Sensor-based kit to check quality of packed dairy products

Sensor-based kit to check quality of packed dairy products

A sensor-based colour kit developed by NDRI scientists in Karnal.

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, October 3

Aiming at determining the quality of packed dairy food at the consumer’s end without opening the packet, scientists of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), have developed a colour-based sensor kit to check the quality of dairy products.

As per the scientists, the kit has indicators of different colour, which shows the quality. If the colour of the label is yellow, it indicates fresh product, and if it turns to dark brown it reflects towards risk for consumption. If it has orange shade, it means it is still good for consumption.

The technique has been developed and standardised at the Dairy Technology Division of the NDRI and is currently being tested for market readiness. The scientists claim that the kit will give consumers a simple solution for knowing the real time quality of packaged dairy products such as khoa, and dahi by glancing at the colour of the indicator.

After the efforts of over three years, these indicators were developed by a group of scientists comprising Dr P Narender Raju, Senior Scientist and supported by Dr AK Singh, Principal Scientist and Head, Dr Rajan Sharma, Principal Scientist (Dairy Chemistry), and Dr Sangita Ganguly, Scientist, along with scholars, including Rakesh Kumar Raman, Karpurapu Uma, and Raj Suwalka, to address the issue of spoilage of packaged diary food product.

“Occasionally, people complain about the spoilage of packed dairy products even before the expiry date. That could be due to the mishandling in the supply chain and not maintaining the hygiene. Such problems can be addressed if the customer is given an informed choice by way of some simple solutions such as the visual colour-based indicators on the package, wherein the indicator displays one color in a product’s fresh state while transforming into another color upon the spoilage of the packaged product,” said Dr MS Chauhan, Director, NDRI.

This can effectively supplement the printed “best before” or “expiry date” and give consumers an informed choice, he added. “This smart tool will be extremely beneficial to both customers and the manufacturers brand image can be strengthened. There exists a great scope for startups to take this technology further into the market,” said Dr Raju.

About the working, Dr Raju said the developed sensor will be integrated inside the package. As the spoilage progresses, it will be manifested by the odour changes. The changes in the odour will be sensed by the sensor and in turn will communicate in the form of visible color changes and ultimately the suitability of the product for consumption.

Colours indicate quality of eatables

As per the scientists, the kit has indicators of different colours, which shows the quality. If the colour of the label is yellow, it indicates fresh product, and if it turns to dark brown, it reflects towards risk for consumption. If it has orange shade, it means it is still good for consumption.

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