Researchers develop patch which monitors food content for harmful pathogens

Our take: Patch could have significant impact on food packaging... | ------------

Hanie Yousefi and Tohid Didar have worked on developing the patch, which they say could replace traditional best before date labels on products.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada have developed a transparent test pouch which they claim brings certainty to the question of whether food products are safe to eat.

Printed with harmless molecules, the ‘Sentinel Wrap’ pouch can be incorporated directly into food packaging, where it can monitor contents for harmful pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, signalling contamination as it happens.

If a pathogen is present in the food or drink inside the package, it triggers a signal in the packaging that can be read by a smartphone or other device.

The test itself does not affect the contents of the package.

Engineers claim the technology has the potential to replace the traditional best before date labels on food and drinks, with a definitive indication of when a product should not be consumed.

According to the World Health Organization, foodborne pathogens result in approximately 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths per year.

About 30% of those cases involve children five years old and younger.

Hanie Yousefi, research assistant at McMaster University Faculty of Engineering, said: “In...

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