Biodegradable sensor monitors levels of pesticides via direct contact with surface of fruit and vegetables
Researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Brazil have developed a sustainable sensor, termed "plant-wearable," made of cellulose acetate, derived from wood pulp. This sensor can be directly placed on fruits or vegetables to detect pesticide presence, offering potential solutions for food safety concerns amidst agricultural challenges.
Pesticides, often inefficiently applied, pose environmental and health risks, necessitating continuous monitoring. The sensor, described in Biomaterials Advances, enables rapid, on-site detection without the need for complex equipment or extensive sample preparation. Utilizing cellulose acetate ensures environmental sustainability, with the material degrading within a short timeframe. Laboratory tests demonstrated the sensor's efficacy in detecting pesticides on lettuce and tomatoes. Additionally, the study explored methods to reduce pesticide residues through washing, though significant amounts persisted.
The technology holds promise for regulatory agencies, organic producers, and farmers, facilitating precise pesticide application and potentially reducing overall usage. Collaboration between research institutions underscores the interdisciplinary nature of this innovation. The sensor's affordability, portability, and biodegradability offer practical solutions for sustainable agriculture and food safety.
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- environmental sustainability
- Food safety
- Pesticide detection
- Sensor technology
- sustainable agriculture