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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Optical Detection of Food Safety and Food Defense Hazards

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: The use of silver nanorod array based surface enhanced Raman scattering sensor for food safety applications

Authors
item Wu, Xiaomeng -
item Chen, Jing -
item Park, Bosoon
item Huang, Yao-Wen -
item Zhao, Yiping -

Submitted to: ACS Book Series: Advances in Applied Nanotechnology for Agriculture
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 8, 2013
Publication Date: September 25, 2013
Citation: Wu, X., Chen, J., Park, B., Huang, Y., Zhao, Y. 2013. The use of silver nanorod array based surface enhanced Raman scattering sensor for food safety applications. ACS Book Series 1143: Advances in Applied Nanotechnology for Agriculture. 5:85-108. DOI:10.1021/bk-2013-1143.ch005.

Interpretive Summary: Food safety has been a global concern of the food industry and the governments for many years. Nowadays, ensuring food safety has become a complicated task as food safety issues change over time. While many of the food safety challenges of the past have been resolved, new issues continue to arise. Although over the past decades the ability to detect foodborne outbreaks has advanced and become more rapid than before, much still remains to be done to address the ever-increasing public awareness on food safety due to the numerous food safety outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks associated with microorganisms are among the greatest concerns in food safety. In some cases, the foodborne illnesses are not only related to direct bacterial infection, but also caused by the toxins excreted by the microorganism during metabolism. Since early 21st century, nanotechnology has been emerging in biological science as well as engineering. Advances in nanotechnology are also significantly impacting on the field of diagnostics in agricultural and food systems. Thus, nanoscale science and technology for food research has focused its investment on detection and intervention technologies for enhancing food safety.

Technical Abstract: For the advancement of preventive strategies, it is critical to develop rapid and sensitive detection methods with nanotechnology for food safety applications. This article reports the recent development on the use of aligned silver nanorod (AgNR) arrays prepared by oblique angle deposition, as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates to detect food safety related substances such as foodborne pathogens, toxins, pesticides, and adulteration agents. Our investigation demonstrated that the AgNR-based SERS can be used to distinguish different types and serotypes of bacteria. It can also be used to discriminate mycotoxins of similar chemical structures, such as aflatoxins, with the help of chemometric analysis of the SERS spectra. Pesticides from real food samples, such as tea, can be identified using this method with the same multivariate statistical analysis. When combining SERS with ultra-thin layer chromatography using the AgNR substrates, our detection system can achieve simultaneous separation and detection of mixture samples, which could be critical for real food detection.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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