Editorial Feature

Are "Graphene Wearables" the Solutions to Food Inspection?

Imagine carrying a small, wearable analytical lab with you wherever you go. It could soon be possible to inspect your food with personal graphene-based wearables.

Image Credit:Shutterstock/Microgen

Graphene-Based Wearables for Food Inspection

In Feb 2019, disruptive graphene-based technologies developed in Europe were presented in the Graphene and Quantum flagships for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (MWC19).

Among the prototypes, light-based graphene technologies were exhibited: “These include the world's smallest single pixel spectrometer and a graphene-enabled hyperspectral image sensor, both with broadband capabilities; beyond to what was once perceived possible without the use of costly and bulky photo-detection systems.”

Utilizing graphene in nano-spectroscopy enables the analysis of our food and could soon become indispensable in daily life.

Graphene is one of the most promising materials for future technologies and wearables are expected to become commonplace in our daily lives. Advanced technology and mass production of carbon nanomaterials, such as graphene or carbon nanotubes, is already provided by companies including OcSiAl (Russia), Canatu (Finland), Thomas Swan (UK), Nanothinx (USA), Cheap Tubes (USA), Cnano (China), Graphenea (Spain), Graphene Supermarket (USA), 2D Carbon Graphene Material Co. (China), and Advanced Graphene Products (Poland).

The properties of graphene are highly sensitive to changes in its environment. As a result, graphene has emerged as a promising new component for biosensor transducers. Properties such as high specific surface area, catalytic activity, high absorption ability, and high conductivity contribute to its performance efficacy. Graphene structures are also highly stable under harsh chemical conditions.

Electrochemical and Optical Properties

Electrochemical and optical properties are two major detection methods used for sensing. Graphene-based optical sensing uses the plasmonic properties of graphene quantum dot and graphene oxide (GO) fluorescence-based sensors. Graphene oxide quantum dots allow for multi-functional sensing using electrochemical and fluorescent properties. This technology is realized through miniaturized electrochemical and electronic devices for real-time monitoring and analysis of food quality.

Graphene-Based Sensors in Health Parameters Measurement and Food Contamination Detection

The measurement of health parameters such as heart rate, blood sugar, blood pressure, and dehydration has been achieved using graphene based sensors. Graphene patches are designed to measure oxygen saturation, sunlight exposure, breathing rate and temperature. Graphene based sensors for detection of contaminants or food quality have already been demonstrated. Liquids such as milk, wine or juice are excellent samples. Graphene wearables target ‘food’ for a health conscious generation that likes to know the quality of food, its freshness, and also inspect any contamination in the food.

Conclusion

Food analysis is an advantageous and market-lucrative application of graphene-based biosensors. Food contaminants such as pesticides, antibiotics, toxins, nitrates and other chemicals sequestered by food during different stages of food production needed to be detected and identified to prevent health problems caused by food pathogens and.

Analytical platforms, challenges, and perspectives in graphene-based sensors for detection of food contaminants are reviewed in reference 1. Applications of sensor platforms using this technology in the detection of food contamination are also listed.

With the advent of graphene technology, graphene wearables are a promising solution to food inspection.

References

  1. Graphene-based biosensors for on-site detection of contaminants in food
  2. Graphene and Quantum Technologies team up at the Mobile World Congress 2019
  3. Wearable and flexible electronics for continuous molecular monitoring

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Dr. Ramya Dwivedi

Written by

Dr. Ramya Dwivedi

Ramya has a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the National Chemical Laboratories (CSIR-NCL), in Pune. Her work consisted of functionalizing nanoparticles with different molecules of biological interest, studying the reaction system and establishing useful applications.

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