A New Acoustic-Based Approach for Assessing Induced Adulteration in Bovine Milk

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Mar 17;21(6):2101. doi: 10.3390/s21062101.


Milk is an important dietary requirement for many populations due to its high nutritional value. However, increased demand has also made it prone to fraudulent activity. In this sense, scientists have sought to develop simple, low-cost, and portable techniques to achieve quality control of milk in industry and farms as well. This work proposes a new instrumentation system based on acoustic propagation and advanced signal processing techniques to identify milk adulteration by industrial contaminants. A pair of transmitter-receiver low-cost piezoelectric transducers, configured in a pitch-catch mode, propagated acoustic waves in the bovine milk samples contaminated with 0.5% of sodium bicarbonate, urea, and hydrogen peroxide. Signal processing approaches such as chromatic technique and statistical indexes like the correlation coefficient, Euclidian norm and cross-correlation square difference were applied to identify the contaminants. According to the presented results, CCSD and RMSD metrics presented more effectiveness to perform the identification of milk contaminants. However, CCSD was 2.28 × 105 more sensitivity to distinguish adulteration in relation to RMSD. For chromatic clustering technique, the major selectivity was observed between the contamination performed by sodium bicarbonate and urea. Therefore, results indicate that the proposed approach can be an effective and quick alternative to assess the milk condition and classify its contaminants.

Keywords: bovine milk adulteration; instrumentation systems; piezoelectric transducers; signal processing analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Drug Contamination
  • Food Contamination* / analysis
  • Milk*
  • Urea


  • Urea