Sensor detects the presence of pesticides in food
May 05, 2023 |
Finding out whether a food sample contains traces of pesticides via traditional methods requires grinding up the sample and subjecting it to time-consuming chemical processes. This led researchers from the University of University of São Paulo (USP) to create a kraft paper-based electrochemical sensor that detects pesticides in food in a quicker and cheaper way.
The device is highly sensitive and resembles the mechanism in glucometers. Linked to an electronic device, the sensor works in real time and can determine the presence of carbendazim, a banned fungicide claimed to be still in use in Brazil, on apples and cabbages.
Thiago Serafim Martins, a postdoctoral fellow at IFSC-USP, stated that the successful development of electrochemical sensors based on paper makes for a more malleable material compared to the commercial electrodes that are made of either plastic or ceramic material.
The sensor is wearable and is amenable for continuous monitoring of pesticides in both agriculture and food industry, eliminating the need for complex food scanning processes. Inspection gets easier, cheaper and reliable for supermarkets, restaurants, and importers alike.