Food scientists developed novel magnetic nanoparticles for faster detection of insecticidal residues in vegetables

Trace amounts of pesticide can be detected in less than two hours

The research team led by Assistant Professor Yang Hongshun from the NUS Food Science and Technology Programme were behind the development of novel magnetic nanoparticles that could speed up the screening of pesticide residue in vegetables
The research team led by Assistant Professor Yang Hongshun from the NUS Food Science and Technology Programme were behind the development of novel magnetic nanoparticles that could speed up the screening of pesticide residue in vegetables

A rapid and highly sensitive screening technique is developed by the food scientists at the National University of Singapore. The technique can precisely detect a minute amount of pyrethroids in vegetables, a typical sort of engineered pesticide connected with farming products.

According to scientists, this screening technique could simplify pyrethroid extraction, reducing the screening process to under two hours.

To develop this technique, scientists used magnetic nanoparticles which can effectively extract pyrethroid residue from vegetable crops for analysis via simple magnetic separation. The next included the particles into a fluid example got from vegetables, filling in as “miniaturized scale magnets” to draw in pyrethroid atoms. Pyrethroids bound on the nanoparticles are then washed off by a little measure of natural dissolvable and gathered for examination.

This advancement enables examination to be finished in under two hours and can distinguish pyrethroids at a focus level of as low as 0.02 nanogram for every gram of vegetables. The nanoparticles can likewise be reused up to 30 times, influencing this screening to approach both time and cost proficient.

Engineered pesticides, for example, pyrethroids are broadly utilized as a part of vegetable cultivating to control farming vermin. While the utilization of these pesticides enhances edit yield, long-haul ingestion of extreme pesticide buildups through the utilization of foods grown from the ground that have been liable to pesticide mishandle could prompt unfavorable wellbeing impacts.

A few strategies have since been built up to screen vegetable harvests for pyrethroid buildup. Be that as it may, they require tedious and expensive strategies, for example, segment filtration and centrifugation, and can take up to six hours to process and investigate an example.

Asst Prof Yang Hongshun said, “Existing screening methods require long processing time and hence it could be challenging to apply such methods to detect pesticide residue in a large batch of samples, which is vital to ensuring food safety. Our method, therefore, offers a faster and more effective alternative.”

Ph.D. student, Miss Yu Xi said, “With small modifications to the extraction process, this method can be used to detect pyrethroids in other food products such as nuts, fruits, and vegetable oils. Modifications can also be made to the coating of the nanoparticles to detect other types of pesticides and chemicals including mycotoxins and antibiotics.”