Does anyone have any experience of making yogurt with a solar oven?

Ahana Shrestha
Practical Action

Detail Question by Lindsey McKerrell is as below:

Dear Sir/Madame,

We are the 2016 Glasgow University team participating in this year’s iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) competition. It is a worldwide multidisciplinary competition based in Boston, MA, which uses Synthetic Biology to solve a problem. Our biologists aim to reduce vitamin A deficiency worldwide by engineering strains of yoghurt bacteria l. bulgaricus and s. thermophilus to produce beta-carotene, a precursor molecule to vitamin A. As part of the engineering side of the team, the side with which we hope you might be able to help us, we aim to provide a low power, efficient way of making yoghurt using a solar oven and an Arduino microcontroller to regulate the temperature of a water bath. Our current idea involves a reservoir of water which would trickle through a solar oven to be heated in relatively small quantities. The water bath itself would have a programmable reference temperature and when the temperature drops below this, the microcontroller opens a servo valve which lets the hot water enter the water bath in increments to heat it back to reference temperature. Preliminary testing of the system has proved the water bath could be capable of pasteurising milk as well as making yoghurt. We believe your expertise in the field could be of great benefit for us in order to move forward in our project. We would like to know if our idea is similar in any way to a product which you currently work with, and if so how it is implemented practically in the real world. If you had any suggestions and/or (constructive) criticisms we would also be very grateful for your thoughts and opinions. We would be very interested in arranging a Skype call or email correspondence to discuss. 

Best Regards,

Lindsey McKerrell Glasgow iGEM Engineering team