MILI: Biophotonics technology for in-situ, fast, accurate and cost-effective milk analysis

Abstract: Fast, on-the-spot, trace contaminants’ detection is a hot topic in practically all food industry sectors, due to its impact in terms of lost lives and massive illness.
The key objective of MILI proposal is the design and development of a novel method and related prototype to simultaneously detect in less than 10 minutes a selected panel of common milk contaminants (Aflatoxin-M1 and 2 antibiotics, namely Penicillin and Enrofloxacin) at the farm level (before loading milk in the truck). It is based on a functionalised smart cuvette with biosensors and a mini-fluorimeter setup with optical analysis, electronics and software modules.
Currently, the laboratory methods used by dairy industries for the detection of contaminants in milk, are time-consuming (3-4 hours), expensive, require specialised staff and have to be performed in the lab after receiving the milk from the different farms. If a small portion of the loaded milk is contaminated then the contamination will spread to the whole truck load (wasted supply). Rapid screening methods (10-40 minutes) also exist but they produce many false positives, are not specific to the type of antibiotic used and reliability is low. Consequently, the financial losses to both the farmers (penalties based on regulation for delivering contaminated milk) and the receiving dairy factories (reduced milk quantities therefore production impacts) are vast.
MILI proposed technology will result to a cost-effective analytical system that can be used in the farm and generate results in less than 10 minutes, without the need of visiting the lab or using highly skilled personnel. The MILI system will eventually offer laboratory-level quality for the analysis of milk at the cost of rapid tests.
The consortium includes the Cyprus University of Technology, a reputable research & innovation SME company CyRIC (Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Ltd), the Frederick Research Centre, and the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) as a foreign research organisation.

Deadline 2024

Programme GOVERNO DI CIPRO – RESTAR T 2016-2020» Work Programme

Institute ISA – Institute of food sciences

Contact Sabato D’Auria