Researchers Develop Paper Sensors to Detect Freshness of Milk

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Recently, scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati created a simple paper kit to test the freshness of milk. The kit also provides information on how well the milk is pasteurized. A smartphone app can help process information from the paper sensors placed in the milk.

Checking Milk Quality through Smartphones

Milk is widely consumed across the globe and therefore its quality is of prime concern among the consumers. It is perishable and therefore is highly prone to the action of enzymes. Presence of microorganisms makes it lose its freshness easily.

Freezing, pasteurization, and preservation by using additives are mainly used to reduce its spoilage. However, despite it perishability is a major concern.

To tackle the issue, dairy industries have been conducting various tests. But those are time consuming and require specific equipment such as spectrophotometers.

The new detection kit steals a march over them because its simple and quick.

Milk essentially contains Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP). It indicates the quality of the milk since even after pasteurization ALP remains intact. It also indicates the presence of active microbes during pasteurization. Hence, researchers used ordinary filter paper to develop the detector.

When the color of the paper discs changes, a smartphone camera photographs it. After that, images are processed to get corresponding color values. The values are then compared with the data stored in the smartphone. This sensor also helps detect the amount of ALP in milk.

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