Nanomaterial-Based Emerging Technologies for Detecting Food Contaminants

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Analytical Methods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 19309

Special Issue Editors

College of Food Science and Engineering, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, China
Interests: food safety; food contaminants; food analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, China
Interests: food safety; food contaminants; fluorescent/luminescent materials; metal- or carbon-based nanomaterials; fluorescent sensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing, China
Interests: food analysis; food biosensing; food nanotechnology; whole-cell biosensing; visualization technology; quality control; synthetic biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Trace contaminants in food, such as pesticide and veterinary drug residues, illegal additives and heavy metals, cause human foodborne diseases and seriously threaten people's health. Accurate, sensitive and effective analysis strategies are necessary to ensure the safety of food. In recent years, metal-based (gold nanoparticles, gold nanorods, silver nanoparticles, etc.) and carbon-based (carbon nanotubes, carbon quantum dots, etc.) nanomaterials have been applied in various analysis strategies in order to improve food safety. Remarkable progress has been made in the purification of complex food matrices, new signal analysis and the performance of existing methods. These emerging technologies based on nanomaterials have fully played to the advantages of nanomaterials, and improve the accuracy, sensitivity, time consumption and convenience of food safety detection to varying degrees. This Special Issue aims to publish the research results regarding emerging technologies in food safety detection based on various types of nanomaterials, so as to promote the further development of related techniques in food safety analysis.

This Special Issue will collect publications on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Metal-based nanomaterials
  • Carbon-based nanomaterials
  • Metal/covalent organic frame materials
  • Organic fluorescent/luminescent materials
  • Electrochemical sensing technology
  • Chemical/biological sensors
  • Immunosensors
  • Food analysis

Dr. Mingfei Pan
Prof. Dr. Longhua Xu
Prof. Dr. Huilin Liu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • organic fluorescent/luminescent materials
  • electrochemical sensing technology
  • biosensors
  • food contaminants

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 174 KiB  
Editorial
Nanomaterial-Based Optical Detection of Food Contaminants
Foods 2024, 13(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13040557 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 497
Abstract
The presence of food contaminants remains a significant aspect contributing to global food safety issues, drawing widespread attention from ordinary consumers, governments, and researchers [...] Full article

Research

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15 pages, 8485 KiB  
Article
A Turn-Off Fluorescent Biomimetic Sensor Based on a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Coated Amino-Functionalized Zirconium (IV) Metal–Organic Framework for the Ultrasensitive and Selective Detection of Trace Oxytetracycline in Milk
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2255; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112255 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Developing sensitive and effective methods to monitor oxytetracycline residues in food is of great significance for maintaining public health. Herein, a fluorescent sensor (NH2-UIO-66 (Zr)@MIP) based on a molecularly imprinted polymer-coated amino-functionalized zirconium (IV) metal–organic framework was successfully constructed and first [...] Read more.
Developing sensitive and effective methods to monitor oxytetracycline residues in food is of great significance for maintaining public health. Herein, a fluorescent sensor (NH2-UIO-66 (Zr)@MIP) based on a molecularly imprinted polymer-coated amino-functionalized zirconium (IV) metal–organic framework was successfully constructed and first used for the ultrasensitive determination of oxytetracycline. NH2-UIO-66 (Zr), with a maximum emission wavelength of 455 nm under 350 nm excitation, was prepared using a microwave-assisted heating method. The NH2-UIO-66 (Zr)@MIP sensor with specific recognition sites for oxytetracycline was then acquired by modifying a molecularly imprinted polymer on the surface of NH2-UIO-66 (Zr). The introduction of NH2-UIO-66 (Zr) as both a signal tag and supporter can strengthen the sensitivity of the fluorescence sensor. Thanks to the combination of the unique characteristics of the molecularly imprinted polymer and NH2-UIO-66 (Zr), the prepared sensor not only exhibited a sensitive fluorescence response, specific identification capabilities and a high selectivity for oxytetracycline, but also showed good fluorescence stability, satisfactory precision and reproducibility. The fabricated sensor displayed a fluorescent linear quenching in the OTC concentration range of 0.05–40 μg mL−1, with a detection limit of 0.012 μg mL−1. More importantly, the fluorescence sensor was finally applied for the detection of oxytetracycline in milk, and the results were comparable to those obtained using the HPLC approach. Hence, the NH2-UIO-66 (Zr)@MIP sensor possesses great application potential for the accurate evaluation of trace oxytetracycline in dairy products. Full article
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10 pages, 2984 KiB  
Communication
Fluorescent and Colorimetric Dual-Mode Strategy Based on Rhodamine 6G Hydrazide for Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Hg2+ in Seafoods
Foods 2023, 12(5), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12051085 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
In this study, a rapid fluorescent and colorimetric dual-mode detection strategy for Hg2+ in seafoods was developed based on the cyclic binding of the organic fluorescent dye rhodamine 6G hydrazide (R6GH) to Hg2+. The luminescence properties of the fluorescent R6GH [...] Read more.
In this study, a rapid fluorescent and colorimetric dual-mode detection strategy for Hg2+ in seafoods was developed based on the cyclic binding of the organic fluorescent dye rhodamine 6G hydrazide (R6GH) to Hg2+. The luminescence properties of the fluorescent R6GH probe in different systems were investigated in detail. Based on the UV and fluorescence spectra, it was determined that the R6GH has good fluorescence intensity in acetonitrile and good selective recognition of Hg2+. Under optimal conditions, the R6GH fluorescent probe showed a good linear response to Hg2+ (R2 = 0.9888) in the range of 0–5 μM with a low detection limit of 2.5 × 10−2 μM (S/N = 3). A paper-based sensing strategy based on fluorescence and colorimetric analysis was developed for the visualization and semiquantitative analysis of Hg2+ in seafoods. The LAB values of the paper-based sensor impregnated with the R6GH probe solution showed good linearity (R2 = 0.9875) with Hg2+ concentration in the range of 0–50 μM, which means that the sensing paper can be combined with smart devices to provide reliable and efficient Hg2+ detection. Full article
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16 pages, 3069 KiB  
Article
Glutathione-Capped CdTe Quantum Dots Based Sensors for Detection of H2O2 and Enrofloxacin in Foods Samples
Foods 2023, 12(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010062 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Additives and antibiotic abuse during food production and processing are among the key factors affecting food safety. The efficient and rapid detection of hazardous substances in food is of crucial relevance to ensure food safety. In this study, a water-soluble quantum dot with [...] Read more.
Additives and antibiotic abuse during food production and processing are among the key factors affecting food safety. The efficient and rapid detection of hazardous substances in food is of crucial relevance to ensure food safety. In this study, a water-soluble quantum dot with glutathione as a ligand was synthesized as a fluorescent probe by hydrothermal method to achieve the detection and analysis of H2O2. The detection limits were 0.61 μM in water and 68 μM in milk. Meanwhile, it was used as a fluorescent donor probe and manganese dioxide nanosheets were used as a fluorescent acceptor probe in combination with an immunoassay platform to achieve the rapid detection and analysis of enrofloxacin (ENR) in a variety of foods with detection limits of 0.05–0.25 ng/mL in foods. The proposed systems provided new ideas for the construction of fluorescence sensors with high sensitivity. Full article
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13 pages, 3121 KiB  
Article
Construction of an ECL Detection Platform for Sensitive Detection of Carbaryl Based on an Eu3+-Functionalized Metal–Organic Framework Encapsulated with Nanogold
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101487 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
In this work, an Eu3+-MOF-253@Au electrochemiluminescence sensor was successfully constructed for the first time by encapsulating nanogold in the metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) backbone and pore channels, and assembling Eu3+ on the MOF backbone. Firstly, the introduction of nanogold overcomes the [...] Read more.
In this work, an Eu3+-MOF-253@Au electrochemiluminescence sensor was successfully constructed for the first time by encapsulating nanogold in the metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) backbone and pore channels, and assembling Eu3+ on the MOF backbone. Firstly, the introduction of nanogold overcomes the weakness of MOFs, which was difficult to achieve, and enhances its catalytic performance, followed by the modification of Eu3+ to confer the electrochemiluminescence performance and the function of target detection on the sensor. Moreover, carbaryl was placed in an alkaline working solution to enhance the intensity of electrochemiluminescence signal, as well as to promote the hydrolysis of carbaryl into 1-naphthol, which caused the burst of Eu3+-MOF-253@Au electrochemiluminescence sensor, thereby achieving the sensitive detection of carbaryl. On this basis, the electrochemiluminescence detection conditions were optimized, the performance was analyzed, and finally it was successfully used for the detection of carbaryl with good linearity in the range of 0.2–200 μg L−1 and a low detection limit (0.14 μg L−1). Full article
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16 pages, 3277 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Core-Shell Rare Earth-Doped Upconversion Nanomaterials and Simultaneous Detection of Two Pesticides in Food
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101485 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Under the excitation of a 980 nm excitation light, the fluorescence signals of the synthesized core-shell NaYF4:Yb@NaYF4:Ho and monolayer NaYF4:Yb,Tm upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were simultaneously detected at 656 and 696 nm, respectively. The two upconversion materials were [...] Read more.
Under the excitation of a 980 nm excitation light, the fluorescence signals of the synthesized core-shell NaYF4:Yb@NaYF4:Ho and monolayer NaYF4:Yb,Tm upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were simultaneously detected at 656 and 696 nm, respectively. The two upconversion materials were coupled with anti-clothianidin and anti-imidacloprid monoclonal antibodies by the glutaraldehyde cross-linking method as signal probes. Imidacloprid (IMI) and clothianidin (CLO) could compete with antigen-conjugated amino Fe3O4 magnetic nanomaterials for binding to signaling probes, thus establishing a rapid and sensitive fluorescent immunoassay for the simultaneous detection of IMI and CLO. Under optimal conditions, the limits of detection (LOD, IC10) and sensitivity (IC50) of IMI and CLO were (0.032, 0.028) and (4.7, 2.1) ng/mL, respectively, and the linear assay ranges were at 0.032–285.75 ng/mL and 0.028–200 ng/mL, respectively. Immunoassay did not cross-react significantly with other analogs. In fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, the mean recoveries of IMI and CLO ranged from 83.33% to 115.02% with relative standard deviations (RSDs) of 1.9% to 9.2% and 1.2% to 9.0%, respectively. Furthermore, the results of the immunoassay correlate well with the high-performance liquid chromatography method used to detect the actual samples. Full article
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12 pages, 2827 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Magnetic Metal-Organic Frameworks@Molecularly Imprinted Nanoparticles for Specific Extraction and Enrichment of Bisphenol A in Food
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101408 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2074
Abstract
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with systematically tailored structures have been suggested as promising precursors to the preparation of diverse functional materials. Herein, a facile and versatile layer-by-layer strategy without any special surface modifications has been proposed for the preparation of magnetic metal-organic frameworks (MMOFs) [...] Read more.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with systematically tailored structures have been suggested as promising precursors to the preparation of diverse functional materials. Herein, a facile and versatile layer-by-layer strategy without any special surface modifications has been proposed for the preparation of magnetic metal-organic frameworks (MMOFs) supported molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles (MMOFs@MIP), which are based on a magnetically susceptible core conjugated with an imidazole-derived self-assembled layer and a silane-based imprinted shell. The obtained MMOFs@MIPs, which integrated the advantages of Fe3O4, MOFs, and MIPs, were characterized and exhibited good magnetic properties, a rapid mass transfer rate, and an excellent adsorption selectivity as well as capacity for the targeted molecular - bisphenol A (BPA). Moreover, the MMOFs@MIPs were employed as adsorbents in magnetic solid phase extraction (MSPE) to selectively bind and rapidly separate BPA from real samples with satisfactory recoveries ranging from 88.3% to 92.3%. More importantly, the desirable reusability of MMOFs@MIP was also evaluated, and the recoveries still maintained above 88.0% even after five re-use cycles. Furthermore, combined with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis, a novel MSPE-HPLC method was developed, enabling the highly selective and sensitive detection of BPA in a wide linear range of 0.5–5000 μg L−1 with a low limit of detection (LOD) of 0.1 μg L−1. This work contributes a promising method for constructing various functional nanoparticles @MOFs@MIP hybrid materials for applications in many different fields. Full article
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14 pages, 2642 KiB  
Article
A High-Luminescence Biomimetic Nanosensor Based on N, S-GQDs-Embedded Zinc-Based Metal–Organic Framework@Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for Sensitive Detection of Octopamine in Fermented Foods
Foods 2022, 11(9), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11091348 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
In this study, a novel fluorescent molecularly imprinted nanosensor (N, S-GQDs@ZIF-8@MIP) based on the nitrogen and sulfur co-doped graphene quantum dots decorated zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 was constructed for the detection of octopamine (OA). Herein, ZIF-8 with a large surface area was introduced as [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel fluorescent molecularly imprinted nanosensor (N, S-GQDs@ZIF-8@MIP) based on the nitrogen and sulfur co-doped graphene quantum dots decorated zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 was constructed for the detection of octopamine (OA). Herein, ZIF-8 with a large surface area was introduced as a supporter of the sensing system, which effectively shortened the response time of the sensor. Meanwhile, high green luminescent N, S-GQDs and a maximum emission wavelength of 520 nm under 460 nm excitation and a 12.5% quantum yield were modified on the surface of ZIF-8 as a signal tag that can convert the interactions between the sensor and OA into detectable fluorescent signals. Finally, N, S-GQDs@ZIF-8@MIP was acquired through the surface molecular imprinting method. Due to the synergy of N, S-GQDs, ZIF-8, and MIP, the obtained sensor not only demonstrated higher selectivity and sensitivity than N, S-GQDs@ZIF-8@NIP, but also displayed faster fluorescence response than N, S-GQDs@MIP. Under optimal conditions, the developed sensor presented a favorable linear relationship in the range of 0.1–10 mg L−1 with a detection limit of 0.062 mg L−1. Additionally, the proposed N, S-GQDs@ZIF-8@MIP strategy was effectively applied to the detection of OA in fermented samples, and the obtained results had a satisfactory correlation with those of HPLC. Full article
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14 pages, 2037 KiB  
Article
Detection of Pyrethroids in Food by Immunofluorescence Enhanced Method Based on Three-Layer Core-Shell Structure Upconversion Materials
Foods 2022, 11(7), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11070990 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
A novel rare earth upconversion nanomaterial with a three-layer sandwich core–shell structure was synthesized by an improved thermal decomposition method, and the morphology, fluorescence intensity and diffraction peak position of the new material were characterized by TEM (transmission electron microscope), XRD (Powder X-ray [...] Read more.
A novel rare earth upconversion nanomaterial with a three-layer sandwich core–shell structure was synthesized by an improved thermal decomposition method, and the morphology, fluorescence intensity and diffraction peak position of the new material were characterized by TEM (transmission electron microscope), XRD (Powder X-ray diffraction)and fluorescence spectrophotometer. The inert core/active shell/inert shell design improved the upconversion luminous efficiency of the new material several times. FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy)characterization showed that the surface of activated upconversion nanoparticles was modified with silicon shell and amino group. Combined with the characteristics that aminoated polystyrene magnetic microspheres could be separated by the magnetic field, an upconversion magnetic separation immunoassay method for the detection of pyrethroid pesticide residues was established. The capture probe competed with the pyrethroid standard, combined the signal probe, and measured the fluorescence signal value formed by the capture probe signal probe complex at 542 nm under 980 nm excitation light. The LOD (limit of detection)of fenpropathrin was 0.01 μg/L, cypermethrin was 0.015 μg/L, and fenvalerate was 0.011 μg/L. Through the actual sample detection of apple, cabbage and other samples, the recovery rate of pyrethroids was between 83.4~97.8%. The comparison with the HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography)detection results showed that the established method had good accuracy, and could realize the quantitative analysis of pyrethroids in food. Full article
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12 pages, 4569 KiB  
Article
Development of Indirect Competitive ELISA and Visualized Multicolor ELISA Based on Gold Nanorods Growth for the Determination of Zearalenone
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2654; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112654 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
In this study, a zearalenone (ZEN) hapten was designed and prepared against the mycotoxin ZEN, and the original coating ZEN-ovalbumin (ZEN-OVA) was prepared by conjugation with OVA. Based on the gold nanorods (AuNRs) of uniform size and stable properties synthesized by the seed-mediated [...] Read more.
In this study, a zearalenone (ZEN) hapten was designed and prepared against the mycotoxin ZEN, and the original coating ZEN-ovalbumin (ZEN-OVA) was prepared by conjugation with OVA. Based on the gold nanorods (AuNRs) of uniform size and stable properties synthesized by the seed-mediated method, the indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ic-ELISA) and the AuNRs growth-based multicolor ELISA for detecting ZEN toxin were further established. Under the optimal experimental conditions, the coating amount of ZEN-OVA: 0.025 μg/well, antibody (Ab) dilution factor: 32,000 times, blocking solution: 0.5% skimmed milk powder, enzyme-labeled secondary Ab diluted 10,000 times, and a pH of the PBS buffer at 7.4, the sensitivity (IC50) of the established ic-ELISA for ZEN detection reached 0.85 ± 0.04 μg/L, and the limit of detection (IC15) reached 0.22 ± 0.08 μg/L. In the multicolor ELISA based on the growth of AuNRs, as the content of ZEN increased, the mixed solution exhibited a significant color change from brownish red to colorless. ZEN concentration as low as 0.1 μg/L can be detected by the naked eye (brown red to dark gray). This study provided an effective analysis strategy for the rapid screening and accurate monitoring of the ZEN contaminant in foods. Full article
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Review

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21 pages, 1671 KiB  
Review
Aptamer-Based Fluorescent Biosensor for the Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Allergens in Food Matrices
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2598; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112598 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
Food allergies have seriously affected the life quality of some people and even endangered their lives. At present, there is still no effective cure for food allergies. Avoiding the intake of allergenic food is still the most effective way to prevent allergic diseases. [...] Read more.
Food allergies have seriously affected the life quality of some people and even endangered their lives. At present, there is still no effective cure for food allergies. Avoiding the intake of allergenic food is still the most effective way to prevent allergic diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to develop rapid, accurate, sensitive, and reliable analysis methods to detect food allergens from different sources. Aptamers are oligonucleotide sequences that can bind to a variety of targets with high specificity and selectivity, and they are often combined with different transduction technologies, thereby constructing various types of aptamer sensors. In recent years, with the development of technology and the application of new materials, the sensitivity, portability, and cost of fluorescence sensing technology have been greatly improved. Therefore, aptamer-based fluorescence sensing technology has been widely developed and applied in the specific recognition of food allergens. In this paper, the classification of major allergens and their characteristics in animal and plant foods were comprehensively reviewed, and the preparation principles and practical applications of aptamer-based fluorescence biosensors are summarized. In addition, we hope that this article can provide some strategies for the rapid and sensitive detection of allergens in food matrices. Full article
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