Milk sellers can't fool you anylong. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Saturday, 5 January 2019

Milk sellers can't fool you anylong.

Introduction:-
Freshness of milk can be retained for long now, scientists from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, have developed a simple paper kit that can test freshness of milk and tell how well it has been pasteurized. The kit also would help to ensure the time period of consuming milk before it turns too sour with the help of Smartphone app.
Issues with the milk freshness
Milk has been one aming the most consumed food in daily life, so its safety is a prime issue of concern. It is highly perishable and prone to action of enzymes and microorganisms inherently present in it. Although pasteurization, freezing and preservation using addictives are widely used to prevent spoilage, perishability of milk is still a concern.
Kit working process
A milk enzyme, alkaline phosphate or ALP, is considered an indicator of milk quality because its presence even after pasteurization indicates presence of microbes that may not have been rendered inactive with pasteurization.
So the kit uses an ordinary filter to prepare the detector. The filter paper which is cut into small pieces is impregnated with chemical probes that preferentially react with Alkaline phosphates, which is an indicator of the quality of the milk. When the filter paper impregnated with probes come in contact with milk, its colours changes.
The colour change on paper discs is then photographed by a Smartphone camera and images processed to obtain corresponding colour values. These values are then compared with standard data stored in the phone. Thus not only presence of Alkaline Phosphatase  could be detected but the amount of it in milk could also be measured.
Kit
The team has prepared a kit attached to a 2 cm square transplant cellulose acetate film. The probe is then covered with another cellulose acetate film. Colour reaction takes place when milk is injected through tiny hole in the cover and smart phones can be used to get the results. It takes just about 15 minutes to detect raw milk from pasteurized one.
The kit could come handy in milk bars, large kitchens and at milk collection centers where freshness of milk is concern. It can find other applications too. Since Alp is also tested in various body fluids, the kit can also be utilized in clinics. Fabrication in the laboratory at present costs around Rs. 80 to Rs. 125 per kit and could come down when mass manufactured.