Effect of fat and casein particles in milk on the scattering of elliptically polarized light

C. Crofcheck, J. Wade, J. N. Swamy, M. M. Aslan, M. P. Mengüç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this article, we present an experimental approach to determine the milk fat content using scattered light intensity profiles. The elements of the scattering (Mueller) matrix have been shown to provide valuable information about variation of the optical properties of scattering particles. The scattering behavior of fat and casein in terms of the scattering matrix elements was experimentally determined for milk with varying fat levels ranging from 0.05 wt% (skim) to 3.20 wt% (whole). Three of the scattering Mueller matrix elements, specifically S11, S12/S11, and S 33/S11, were found to be sensitive to the number of fat particles in milk. These results indicate that it should be possible to develop a reliable sensor based on the measurement of these scattering elements, which will allow for the development of a robust, in-line sensor to be used in food processing. In addition, an attempt was made to model the phenomena using a relatively simple approach based on single scattering with a size distribution. The disagreement between the model and experiments suggests that a more comprehensive model is needed which can account for multiple scattering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1155
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Depolarization
  • Fat content
  • Light scattering
  • Mueller matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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