With a quick flip of the carton, you soon may be able to detect the freshness of milk using a 3D-printed â€œsmart cap.â€ An international study led by the University of California, Berkeley produced the wireless smart cap by printing basic electrical components including inductors and capacitors. Senior author Liwei Lin says that the circuit detects changes in the electrical signals that accompany increased levels of bacteria.
"This inductor and capacitor forms an electrical circuitry that actually could detect the electrical property of milk. So if the milk is, say spoiled, after you place it in room temperature for, in our case, 36 hours, we can actually see the electrical signal change from the output."
Lin says this technology could eventually be made cheap enough to provide food safety alerts in grocery stores.
"We envision in the future, you can use, potentially, your cell phone to read out the signal."
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