UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Emerging Point-of-care Technologies for Food Safety Analysis Choi, Jane Ru; Yong, Kar Wey; Choi, Jean Yu; Cowie, Alistair C.


Food safety issues have recently attracted public concern. The deleterious effects of compromised food safety on health have rendered food safety analysis an approach of paramount importance. While conventional techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry have traditionally been utilized for the detection of food contaminants, they are relatively expensive, time-consuming and labor intensive, impeding their use for point-of-care (POC) applications. In addition, accessibility of these tests is limited in developing countries where food-related illnesses are prevalent. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop simple and robust diagnostic POC devices. POC devices, including paper- and chip-based devices, are typically rapid, cost-effective and user-friendly, offering a tremendous potential for rapid food safety analysis at POC settings. Herein, we discuss the most recent advances in the development of emerging POC devices for food safety analysis. We first provide an overview of common food safety issues and the existing techniques for detecting food contaminants such as foodborne pathogens, chemicals, allergens, and toxins. The importance of rapid food safety analysis along with the beneficial use of miniaturized POC devices are subsequently reviewed. Finally, the existing challenges and future perspectives of developing the miniaturized POC devices for food safety monitoring are briefly discussed.

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CC BY 4.0