Pesticides are responsible for declining pollinator populations and they have harmful effects on health. Pesticide detection is crucial to ensure a safe environment and food safety. Usually, the equipment employed to detect pesticides or other chemicals is costly, large, and slow which makes on-the-spot detection pretty difficult.
Smaller detectors have paper as sensor material, but these are not so effective for producing strong signals for detection. Some countries have introduced a portable smartphone-based detection system that helps generate strong signals to detect the pesticide thiram.
The researchers had developed several components such as
- a 3D-printed device made of a smartphone bound to a mini-laser
- nanoparticles for detecting the pesticide and radiate a fluorescent signal on paper
- a mini-cavity and an optical filter
- A piece of software that drives on Android
The nanoparticles known as upconversion nanocrystals are decorated with copper ions and fixed onto the paper. When a sample is put on the paper, the pesticide molecules get attached to the copper ions on the nanoparticles. The tool shines light over the paper and uses specially developed software. The smartphone detects the fluorescent light released from the nanoparticles.
According to the amount of pesticide present in the sample, the fluorescent light varies. The software translates that signal into the pesticide concentration. The system gives a sensible and precise detection reading at low concentrations.
Pesticide detection method in food
For experimenting with pesticides, users enact a swab over the vegetable and fruits, inject the swab into the sensor and wait for the outcome for 30 seconds. Seeing a green light over the device’s face means the pesticide remnant is under the EPA tolerance whereas a red light implies the opposite.
A sensor that is employed to detect pesticides
Paper sensors that are analyzed by operating an Android program on a smartphone could be employed to inspect pesticides promptly and cheaply. These results were acquired by the study conducted by Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
Separating pesticides from foods
Generally, pesticide sediments in fresh produce have been assessed with gas chromatography furnished with element selective sensors like FPD, ECD, PFPD, etc.
Use of IoT in pesticide detection in fruits and vegetables
The role of advanced technology and the Internet of Things has made human lives comfortable. IoT-based monitoring is used to detect pesticides in fruits and vegetables.
After detecting the pests existing in vegetables and fruits or any residues present in them through the pest detection sensors, it infers and transmits the evidence to the Arduino. Next, it exhibits it in an LLC.
The smartphone is beneficial in terms of its accessibility, portability, programmability, low cost, and ease of use. It helps bring radical recourse to the analytic community.”
Several studies have been conducted on pesticide molecules. This new system could be used to observe molecules such as drugs, antibodies, and proteins. These tiny and inexpensive detection systems are crucial for detecting pesticides. The researchers are now doing investigations and improving kits to detect various molecules in foods to ensure our wellbeing.