No more spoiled milk? Researchers develop unique sensor that can “smell” if milk has expired without opening the container


(Natural News) You may not trust the expiration date printed on the milk container for various reasons. That’s why researchers have made a new colorimetric nanosensor that “smells” the dairy product to see if it’s still safe for drinking.

Researchers from various departments and schools of Washington State University (WSU) pooled their expertise together to create a device that promised an accurate way of monitoring food quality and determining the shelf life of a product.

Not only would the colorimetric nanosensor protect consumers from drinking spoiled milk, but it might also help reduce food wastage.

Milk contains bacteria that feed on its lactose content. When the microbial population gets too large, it alters the quality of the food product, spoiling it for human consumption.

The spoilage bacteria turn lactose into glucose and galactose. They also give off volatile organic compounds.

“If it’s going bad, most food produces a volatile compound that doesn’t smell good,” explained WSU researcher Shyam Sablani, the leader of the team. “That comes from bacterial growth in the food, most of the time.”

Unfortunately, people won’t catch the stink until they open the milk container. By then, it is too late and the milk joins the rest of the wasted food. (Related: New food model sweeping Los Angeles aims to address poverty and waste management.)