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Posted at: Mar 14, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2019, 7:46 PM (IST)NDRI INITIATIVE

See colour code to know quality of khoya, paneer

Sensors on packaging will indicate the freshness of dairy products

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, March 13

Determining the quality of packaged dairy products after opening and tasting will be a thing of the past, as scientists of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) here have developed sensors to indicate the quality of packaged food by glancing at the colour. 

The colour will be visible on the sensor tag that will be inside the packaged food.

The cost of the sensor tag, measuring 1 sq inch, is only Rs 2 and it will be visible in the packaged food through a window of the packet. The colour of good as well as risky dairy food will be printed on the packet, showing whether it can be bought or not.

The NDRI has standardised the technology and is ready to transfer it to the dairy sector.

The members of the team are Dr PN Raju, Senior Scientist; Dr AK Singh, Principal Scientist; and Rakesh Kumar and Uma, both PhD scholars. They started working on this project in January 2018. Initially, they demonstrated the sensors on ‘khoya’ (mawa) and ‘sand-esh’, a Bengali sweet. Now, they have started trials on dairy products like cheese.

Dr Raju said that although pasteurisation, freezing and preservation using additives were used to increase the shelf life of milk products and companies print expiry dates of dairy products on the label, changes in quality were not visible to consumers from the outside. 

Besides, the printed date was so small that not all customers could read it easily.

“We have developed this sensor tag using the electrospinning technique and filed for the patent. We have standardised it and soon, it will be transferred to the dairy sector,” Dr AK Singh.

Dr RRB Singh, Director, NDRI, said the dairy sector needed this kind of low-cost sensor.

How it works

  • Cost of sensor tag, measuring 1 sq inch, is only Rs 2 and it will be visible in the packaged food through a window of the packet. 
  • The colour of good as well as risky dairy food will be printed on the packet, showing whether it can be bought or not.
  • Yellow colour will indicate the product is fit to consume and light red will mean it is spoiled

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