Researchers may have created a biosensor to detect if food has already spoiled.

For families all around the world, the holiday season may mean a long weekend spent with family, friends, and food. Additionally, this combination will cause a number of illnesses to spread, including foodborne illnesses as well as RSV, flu, and COVID-19.

The international supply network that distributes different kinds of meat to markets is complex and typically very effective. However, meat spoilage may still be a very real risk for food producers, vendors, and consumers, especially when delays in one region of the world can cause transportation delays across an ocean and a continent. 

Buyers can never be sure if food protocols are strictly followed, but luckily, a new invention may be the instant test for food spoilage consumers need.

Why Food Poisoning Is the Top Cause of Holiday Sickness

The holiday season is when people often cook considerably more food than normal, frequently under pressure, leading to more mistakes and increasing the risk of food-related illness.

According to Today, foodborne illnesses, also known as food poisoning, happen when you consume something contaminated with pathogens like bacteria, parasites, or viruses and experience unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms as a result.

An estimated 48 million Americans, or about one out of six, are thought to become ill from foodborne illnesses each year. 128,000 are admitted to hospitals, and 3,000 individuals have passed away.

Newly Developed Food Toxin Detection Test Biosensor 

According to AZO Sensors, a team of researchers from Concordia University claims to have developed a reliable toxin detection biosensor that could make it simple to identify rotten cattle.

“Making a rapid, easy-to-use biosensor for people to check the quality of the food they are eating is empowering. We wanted to make a device that anyone could use, that is disposable and contain no toxic materials.” According to study lead author Alaa Selim,

The new technique utilizes a synthetic paper-based biosensor. The researchers turned to a paper-based approach because it is simple to produce and discard. 

Read Also: Dementia Study: Avoid These Types of Food To Prevent Risk of Cognitive Illness

How Does the Food Toxin Biosensor Work?

IFL Science reports that the newly developed biosensor works by detecting putrescine, which causes the foul odor associated with decaying flesh. Putrescine can produce symptoms of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, at sufficient doses. 

The scientists developed a simple device that uses a biosensor to identify the chemical using a naturally occurring putrescine-responsive repressor-operator pair taken from Escherichia coli bacteria. Beef samples can be added to the biosensor paper to determine whether the beef is harmful.

The researchers tested it on beef kept at different temperatures, including a sample at room temperature and samples from the fridge and freezer. As expected, those kept at low temperatures returned low levels of putrescine, while the room temperature samples were higher. When they performed industry-standard chromatography on the samples, it correlated with the sensor results. 

Related Article: US FDA Authorizes Bivalent Boosters for Children Against COVID-19

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