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No more crying over spoiled milk, declare Indian scientists after breakthrough

New technology to help examine whether packet milk has gone bad or not

Representative image | Reuters Representative image | Reuters

Why cry over spoiled milk? The Centre for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that it will soon unveil a technology that can help people identify whether a packet of milk has gone bad or not.

Without opening the packet or buying it!

The new technology from the government's premier scientific research body was unveiled at the World Dairy Summit, the biggest global lacto-agro business event in the world that is presently ongoing on the outskirts of the national capital.

Professor Rajeshwar S. Matche, chief scientist and head (food packaging and technology) at CSIR'S Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysuru explained the dilemma, “Ordinary people of India face this basic problem of buying a packet of milk which is spoiled, but can’t identify at the outlet itself. So, when the packet is opened at home for boiling the milk, only then they get to know of spoilage. They end up feeling cheated.” 

The solution from CSIR is a label-based easy to use technology. The Mysuru division had started working on this specific issue based on market feedback and has so far tested the new technology, titled 'Time temperature-based spoilage indicator testing' on milk, meat as well as idli and dosa batter. 

The per-packet costing of this new technology will be just around 20-25 paise, according to Matche, making it pretty well affordable enough to be implemented on a mass scale across the country soon. 

“We are sensitive to both the issues of our people and affordability of that solution. The food items that have been tested so far are used at mass scale, so we were sure about one thing from the beginning that the technology has to be affordable,” added Sridevi Annapurna Singh, director, CSIR-CFTRI.

With technology in hand, CSIR is working with a technology company to automate the process, as manual sticking of label on milk or other food item packet can slow down the process. Currently, labels can be put on only 60 milk packets per minute through manual intervention. Once the automation process is perfected, CSIR plans to roll out the radical technology not just within the country, but also for overseas markets.

The IDF World Dairy Summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. It is coming back to India after nearly half-a-century – it was last held in India in 1974. The event then, in a way, was instrumental in India's progress in becoming self-sufficient in milk production, and the whole Operation Flood that was to follow.

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