Sensor based paper to know how safe is Milk

In the modern lifestyle, we are exposed to many chemicals in our everyday life to meet our escalating material demands. As per an estimate, we come across about 500 chemical compounds daily, several being synthetic and toxic in nature. Many of these toxic chemicals have the potential to bring about severe health impacts not only in human beings but also in other living organisms existing in nature. Release of these chemicals into our environment also causes pollution of soil, water and air and these ultimately again reach the human body through the food chains.


The safety of milk has always been an issue with the illegal use of adulterants and preservatives. And it takes many days to find out if the milk at the collection centres are fresh and are of good quality. Now there is good news from IIT Guwahati where a team of researchers have come out with a sensor based paper to find the freshness of milk within a short time.

Pranjal Chandra, an associate professor in the Development of Biosciences and Bioengineering and Research Scholar Kuldeep Mahato developed this simple technique through which the freshness and quality of Milk could be determined within a short time of 13 minutes. Their work has been published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal.

The milk’s quality depends on the microbes and bacteria. Normally the technique used for determing the quality and freshness of milk is Methylene Blue test, which is time consuming.

Apart from this, phenol based tests are also done for determining the quality. This test needs sophisticated spectrophotometers and also need dedicated testing facility with skilled personnel.

Chandra has claimed that the testing of milk through sensor based paper would help in saving a lot of time. On the simple system of sensor based paper, Chandra said that Alkaline Phosphate was naturally found in Milk and is known to be the best marker to determine if the milk is of good quality. It has been found that higher levels of Alkaline Phosphate mean the animal has infection in the mammary glands.

In the research, they used simple filter paper that were chemically modified with a recognition element of Alkaline Phosphate.


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