Edible sensors may indicate bacterial contamination

Edible nano-sensors made from silk could alert consumers to potential contamination of food produce through a hologram-like indicator embedded in the pack, claim US researchers.

Demand for products that can help processors ensure their products are safe has grown in the wake of a number of high profile food recalls and scares in the US and food processors along with researchers have been exploring the scope of nanotechnology in this regard.

According to the researchers from the School of Engineering at Tufts University in the US, edible silk lenses as biosensors could be effective in monitoring the level of dangerous bacteria in food packaging.

"For example, at a low cost, we could potentially put a bioactive silk film in every bag of spinach, and it could give the consumer a readout of whether or not E. coli bacteria were in the bag before the food was consumed," claims David Kaplan, chair of the biomedical engineering department at Tufts.

Source: foodproductiondaily.comAdded: 20 August 2008