Anthocyanin-based sensors derived from food waste as an active use-by date indicator for milk.Food Chem. 2020 Oct 01; 326:127017.FC
Active use-by date (AUBD) or freshness indicators hold great potential to reduce food waste. Herein, we develop an anthocyanin AUBD indicator that is capable of discriminating between fresh, spoiling, and spoiled milk. The sensor undergoes a visible blue to purple to pink color change in response to lactic acid, which is an indicator of microbial spoilage in milk. Anthocyanin is cast into a range of materials and the composite's suitability to monitor pH changes (pH 6.8 fresh milk vs pH 4.0 spoiled milk) is assessed. Of the materials studied, an anthocyanin-agarose film is nominated as the optimum materials with the best colorimetric performance. We introduce a new method to quantify anthocyanin color change by measuring red chromatic shift by digital analysis. The anthocyanin sensors will provide a real-time indication of actual milk quality, surpassing the function of traditional date marking tools that provide an indication of the expected shelf life.