The Hyderabad IIT researchers has developed a low-cost new smartphone system to check milk adulteration. The process of checking milk adulteration is quite expensive and a common man cannot afford the test. However, a team led by Prof Shiv Govind Singh, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad have developed the sensors so far.
The work is still on, and the sensors have been developed, as published in November 2018 issue of Food Analytical Methods journal.
The team consisted of Dr Soumya Jana and Dr Siva Rama Krishna Vanjari, Associate Professors in the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad.
As per Prof Singh, ‘techniques such as chromatography and spectroscopy’ can be used to check milk adulteration, but is not feasible as its expensive. He said, “Hence, they do not appeal to the vast majority of milk consumers in the developing world.”
The milk quality will be checked in two steps. Firstly, paper-based sensor or indicator is made using a technique called ‘electrospinning’ – A paper-like material has been developed, which is created of nanosized fibres of nylon, loaded with a combination of three dyes.
This paper-indicator is “halochromic”, thus, changes colors based on the milk content.
Secondly, the scientists have developed a smartphone algorithm, which will read the color-change happening in the indicator-paper, and instantly inform the user whether the milk is adulterated or not.
Smartphone camera will capture the change the color, which will go through a machine learning algorithm to instantly inform about adulteration in milk, if any. This innovative machine-learning based algorithm will convert the data captured from the sensor into pH (acidity) ranges, which will make it easy to identify if the milk is adulterated or not.
This is indeed a revolutionary invention, as milk adulteration affects everyone, and consuming adulterated milk can invite diseases and can prove very expensive.