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A Microfabricated Array-Based Sensor for Seafood Freshness

Investigators
Gonzales, Martin
Institutions
Lynntech, Inc
Start date
2002
End date
2003
Objective
In general, available technologies for the determination of seafood freshness are time consuming and expensive, require complicated equipment and destructive sampling, and are difficult to perform outside the laboratory. Lynntechs array-based chemical sensor, i.e. "electronic nose", offers a low-cost solution to monitor food spoilage. The array-based sensor uses conductive polymer elements, which can be tailored to specific groups of target compounds, e.g. volatile bacterial metabolites given off by food during the spoilage process. The array produces an electronic signal pattern, or "fingerprint". The sensor will incorporate integrated circuits to control sampling and signal detection and analysis, including pattern recognition. Lynntech proposes to develop a user-friendly versatile system that is quick to respond, requires no consumables, and is portable.
More information
The food industry, especially the meat and fish industry, is very concerned about the freshness of their products. Quality control at every step in the processing/distribution chain is essential to guarantee a tasty, wholesome, and most of all, safe food supply to the public. During the Phase I project, the feasibility of the sensor design at the bench scale will be demonstrated. During the Phase II project, a prototype sensor system will be developed and field-tested.

Other than in the food industry, Lynntechs "electronic nose" has a wide range of applications. In the environmental industry it can gauge the effectiveness of environmental remediation efforts and to detect the presence of toxic chemicals in environmental systems. In the perfume and drink industry this sensor is particularly useful in analyzing complex vapor mixtures such as perfumes, beers, flavors, spoilage compounds, mixtures of solvents, etc. The agronomic industry can use the device for sensing pesticides in water and in fresh produce. In the medical industry the sensor can diagnose breath for disease screening and monitoring.

Project number
TEXK-2002-00277
Accession number
192116
Categories
Food Defense and Integrity
Pesticide Residues