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HomeScienceReal-time food spoilage alerts made possible with wireless sensors

Real-time food spoilage alerts made possible with wireless sensors


Concept summary. credit: nature foods (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s43016-023-00750-9

Food waste and food-borne illnesses are among the most critical problems faced by today’s urban population. They contribute to global warming emissions significantly and inflate economic and environmental costs. As food spoilage continues to be the main cause of this waste, the conditions for food processing, transportation and preservation still need to be improved in line with current technological developments.

Existing monitoring processes are performed in laboratories and use expensive chromatographic equipment. These not only require a lot of time, but also excessive resources and qualified personnel. Therefore, unfortunately, the existing methods have proven ineffective in today’s conditions.

New research has been published in nature foods presents an important alternative to this process: a new easy-to-use, cost-effective, and modern sensor that can be applied to food directly and replace laboratory monitoring. The 2 x 2 cm miniature wireless device inserted into the paper provides real-time measurement, is battery-free and compatible with smartphones. It is expected to be very effective especially in high protein foods such as beef, chicken and fish.

The research was led by Dr. Emin Estev (Molecular Biology and Genetics, Kadir Has University) and his assistant. Prof. Levent Beker (Mechanical Engineering, Koc University) with the contribution of Prof. İskender Yelgur and Dr. Emil Yelgur (Chemistry, Koc University), assistant. Professor Çağdaş Dağ (Molecular Biology and Genetics, Koc University) and Assistant Professor Hatice Ceylan Kodemir (Texas A&M University).

While existing solutions focus on changing the color of food, this new device offers, for the first time, a capacitive measurement method and thus uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology with wireless and energy-free communication. The authors suggest that this removes major drawbacks faced by resistive devices such as moisture sensitivity and incorrect data due to distance.

Not only will the invention provide companies with an opportunity to reduce costs, but it will also greatly help consumers. Once the device is widely marketed, it will enable continuous monitoring on the shelves and allow users to control the freshness of the product right before the product is purchased or even before consumption at home. This opportunity to analyze spoilage on demand via mobile phones will ultimately help prevent food waste and food-borne illness.

With its cost-effectiveness and accessibility, the authors hope to contribute to the larger struggle against global warming and greenhouse emissions more effectively and rapidly. The next steps will be to focus on increasing the marketability of the product in the near future.

more information:
Emin Istif et al, A miniaturized wireless sensor enables real-time monitoring of food spoilage, nature foods (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s43016-023-00750-9

Provided by Koç University

the quote: Wireless sensor enables real-time food spoilage alerts (2023, June 9) Retrieved June 9, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-wireless-sensor-enables-real-time-spoilage.html

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