MM: Extending Milk's Shelf Life

In this episode, a new way to connect to the Internet of Things and extending milk’s shelf life.

Connecting to the Internet of Things.

The number of devices connected to the Internet of Things is already expected to roughly triple in less than five years' time. But a new discovery could enable even more devices and systems to go online. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the U.S. Army Research Office pioneered a way to integrate oxides into silicon chips for the first time.

The materials, which are attached with the help of thin films that serve as buffers, can have electric or magnetic properties, while others can conduct electricity on their surface while serving as an insulator in bulk.

Scientists said that the technology could allow for the collection and analysis of data on a single, compact chip — which could help make devices faster, lighter and more efficient.

Sensors, computer memory and micro-electromechanical systems could all benefit from the new development, while one of the study's authors suggested that manufacturers could soon produce "smart lights" by installing LEDs on silicon chips.

The technology is already patented and a search for industry partners to license it is underway.

In what other ways could the Industrial Internet of Things benefit from these discoveries?
Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below.

Old Milk
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a way to add several weeks of shelf life to milk that also makes it generally safer to consume. While pasteurization uses high temperatures for a short time to reduce microbes that cause milk spoilage, the additional process exposes milk to low heat and pressure variation for short increments. The team found that heating pasteurized milk stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit by 18 degrees for less than a second removed more than 99 percent of the bacteria still remaining after pasteurization. 

A key component of the process is a pressurized chamber developed by Millisecond Technologies of New York that applies both varying heat and pressurization to make milk safer for longer.  By taking out almost everything, the process can add up to seven weeks to cold milk. While testing the method, the team reported no detectable bacteria remained and an extended shelf life as long as 63 days.

The next step would be to test unpasteurized milk to see if this process might work as a standalone treatment that would, in turn, save energy and time in the dairy industry. 


Could this new process reduce milk waste? What other food manufacturing processes could this technique be applied to? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

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