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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Paper-Based Sensor Compatible with a Mobile Phone for the Detection of Common Iron Formulas Used in Fortified Foods within Resource-Limited Settings

1
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2
School of Art and Design, Department of Industrial Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
3
Programa de Posgrado en Alimentos del Centro de la República (PROPAC), Research and Graduate Studies in Food Science, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Centro Universitario Cerro de las Campanas s/n Col. Centro, Querétaro 76000, Mexico
4
Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071673
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
A lack of quality control tools limits the enforcement of fortification policies. In alignment with the World Health Organization’s ASSURED criteria (affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment-free, and deliverable), a paper-based assay that interfaces with a smartphone application for the quantification of iron fortificants is presented. The assay is based on the Ferrozine colorimetric method. The reaction started after deposition of the 5 µL aqueous sample and drying. After developing color, pixel intensity values were obtained using a smartphone camera and image processing software or a mobile application, Nu3px. From these values, the actual iron concentration from ferrous sulfate and ferrous fumarate was calculated. The limits of detection, quantification, linearity, range, and errors (systematic and random) were ascertained. The paper-based values from real samples (wheat flour, nixtamalized corn flour, and infant formula) were compared against atomic emission spectroscopy. The comparison of several concentrations of atomic iron between the spectrophotometric and paper-based assays showed a strong positive linear correlation (y = 47.01x + 126.18; R2 = 0.9932). The dynamic range (5.0–100 µg/mL) and limit of detection (3.691 µg/mL) of the paper-based assay are relevant for fortified food matrices. Random and systematic errors were 15.9% and + 8.65 µg/g food, respectively. The concept can be applied to limited-resource settings to measure iron in fortified foods. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron; paper-based assay; sensor; fortification; mobile app iron; paper-based assay; sensor; fortification; mobile app
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Waller, A.W.; Toc, M.; Rigsby, D.J.; Gaytán-Martínez, M.; Andrade, J.E. Development of a Paper-Based Sensor Compatible with a Mobile Phone for the Detection of Common Iron Formulas Used in Fortified Foods within Resource-Limited Settings. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1673.

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