The new sensor uses photonics to find killer fruits and vegetables-

Recent studies show that pesticides in fruits and vegetables kill 11,000 people each year and unintentionally poison 385 million people worldwide. Monitoring microscopic chemicals and harmful bacteria in these foods can take several days to send small batches to the laboratory for testing and analysis. However, new detectors are currently being developed that detect trace amounts of these toxic elements with photonics and produce results in minutes.

This new ultra-sensitive detector utilizes light particles to detect very small traces of pesticides and bacteria in minutes. This is 50 to 100 times faster than existing technology.

Developed by a consortium currently funded by the EU, this new system allows workers to check for pesticides and bacteria by monitoring more fruit and vegetable samples than is currently being done. The new system can produce results in less than 30 minutes, from sample preparation to detection. This is a fraction of the current time.

The team uses a highly sensitive system that uses laser light to detect chemical or biological analytes. Called a plasmaphotonic bimodal multiplexing sensor, this system can detect bacteria and pesticides without labels, without the use of chemicals or dyes as markers.

Today, food can deteriorate rapidly and it takes time to check safety, so factories often have fewer checks, and even in countries with highly efficient monitoring technology, consumers are toxic. There is an increased risk of exposure to bacteria and bacteria.

Fruit and vegetable safety checks are usually done in random batches and sent to the laboratory. This process can take a couple of days to get results. Due to time and cost, these checks cannot be performed in critical parts of the value chain, such as supermarkets and restaurants.

Each year, 385 million people are unintentionally addicted to eating fruits and vegetables containing pesticides. As a result, 11,000 of these have been tragically killed. These pesticide residues, consumed through food and water, can also cause many fatal long-term conditions, including birth defects, cancer, genetic defects, blood disorders, and neurotoxicity.

Project Coordinator Alessandro Giusti said:

The project, called GRACED, is currently coordinated by CyRIC, the Cyprus Research and Innovation Center in Cyprus, and includes a consortium of experts from all over Europe. The developers were inspired by one of the existing sensors that inspect water to detect microbiological or chemical contamination with a small number of pesticides.

“We developed the project as a” hard fork “extension of a previously run EU project called WATERSPY. In a sense, the two projects are related. Biophotonics-based technology for measuring contamination of a particular matrix – in WATERSPY, it was drinking water. With GRACED, it can be anything, such as the water used to feed the plants, or the actual fruits and vegetables themselves. However, the core technology is completely different.

“Everything runs on a single chip. We are working to detect seven different analytes simultaneously in less than 30 minutes (including sample preparation time).”

Interference sensing

To generate clear bacterial or pesticide detection, the system works by examining the “binding” of contaminants to the sensor surface. In the presence of harmful components, it produces a new, unique signal.

The GRACED team uses a plasma photonic bimodal multiplexing sensor to use one of the most sensitive detection techniques available for identification at the molecular level.

Receptors on the surface of the sensor are specially “tuned” for specific bacteria and chemicals, so only the analyte of interest is captured along the sensor.

The light moving through the sensor creates a fully exposed evanescent field on the sensor surface. Here, the receptor can recognize contaminants as the sample passes.

This recognition event changes the speed of the laser light, thus changing the interference pattern at the output.

This change can be accurately measured and determined for existing sets of values, allowing immediate diagnosis of expected contaminants in the picomolar to atomol (pM–aM) range without the need for amplification.

Sensors are part of a comprehensive modular solution that leverages unique engineering design, IoT concepts, and advanced data analysis to detect pollution in the fruit and vegetable value chain.

Vertical and urban agriculture

The GRACED team believes this application will be very useful for some next-generation food production options. “Vertical or urban farms are like laboratories where everything is done in controlled rooms. Water quality management is very important to the success of these types of farms and this process is automated. If so, it’s even better.

“Some urban agriculture uses reclaimed water (the running water used for irrigation), which can pose a risk of pollution. Therefore, a solution like ours will be a great complement to future food production, “Justy said.

The GRACED project will be completed in 2024 and will be used in France, Italy and Hungary for future production systems of various types (traditional field agriculture, new urban agriculture, short agroecological value chains, semi-automatic agriculture). Conduct the test. The three-and-a-half-year project received a € 4,989,480 grant from Horizon 2020 under the Research and Innovation Action Funding Scheme.

GRACED is coordinated from the Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Limited (CYRIC) and includes a combination of technology partners. Italy – Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Tecnoalimenti SCPA, Iss Biosense Srl; France – Easy Global Market Sas, Center National De La Recherche Scientifique Cnrs, Sous Les Fraises, Pour Une Agriculture Du Vivant; Cyprus – Bialoom Ltd; Belgium – Multitel; Greece – Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis; Germany – Gesellschaft Fur Angewandte Mikro Und Optoelektronik Mit Beschrankterhaftung Amo Gmbh; Hungary – Pilze-Nagy Kereskedelmi Es Szolgaltato Kft; Spain – Lumensia Sensors Sl. The new sensor uses photonics to find killer fruits and vegetables-

Back to top button