicise the proper use of antibiotics in dairy cattle management
  • Sensitize Indian students, farmers, veterinarians and consumers on dairy product safety and human health

For students,

  • Award experimental grant to ten student teams who are interested to experiment and survey on antibiotic residues in dairy
  • Provide the ten selected student teams with the opportunity to participate in the nationwide survey. This will enable them to obtain a first-hand view of a collaborative research
  • Participation certificate to all the student members and mentor of the ten selected teams, after successful report submission and review of survey results
Encouraging students to research on antibiotic residues

The plan is to contact Indian universities and institutes near five selected cities with strong dairy and food science faculties and to encourage students to participate in a nationwide survey for assessing prevalence of antibiotic residue in dairy, mainly in the liquid milk. Awareness and knowledge on antimicrobials use in dairy will be the key criterion in judging the applications submitted for selection. An experimental grant of INR 15000 will be provided to each of the ten selected teams for the conduct of the tests.

Indian dairy industry is in the developing stage and has an on-going need for well-trained and aware people. One of the ways of attracting such people is to encourage students to work towards responsible and high-quality ideas.


  • A student team can consist of two to four members from same college/department
  • The student must be formally enrolled in dairy/food science or technology course at under graduate, post graduate or doctoral level in a relevant Indian university/ institute in 2018
  • Each team should have a faculty member/professor to mentor and guide the teams and to ensure comply with the project regulations
  • Student teams from relevant laboratory and department credentials (NABL, NAAC, ICAR, UGC or AICTE recognition, etc.,) and research history of mentor in conducting such programmes

A Steering Committee, led by Dr. Kaushik Ramakrishnan, will evaluate the applications received and select the most deserving. F1rst will issue certificate of participation to honour the selected student team members and mentor who has collaborated in this programme.


Apply for the programme:

  • Student teams from Indian Universities/institutes located in and around five selected cities are invited to apply for the programme with your interest in participating in the survey project by December 5, 2018.
  • Applications will be scrutinized and top ten teams will be selected based on the scoring criteria listed below:
    Dairy companies & milk brands in and around your city30
    Your laboratory credentials/facilities to conduct test20
    Role of antibiotics in dairy cattle management10
    Proper use of veterinary antibiotics10
    Occurrence of antibiotic residues in dairy10
    Impact of antibiotic residues in human health10
    Methods to detect antibiotic residues in milk10
  • Top ten selected teams will be provided with experimental grant of INR 15,000 and technical support such as recommendations on antibiotic residue test methods and kits
  • Training and technical guidance related to procurement and usage of test kits will be provided to the selected teams

Experimentation and Survey:

  • Each selected team must collect top five branded milk samples to conduct antibiotic residue tests using two different branded test kits
  • Same branded milk samples must be collected for the consecutive five days
  • Report must contain information related to milk samples, test conditions and results with appropriate documentation. For any programme related queries or clarifications, write to us at:
  • Survey test results and analysis must be submitted in the prescribed report format by December 26, 2018
Key Dates and Deadlines

The deadlines for the various activities are listed below:

December 5, 2018Application deadline for expression of interest
December 7, 2018Announcement of selected teams
December 10 – 14, 2018Training of the selected teams
December 17, 2018Technical and financial support to teams
December 26, 2018Deadline for submission of project report
January 11, 2019Issue of participation certificate
    • All the information, technical details and samples collected associated with the programme must be kept confidential and shall be the exclusive property of F1rst
    • Participating team members should not disclose the information related to the survey by any means to any third party without the explicit written permission of F1rst
    • If the selected team, for some reasons, cannot submit survey reports according to the plan, they shall promptly notify F1rst and explain the reasons, and the organizers have the right to recover some or all the supporting experimental grant
    • Any matters not included in these rules or the interpretation of these rules shall be decided by F1rst and their decision will be considered final

For programme related queries, please contact

Ms. Dhanupriya Souresh Coumar
Assistant Project Manager – Academic Outreach

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