Contaminants in milk and dairy products can pose serious problems to health. The European Commission funded SYMPHONY, a research and innovation project, to find a rapid, cheap and effective solution to detect toxins in milk. SYMPHONY aims to bring an improvement of food quality with positive impact on human health.

In the dairy industry, one of the most pressing needs for food quality and safety is the timely detection of aflatoxin M1 contaminations that originate from animal feed and are secreted into milk.

This toxin represents a hazard for human health and an economic loss for the dairy industry. The current technology for the detection of aflatoxin is laboratory-based. In most cases it requires sample preparation and does not provide timely identification of contaminants. It thus fails to deliver cost-effective management of milk quality.

The SYMPHONY STREP project (FP7-ICT-2013-10) addresses the needs of the dairy industry. It aims to lead to an improvement of milk quality assurance by making available new technologies and procedures for the detection of aflatoxin and other contamination.

It will focus on the analysis of raw milk and other liquid dairy products, such as yogurt, butter milk, kefir, etc.

The project started in 2013 and it will finish in October 2016. The European Union funded EUR 2 345 378. out of its total cost of EUR 3 087 592.

So far, SYMPHONY can be proud of its first scientific achievements.

It developed the first prototypes of photonic sensors detection of various contaminants. More details can be found on the project's website and newsletter.