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HomeExclusiveIIT Madras researchers develop a simple device to test milk adulteration

IIT Madras researchers develop a simple device to test milk adulteration

IIT Madras researchers developed a three-dimensional (3D) paper-based portable device that can detect adulteration in milk within 30 seconds. The test could be even performed at home. It can detect multiple substances commonly used as adulterating agents including urea, detergents, soap, starch, hydrogen peroxide, sodium-hydrogen-carbonate and salt, among others.

Unlike conventional laboratory-based methods to test the purity of milk, which are both expensive and time-consuming, this new technology is affordable and could also be used to test other liquids such as water, fresh juices, and milkshakes for traces of adulteration. Only a millilitre of any liquid would be as a sample to test for adulterants.

According to a press release from IIT Madras, this research was led by Dr Pallab Sinha Mahapatra, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, along with Research Scholars Mr. Subhashis Patari and Dr. Priyankan Datta.

Elaborating on the functioning of this paper-based device, Dr. Pallab Sinha Mahapatra, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “The 3D paper-based microfluidic device is made up of a top and bottom cover and a sandwich structure middle layer. This 3D design works well for transporting denser liquids at a consistent speed.  The paper is treated with reagents and is let to dry. Both paper layers are adhered to both sides of the support after drying, and the covers adhere with double-sided tape. Whatman filter paper grade 4 is used in this design, which aids liquid flow and allows for the storage of more reagents.”

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