Miniaturized wireless sensor enables real-time monitoring of food spoilage
Ozuaciksoz, Elif Yaren
Koydemir, Hatice Ceylan
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Food spoilage results in food waste and food-borne diseases. Yet, standard laboratory tests to determine spoilage (mainly volatile biogenic amines) are not performed regularly by supply chain personnel or end customers. Here we developed a poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)-based, miniature (2 x 2 cm(2)) sensor for on-demand spoilage analysis via mobile phones. To demonstrate a real-life application, the wireless sensor was embedded into packaged chicken and beef; consecutive readings from meat samples using the sensor under various storage conditions enabled the monitoring of spoilage. While samples stored at room temperature showed an almost 700% change in sensor response on the third day, those stored in the freezer resulted in an insignificant change in sensor output. The proposed low-cost, miniature wireless sensor nodes can be integrated into packaged foods, helping consumers and suppliers detect spoilage of protein-rich foods on demand, and ultimately preventing food waste and food-borne diseases. Standard tests to determine food spoilage are costly and time consuming. A poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)-based sensor offers a low-cost alternative that can be linked to mobile phones for real-time spoilage analysis. The device was tested on chicken and beef samples under various storage conditions.