A novel instrument for the fast and simultaneous detection of health-critical milk contaminants

The global challenge
of food contamination

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized food contamination as a global challenge in several reports.

Regulation of the dairy industry

In the dairy industry, beneficiaries must perform controls in various stages of the value chain and in all batches of the final product.

Health-critical milk contaminants

Aflatoxin-M1 and animal treatment antibiotic residues (penicillin, enrofloxacin) may impose critical health risks.

Impact of milk contaminants
on the dairy industry 

Even tiny quantities in milk contaminants require the discard of the whole batch, due to their severity on human health.

The limitations of current detection methods for milk contaminants

Laboratory Methods

Time-consuming: 3+ hours if they have to be outsourced.

Expensive: Thousands are spent each year to cover the analysis costs of production-level quantities.

Require specialisation:
Specialised staff is required to perform the tests and analyse the samples. 

Rapid Screening Methods

No simultaneous detection: Can either detect Aflatoxin-M1 or antibiotics.

Low reliability: Although they are fast, 10
-40 minutes, many false positives are produced.

Dependant on laboratory verification: In case of positive results, a lab test verification is anyway needed addding to costs and delays.

The MILI Innovation

MILI instrument is based on state-of-the-art biophotonics, combining customised biosensors, optical analysis, electronics and software modules. The proposed technology aims to achieve the following:
   (a) Assay system able to simultaneously detect the concentration of              specific antibiotics and aflatoxin below the MRLs as per EU                          regulations,  
   (b) Quality of analysis equivalent to that provided by laboratories,
   (c) No need for trained personnel to perform the test/collect samples,
   (d) Results in less than 10 minutes,
   (e) Costs that are significantly lower than those of current market-                  available solutions.

The project is implemented under the programme of social cohesion ”THALIA 2021-2027” co-funded by European Union, through Research and Innovation Foundation.

Project objectives

Project Scope

MILI is a pioneering project aiming to revolutionising the way that milk quality analysis is currently performed, significantly increasing dairy product safety and quality in favour of the consumers.

Research activities in the project are focused on photonics technology and biosensing methods, both cutting-edge fields and key enabling technologies for multiple application domains.

Roadmap towards system validation

During the project specific objectives are to be accomplished, aiming to:
  • Establish user and system requirements
  • Conceptual design based on requirements.
  • Design and develop all system modules. 
  • Integrate and develope a fully functional MILI prototype.
  • Prepare the validation protocol.
  • Test and validate the functionality of the prototype.
  • Assess the performance against all evaluation metrics & technical KPIs.

The partners

Cyprus University of Technology

Host Organisation


Partner 1

Frederick University

Partner 2

National Research Council (Institute of Food Science)

Foreign Research Organisation

Latest News

Interviews with MILI stakeholders continue

Realisation of a number of interviews with important stockholders for identifying and addressing system requirements.  The interviews involved stakeholders from different groups related to Farming (farms, storage facilities, vets), Transportation/Distribution,[…]

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June 2, 2023 0

Presentation of MILI project

Presentation of MILI project by our project coordinator Mrs. Maria Aspri, at the 1st Pancyprian Conference “Rural Development: From Research to Practice“. The event took place on the 24th November 2022[…]

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November 29, 2022 0

MILI project initiation: A way to detect milk contaminants

MILI (EXCELLENCE/0421/0188) is a research project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation. MILI project started in June 2022.[…]

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June 13, 2022 0

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