|Concern for the safety of our food is growing in Europe, driven by industrialised food production and repeated crises. The majority of quantitative analytical technology currently in use is bound to the laboratory setting and therefore able to test a small fraction of approximately 1% with respect to the EU's food supplies. This hugely threatening problem of food safety requires more massive screening of food and water extending from the source to the point of consumption. A low-cost and portable system delivering analytical data to a central location would help to prevent or identify early any food safety threat outbreaks and thereby massively reduce human suffering and its associated financial cost.|
Towards this direction the European project FOODSNIFFER which commenced in September 1st, 2012 aims to provide a highly-sensitive and label-free multi-analyte system. Since the system implements immunoassay principles for the lab-on-a-chip sample analysis it is extremely versatile concerning the range of analytes that could be detected, limited theoretically only by available reagents.
Because of the unique integration of photonic and electronic components on the same silicon die, the FOODSNIFFER chip will be very compact and with low power consumption requirements for its operation. The disposable chips are inserted into a cartridge which is placed into a handheld reader that is controlled by a smartphone through a custom-developed app. The software controls the disposable chip and also processes its signal and transmits the analytical results securely via the internet during the on-the-spot food safety analysis.
FOODSNIFFER will be a complete business solution which will be demonstrated in three areas of great importance to European society and regulators, viz. the detection of pesticide residues, mycotoxins and allergens in selected food categories in order to demonstrate field-based detection of harmful species at low concentrations, which is a feat unattained so far by any point-of-need system. The system requires no expertise or special resources to deliver rapid and highly accurate analytical results. The project will develop a prototype to resolve the key technological challenges. The project consortium will further develop the prototype into effective commercial and industrial solutions.
FOODSNIFFER is a collaborative project under the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. The 4.0 M€ research project brings together 10 European partners, 4 of which are SMEs. Participants in the FOODSNIFFER Project are: NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ‘DEMOKRITOS’, (Greece) (COORDINATOR), TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT (Finland), TRUSTFOOD STICHTING (The Netherlands), JOBST TECHNOLOGIES GMBH (Germany), LIONIX BV (The Netherlands), RIKILT Wageningen UR (The Netherlands), EUROFINS ANALYTICS FRANCE SAS, UNIVERSIDAD DE ALMERIA (Spain), UNIWERSYTET JAGIELLONSKI (Poland), THETAMETRISIS (Greece).
The FOODSNIFFER EU Project is proceeding on schedule in all respects of the silicon chip, the disposable cartridge and the reader. Preliminary tests with the previous version of the FOODSNIFFER chip produced promising results for the detection of less than one-part-per-million cow-milk protein in goat’s milk and indeed the sensitivity exceeded some laboratory standard methods. The next analytical targets planned are soy and peanut allergen and the mycotoxin, ochratoxin A.
FOOODSNIFFER is funded by the European Commission within the FP7-ICT-MNBS programme, under Grant Agreement no 318319.
For more information please visit FOODSNIFFER web-site www.foodniffer.eu
FR-Monitor, our software for the control of FR-tools and the measurement of thickness(es) and optical properties of film stacks has reached version 2.0. This version offers a great number of advantages a small fraction of which are:
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At the exhibition, an FR-Basic along with FR-Mapper will be demonstrated. The particular combination is suitable for mapping of film thickness and refractive index of large samples, and characterization of such samples will be carried out for exhibition participants
We are very pleased to announce that we have successfully installed the first PM-QE tool for the characterization of photovoltaic cells, to the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. The tool completes the infrastructure of the PV group at Electronic Engineering department and will be used for the characterization of all types of solar cells through the already established collaboration with manufacturing sites
ALEPOY (Autonomous and integrated system for in situ and continuous contaminant gases monitoring in industrial environments) is a 3-year project aiming at the development of a miniaturized system for the remote monitoring of hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in industrial environment. ALEPOY is coordinated by PRISMA Electronics and partners are Atlantis Engineering, ThetaMetrisis and AlphaBetaRoto. In the course of the project a novel wireless system based on low cost and low power sensors and electronics will be implemented and will be evaluated in a real industrial environment. ThetaMetrisis will be responsible for the development of the read-out electronics of the sensing module
ORAMA (integrated micrOphotonic system for Real-time and lAbel-free in-vitro Monitoring of multiple biomolecular reActions ) is a 3-year research project partially funded by General Sectretariat for Research & Technology aiming at the design, implementation and evaluation of a microphotonic system for the label-free detection of biomolecular interactions by applying the White Light Reflectance Spectroscopy (WLRS) methodology. The outcome of the research project would be a prototype tool aiming at the sensitive quantitative determination of two particular biomarkers (total- and free-prostate specific antigen) for the diagnosis of prostate cancer
At the exhibition, an FR-Basic with capabilities of measuring film thickness and refractive index will be demonstrated and characterization of samples will be carried out for conference participants