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Abstract

Over 3 million liters of fresh cow's milk and 1 million liters of fresh goat's milk are produced in Trinidad and Tobago annually. Eighty percent of the cow's milk is sold to the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle at a subsidized price of 2.15 TTD/L. The state through the Ministry of Food Production contributes a further 1.50 TTD for every liter produced by registered dairy farmers. Goat's milk is sold as pasteurized milk at 40 TTD/L from individual small-medium farmers. Acidified dairy products use milk processing techniques to convert fresh milk into healthy products with extended shelf life. Cunently, several foreign brands of cottage cheese and yoghurt are found on supermarket shelves, with an average retail price of 80 TTD per 600g and 7 TTD/30 mL respectively. 5 L of fresh milk yields approximately 2.2 kg of cottage cheese or 3 L of yoghurt. Both products can be easily made and are in high demand because of their neutraceutical properties by dieters, immuno-compromised and lactose intolerant persons. The objective of this study is to evaluate the economic feasibility of utilizing fresh milk from dairy farmers to produce fresh yoghurt and cottage cheese for the domestic market. Trinidad and Tobago's dairy industry has the potential for creating employment and ensuring food security by processing fresh milk into acidified dairy products to meet the local demand for these products.

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