Following the EC General Food Law, the demand for simplified and rapid test methods at critical control points in the entire food chain has never been greater. Milk and dairy products may contain different contaminants or adulterants from different sources and testing for these is compulsory, based on risk assessment. If these contaminant measurements can be combined with the measurement of quality parameters, the required additional costs will be more acceptable. The implementation of on-site/on-line/in-line/at-line multiplex monitoring will allow for improved quality and the reduction of the risk of food waste and production losses due to decreased vulnerability to unexpected events, reduced risk of product recalls and reduced risk of costs of food destruction.

Within this EU project, awarded within the H2020-ICT-2017-1 call, research is done towards the development of a fast and cost-effective immunochemical-based multiplex optical test device (miniaturized integrated photonic sensor) for the simultaneous on-site/on-line/in-line detection of at least 10 parameters in the milk production line. The parameters to measure include antibiotics, bacterial and fungal toxins and quality indicators such as lactoferrin (indicator for the stage of lactation, mastitis and intramammary infection) and casein (important for cheese making properties). The MOLOKO sensor will be engineered to allow process monitoring via mobile devices, such as smartphones and/or tablets, using dedicated software with an interface (app). This app will create a cloud-based information flow consisting of detailed milk-related quality and safety parameters in parallel with the normal milk logistic flow.