Non-destructive Optical Sensing of Toxins in Agrifood Applications

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 2979

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Applied Physics and Photonics Department, Brussels Photonics B-PHOT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: optical spectroscopy (UV-vis-NIR absorption, fluorescence, spatially resolved spectroscopy); optical design; illumination optics; optical sensors; food quality and safety; agricultural sensors; optical-based detection

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Guest Editor
Applied Physics and Photonics Department, Brussels Photonics B-PHOT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: photonics; optical sensors; optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis-NIR absorption/fluorescence and Raman); SERS; food quality and safety; agricultural biosensors; water monitoring; optical-based diagnostics; cell and tissue sensing; lab-on-chip; organ-on-a-chip; point-of-care
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food safety and quality have become increasingly important in our society. Despite the current global legislations and food monitoring efforts, harmful elements still enter the food chain, including, among others, mycotoxins, salomonella, listeria and E.coli. According to the DSM World Mycotoxin Survey in 2021, 11% of the tested wheat and grain samples worldwide showed a positive aflatoxin contamination, while 17% and 36% suffered from ochratoxin and zearalenone contaminations, respectively. Consequently, this indicates the need for a continued development of accurate and sensitive food and feed monitoring systems.

We therefore launch this Special Issue on ‘Non-destructive Optical Sensing of Toxins in Agrifood Applications’ focusing on the optical sensing of toxins in food and feed, considering both solid and liquid products, during the whole supply chain from field to the fork, including processed (wine, olive oil, coffee, mashed potatoes) and unprocessed foods (for both the human market and for pet and livestock animals), as well as drinking water. Contributions offering a non-destructive, real-time and/or in-line monitoring are highly valued, including diverse spectroscopic sensing techniques (absorption, Raman, fluorescence, Fourier-transform spectroscopy), multimodal sensing, camera-based designs, machine vision systems and fiber-based solutions. We solicit original papers of unpublished and completed research that are not currently under review.

Improving food and feed safety using optical sensing and detection technologies asks for a multidisciplinary approach combining technological advances in materials, sources and detectors, modelling and design, image processing, chemometrics and machine learning, while requiring insight into the toxin’s chemistry and bio-engineering. Hence, this Special Issue aims to address the research field from the different scientific viewpoints, collecting a range of high impact articles that present the latest developments, challenges and future perspectives on toxin sensing, contributing to an increased food safety and benefiting the agrifood industry.

We kindly invite you to share your work, expertise, insights, and latest results in the form of research articles and reviews for this Special Issue. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2023.

Dr. Lien Smeesters
Prof. Dr. Wendy Meulebroeck
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • optical spectroscopy
  • fluorescence
  • multispectral instrumentation
  • hyperspectral camera
  • Fourier-transform spectroscopy
  • fiber-based agriculture sensors
  • mycotoxin
  • food safety
  • optical sensing
  • remote sensing
  • agriculture
  • food monitoring
  • food processing
  • water monitoring
  • multimodal sensing
  • machine learning
  • chemometrics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

13 pages, 3109 KiB  
Article
Handheld Fluorescence Spectrometer Enabling Sensitive Aflatoxin Detection in Maize
by Lien Smeesters, Thomas Kuntzel, Hugo Thienpont and Ludovic Guilbert
Toxins 2023, 15(6), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15060361 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
Aflatoxins are among the main carcinogens threatening food and feed safety while imposing major detection challenges to the agrifood industry. Today, aflatoxins are typically detected using destructive and sample-based chemical analysis that are not optimally suited to sense their local presence in the [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are among the main carcinogens threatening food and feed safety while imposing major detection challenges to the agrifood industry. Today, aflatoxins are typically detected using destructive and sample-based chemical analysis that are not optimally suited to sense their local presence in the food chain. Therefore, we pursued the development of a non-destructive optical sensing technique based on fluorescence spectroscopy. We present a novel compact fluorescence sensing unit, comprising both ultraviolet excitation and fluorescence detection in a single handheld device. First, the sensing unit was benchmarked against a validated research-grade fluorescence setup and demonstrated high sensitivity by spectrally separating contaminated maize powder samples with aflatoxin concentrations of 6.6 µg/kg and 11.6 µg/kg. Next, we successfully classified a batch of naturally contaminated maize kernels within three subsamples showing a total aflatoxin concentration of 0 µg/kg, 0.6 µg/kg and 1647.8 µg/kg. Consequently, our novel sensing methodology presents good sensitivity and high potential for integration along the food chain, paving the way toward improved food safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-destructive Optical Sensing of Toxins in Agrifood Applications)
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