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Foodsniffer Analyses Chemicals Emitted By Food To Tell You Whether It’s Safe To Eat

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Card-size sensor could be the end of use-by dates.

Chemistry professor Timothy Swager and colleagues ran a minute electrical current through tiny cylinders of carbon atoms called nanotubes to detect compounds that rotting meat exudes — chemicals with evocative names like putrescine and cadaverine. As microbial activity increased, so did the compounds’ levels, changing the electrical signals and indicating the meat was past its prime.

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The company C2Sense, which licensed the technology, is working on creating portable prototypes that will encapsulate the nanotubes and a tiny battery in semipermeable, food-safe material.

With C2Sense beginning field tests later this year, Swager thinks that commercial sensors will appear soon at a grocery store near you. The paper-thin, credit card-size sensors on meat packaging may display text such as, “Eat in X days,” or have a simple color readout: green (safe), yellow (eat soon) or red (time for the trash).” said discovermagazine.com

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“Foodsniffer Analyses Chemicals Emitted By Food To Tell You Whether It’s Safe To Eat”