Identification of Microplastics as Emerging Contaminant in Branded Milk of Tamil Nadu State, India

Asian Journal of Biological and Life Sciences,2022,11,1,181-187.
Published:May 2022
Type:Research Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Rajamani Kiruba*, Preethi M, Aganasteen R, Rithick Raj M, Hannah Thabitha C, Monica P, Sakthivel J, Levince C, Naseera Banu I

Department of Biotechnology, Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, INDIA.


Nowadays, human exposure to microplastic particles through the contamination of foods may be a risk factor for human health. Microplastic particle contamination is highly intended in the food chain by consuming food products packed in plastic bags. In this study, around 13 brands (16 samples) of milk were collected from different parts of Tamil Nadu state, South India, and analysed. Results showed the presence of microplastic particles (polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyacrylamide) of size <500 μm. The result confirmed that the variability in the total number of microplastics per litre ranged from 164-427. The percentages of the microplastics in the tested samples were polyethylene (PE)-3.75%, polypropylene (PP)-6.61%, and polyacrylamide (PA) -2.67 %. Typical shapes like fibres, fragments, and pellets of different colours such as pink, purple, and blue were observed. The pellets range between 19 and 82 in number. The FTIR spectrum confirms the presence of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyacrylamide types of microplastic composition. Our results showed that consumption of microparticles is estimated to be 35–80 microparticles per day per person. This study provides a basic outline of microplastic contamination in branded milk samples, and the findings may have implications for understanding the negative effects of microplastics in the ecological food chain.