16-Sep-2020 | Market Research Store

An array of silk microneedles were used to make a Velcro-like food sensor by the MIT engineers with the aim of easily passing through the plastic food packages to test the food for any signs of spoilage and bacterial contamination. The mirconeedles of sensors are prepared from edible protein solutions present in silk cocoons and these sensors are designed to draw liquid from the food samples that are then mixed with bioinks to show any pH change to indicate whether the food is spoiled or contaminated with bacteria.

The change in color of the pH-sensitive bioink helps easily indicate if the food is contaminated or spoiled. This new colorimetric sensor is the first step taken toward smart food sensors with the belief of halting the sudden outbreaks like onions and peaches salmonella contamination. The throwing out of food by the consumers even after expiry and still consumable could also be prevented. The improper labeling is causing a lot of food wastage without any knowledge of whether it is spoiled or not. The outbreaks also lead to a lot of food wastage and hence, the development of such technology can help reduce food wastage.

Additionally, the properties of silk have made it a primary resource to develop the new technology. The collaboration between a high-resolution floxography technique and a silk-based microneedle stamp produces a printed food sensor that will monitor food safety. However, measuring the health of food from its surface is not reliable and need a more effective sensor. The silk microneedles are completely edible, nontoxic that can be used as a food ingredient. The researchers envision the new food sensor to be a promising at various stages of the food supply chain to assure whether the food consumed is safe to eat.

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