Want to Drink Pure Milk? Just Dip a Strip in It!

A small strip of paper is all you need to test the purity of milk thanks to an IITian, finds Samhati Mohapatra

Published: 28th March 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2016 01:16 AM   |  A+A-

Want to Drink Pure

Milk – the creamy liquid staple for your morning cuppa, in all its whiteness, might not be pure after all. “There are chances that you are drinking more of a toxic concoction of glucose, urea, boric acid and even detergent, than milk,” says Avisek Barla.

A final year BTech student of Biotechnology at IIT Madras, Avisek has developed a cost-efficient device that could detect adulterants in milk in a matter of seconds. Called a polymer chip, the device is a strip of paper made of reagents.

“The strip has been divided into zones and can detect as many as four adulterants in a single test. The

FSSAI identifies about 33 adulterants in milk, and the device so far can detect the presence of glucose, urea, boric acid and detergent,” Avisek says.

The 23-year-old was recently conferred with the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation award at New Delhi for his innovation.

Avisek says he chose to work on this because he wanted to develop something that could have a functional value for the common man.

“The main intention behind the device is to curb adulteration at the source. The adulterant detection equipment that milk distributors use cost as high as `2 lakh, and the test is done only after the milk is procured from the farmer. On the other hand, the paper strip at a nominal cost will help a distributor test for adulterants before they buy milk from the farmer. One only needs to put a drop of the milk sample on the paper to get the results. If the paper changes colour, it indicates adulterants. At this juncture, it is the distributor’s job to reject the sample at the source” Avisek says.

As adulteration occurs on multiple levels starting from farmers to milk aggregators to distributors, Avisek adds it is also necessary for the tests to be done in households.

Avisek and his team are currently working on detecting other adulterants as well as percentage of other constituents such as fat, proteins and antibiotics in milk. “We are in talks with companies to launch the device,” he adds.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp