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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Cottingham | EurekAlert!
Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Algae Have Land Genes
13.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
13.07.2018 | Life Sciences