Environment monitoring, security and food quality control Development of a biosensing device for olive oil authentication, combining Gold Nanoparticles and Ligation Chain Reaction

In the area of food safety and traceability the trend has been set to rapid, accurate, inexpensive and miniaturized analytical methods. The fast in situ detection by innovative technologies combined with nanomaterials, such as lab-on-a-chip systems or biosensors represent interesting alternatives to the labor-, time- and cost-intensive procedures that are still commonly applied in the food sector.

This project is based on the use of the ligation chain reaction (LCR) for the detection of olive oil adulteration. The LCR has the advantage to discriminate DNA sequences by only one different nucleotide and will be combined with the high sensitive detection of gold nanoparticle aggregates (Au-NP) that represents an interesting alternative to fluorescence labeling, due to reduced costs for synthesis and the possible detection by colorimetric measurements. Furthermore, the approach has the potential to be miniaturized, automatized and to be integrated into a microfluidic system. 

The project aims at the development of a biosensing device for food control applications in the frame of a real-time detection assay that allows the quantification of the corresponding target in a food product. The proposed methodology and the results expected to be achieved can be applied to any target that is of interest in the food safety field and for food authenticity purposes.