Systems for Village-Scale Milk Quality Analysis

I am developing a new Optical Instrument for Colloidal Particle Analysis that can be used in the field for measuring fat and protein in milk. Fat and Protein are two primary quality indicators in milk.

I have worked closely with the dairy industry in India, especially with milk collection centers in villages to develop an instrument that fits their needs and constraints. 

This work is a part of my doctoral thesis at MIT. I am advised by Prof. Sanjay Sarma in the Field Intelligence Laboratory. The work is supported by Tata Center at MIT and Tata Trusts.

Over 100,000 milk collection centers in villages across India purchase milk from small-holding farmers twice every day. They are the lifeline of India's dairy industry, which produces over 140 Million Metric Tons of milk every year.

I am developing an optical instrument that can analyze the particle constituents in milk based on diffusion of light. The instrument can quantify Fat and Casein Protein content of milk. This can help milk collection centers make more accurate payments to farmers and also keep track of the procurement process.

Developing instruments for field-scale applications can be a challenging process due to additional constraints imposed by varying environmental conditions, limited operator training, potability, maintenance and affordability. I develop the system and the product with regular user demonstrations and feedback to ensure adoption in later stages.

The system has a strong potential of improving village-level economy by reducing wastage, improving milk quality, and helping more farmers connect to the formal sector.

Pranay Jain, Prof. Sanjay Sarma

August 2014 - Present

Instrumentation, Prototyping, User Experience


P Jain. Optical characterization of emulsions and applications in the dairy industry. Masters Thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. 2015.

P Jain and S Sarma. Light scattering and transmission measurement using digital imaging for online analysis of constituents in milk. Proc. SPIE 9525, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection IX


PCT application in progress


Fellowship, Tata Center for Technology and Design

Fellowship, Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development