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Food Adulteration Detection Methods-Electronic nose,optoelectronic sensing

This article covers Food Adulteration definition and Food Adulteration detection methods. The electronic nose and optoelectronic sensing are popular Food Adulteration detection methods. It also mentions advantages and disadvantages of these methods.

Introduction: Adulteration is seen in various commodities everywhere due to corruption. It is found in foods, fuels, cloths, construction materials and so on. As a result innocent lives are lost due to food poisoning, collapse of flyover, bridge or bulidings etc. Due to this, it is very much essential to have quality control or checking of various commodities. For this quality control instruments are needed.

Food Adulteration definition

Food adulteration refers to intentional addition or substitution of substances which degrades or lower the quality of the food items. The biological and chemical contamination of food is also known as food adulteration.

food adulteration detection system

Food adulteration can happen at any level i.e. before preparation, during and after preparation, storage level, transportation level and also at distribution level. This has direct effects on the health of consumers.

Most traditional methods to check food adulteration use chemical and thermal techniques. These methods are difficult to use and often fail to detect the food adulteration. Due to research in cutting edge technologies and availability of sensors, it is possible to perform quality check on food items using modern electronic methods. The figure-1 depicts processes involved in electronic sensing method which is similar to human olfaction.

Food Adulteration Detection Using Electronic Nose (E-nose)

electronic nose

• E-nose can detect and recognise odours and flavours with a high level of reliability.
• It uses number of electronic sensors due to which it can differentiate between volatile and non-volatile compounds used in the mixtures.
• It contains array of sensors (from one to 32) using variety of sensor technologies such as organic polymers and metal oxides to micro balances.
• The technology can be used to detect various aromas of food and materials, to detect plant diseases and pests etc.
• Advantages: It works with high level of reliability.
• Disadvantages: Limitations of e-nose are as follows : Loss in sensitivity in presence of water vapour or high concentrations of single component such as alcohol, sensor drift, short life of sensors etc. inability to offer absolute calibration, lack of quantitative data to have aromatic differences and so on.
• Refer electronic nose technology and sensors >> for more information.

Food Adulteration Detection Using Optoelectronic sensing

• Optoelectronic branch deals with light emission and light detection.
• Optoelectronics deals with radiation, detection, creation and manipulation for various purposes such as x-rays, Infrared, gamma rays, UV and visible light.
• Optoelectronic devices are used for telecom, military, medical, food adulteration detection and so on.
• Optoelectronic devices are more sensitive, reliable and suitable to detect different types of adulterants.
• Optoelectronic methods include photovoltaic, photoconductivity, stimulated emission etc. Adulterants change the refractive index of food which results in corresponding phase change. This changes are detected to determine presence of adulterants in the food.

Other Food Adulteration Detection Methods

Following are the other food adulteration detection methods due to research in electronics field.
➨IR spectroscopy with chemometrics
➨Biosensors for urea detection in milk
➨Fiber optics based optoelectronic sensing system
➨Surface Plasmon resonance

Different Types of sensors and Transducers

Advantages and Disadvantages of other Sensor Types

Capacitive    Inductive    Photoelectric    Ultrasonic    Infrared    Motion    Biometric    Force    Humidity    Temperature    Light    Barometer    Sound    pH    Soil Moisture   

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