Online, Low-cost, Digital Spectrometry for Supply Chain Quality Control

Technology #17835

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Professor Sanjay Sarma
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
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Pranay Jain
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Fluid Analysis using Digital Imagery

PCT Patent Application Filed

Fluid Analysis using Digital Imagery

US Patent Pending
Light scattering and transmission measurement using digital imaging for online analysis of constituents in milk
Proc. SPIE, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection, June 22, 2015


This technology can be used for quality control and assurance in the supply chain for different process industries including:

  • analysis of milk in a dairy farm
  • food and beverage processing
  • chemical plant
  • pharmaceutical¬†and biotechnology industries

Problems Addressed

In-process quality control in a processing industry is critical for meeting standards of the finished product, reducing waste, and optimizing the process flow. For example, in a dairy supply chain, quantification of constituents in milk is important at an early stage for elimination of abnormal milk prior to pooling and for proper management of cattle feed and health. Existing off-line methodologies are time consuming and prone to human error, while the on-line techniques provide poor results due to the composition of milk that has constituents of varying form, size, and concentration.


This technology uses optical measurements on milk through ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometry for estimating the physical and chemical composition. The absorption and scattering characteristics of the sample shows close and unique correlation with the constituent properties essential for the required quantification. Usage of LEDs as the light source and conventional digital cameras to capture the data for subsequent analysis makes the method low cost, high throughput, and easy for maintenance.


  • Rapid online analysis
  • Low cost
  • Non-destructive
  • No sample preparation/wastage
  • Ease of maintenance