When it comes to the "smell test," the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS' journal Nano Letters, scientists report that they have developed a wireless tagging device that can send signals to smartphones warning consumers and food distributors when meat and other perishables have spoiled. They say this new sensor could improve the detection of rotten food so it is tossed before consumers eat it.
Every year, 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from foodborne illnesses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, about 125,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die.
Traditionally, many consumers just smell a food to detect spoilage, but this technique is only as reliable as the sniffer's nose. At the other end of the spectrum, food inspectors often use bulky, expensive equipment to detect harmful microbes.
Scientists are investigating other approaches, including near field communication (NFC) labeling, that are both portable and dependable. NFC devices wirelessly transmit information over short distances -- usually less than 4 inches. They are similar to the radio frequency identification products retailers use to track inventory and shipments.
Building on this idea, Lijia Pan, Yi Shi, Guihua Yu and colleagues sought to incorporate a sensitive switch into NFC labeling tags to detect food spoilage using a smartphone.
The scientists created a nanostructured, conductive, polymer-based gas sensor that can detect substances called biogenic amines (BAs), which give decomposing meat its bad odor. They embedded these sensors into NFCs placed next to meats.
After the meats had been stored for 24 hours at 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the researchers found that the sensors successfully detected significant amounts of BAs. The sensors then switched on the NFCs so they could transmit this information to a nearby smartphone.
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.
The paper's abstract will be available on June 27 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time here: http://pubs.
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact email@example.com.
Katie Cottingham | EurekAlert!
Family of crop viruses revealed at high resolution for the first time
15.10.2019 | John Innes Centre
Receptor complexes on the assembly line
15.10.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...
How do some neutron stars become the strongest magnets in the Universe? A German-British team of astrophysicists has found a possible answer to the question of how these so-called magnetars form. Researchers from Heidelberg, Garching, and Oxford used large computer simulations to demonstrate how the merger of two stars creates strong magnetic fields. If such stars explode in supernovae, magnetars could result.
How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
15.10.2019 | Materials Sciences
15.10.2019 | Interdisciplinary Research
15.10.2019 | Life Sciences