Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94 January-February 2016

Detecting milk adulteration

A new technology to analyse and detect adulteration in milk has been developed by CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI), Pilani. This technology is based on acquiring electrochemical fingerprint coupled with multivariate data analysis techniques. There are no systems currently available even globally, based on similar methods. This innovation represents the first fully Indian ‘concept to implementation’ effort in instrumentation related to milk and dairy, addressing an unmet need.

The R&D work was started on the basis of industry requirement in the dairy sector and reports/survey available during the time in electronic and print media. According to the recent reports, over 68 per cent of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) based on the national vide survey conducted by FSSAI in 2011. According to the FSSAI 2011 survey, the most common adulterant was found to be the water, besides, other adulterants such as glucose, skimmed milk powder, urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint, which, according to the study, are ‘very hazardous’ to human life and can cause serious diseases.

Deeper understanding of the role of milk in human health, as a critical component has stimulated interest in the development of the present cost-effective technology. The adoption and deployment of the innovation in as many villages and milk societies possible would be a step forward in enhancing and implementing the standards and quality of milk. Besides it can help in generating employment. The technology excels in its ability to detect known and unknown adulterants in milk and has a great potential to be used widely in the dairy industry. This technology has been transferred to two industries, namely Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments (REIL), Jaipur in December 2012 and Alpine Technologies, Surat in December 2015 for manufacturing and commercialisation. REIL has manufactured system based on the technology costing around INR 70,000 to INR 100,000. The other industry is in the process of setting up manufacturing facilities. The recurring cost for testing a milk sample through this new technology is around INR 0.05 – 0.10. The sample measurement time is nearly 40-45 seconds.

Two Indian patents were filed related to this innovation:

  • P C Panchariya, A H Kiranmayee & S Raghunath, ‘A novel method and a system based on voltammetry for characterisation and discrimination of liquids’ India, 0568/DEL/ 2010A.
  • P C Panchariya, A H Kiranmayee, R S Chouhan, & P Bhanu Prasad, ‘A method and system for detection of synthetic milk in natural milk’, India, 0198/DEL/2013A.

Efforts are on to enhance the deployment of the technology

Inputs from the Ministry of Science & Technology, March 2016.

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