There's nothing worse than taking a drink of milk only to discover that it's spoiled and sour. Thanks to a new smart-milk pitcher designed by a group of clever middle school students you'll never drink sour milk again.
"Making a pitcher that tells you if milk is bad or good would seem like the stuff of the future, but it can be made," Harry Freeman, one of the student-designers, told Science Friday.
The innovative smart-pitcher was created by a class of 6th Graders at P.S. 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology in New York. The project was sparked after the students learned that several Californians were getting sick from drinking spoiled milk. Their solution was an electronic pitcher that uses pH to analyze the milk's smell and taste for freshness.
Regular milk has a pH that generally hovers between 6.5 to 7.2. However, as soon as new bacteria are exposed to the milk its acidity will begin to increase from the waste produced by the new contaminant. Once the smart-pitcher detects spoilage a light flashes on the handle, warning the owner not to drink the sour milk inside. The pitcher is also insulated and features a color-coded thermometer on the exterior. The class plans to design a second model with warning lights that activate when the pitcher of spoiled milk is removed from the fridge.
The 6th grade class, led by science coach Hau-yu Chu, submitted their prototype to the First Lego League Global Innovation Competition and received an award for second place including a $5,000 grant from the X PRIZE Foundation to develop the design.