Phage-based magnetoelastic (ME) biosensors have been studied as an in-situ, real-time, wireless, direct detection method of foodborne pathogens in recent years. This paper investigates an ME biosensor method for the detection of Salmonella
Typhimurium on fresh spinach leaves. A procedure to obtain a concentrated suspension of Salmonella
from contaminated spinach leaves is described that is based on methods outlined in the U.S. FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual for the detection of Salmonella
on leafy green vegetables. The effects of an alternative pre-enrichment broth (LB broth vs. lactose broth), incubation time on the detection performance and negative control were investigated. In addition, different blocking agents (BSA, Casein, and Superblock) were evaluated to minimize the effect of nonspecific binding. None of the blocking agents was found to be superior to the others, or even better than none. Unblocked ME biosensors were placed directly in a concentrated suspension and allowed to bind with Salmonella cells for 30 min before measuring the resonant frequency using a surface-scanning coil detector. It was found that 7 h incubation at 37 °C in LB broth was necessary to detect an initial spike of 100 cfu/25 g S.
Typhimurium on spinach leaves with a confidence level of difference greater than 95% (p
< 0.05). Thus, the ME biosensor method, on both partly and fully detection, was demonstrated to be a robust and competitive method for foodborne pathogens on fresh products.
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