Biolan develops biosensor to monitor sulfite levels

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/mj0007
Picture: iStock/mj0007

Related tags Campylobacter

An enzymatic biosensor for sulphite determination has been developed in an EU funded project.

SO2SAFE developed and tested a miniature, ready-to-use enzymatic sulfur dioxide (SO2) biosensor for rapid food safety monitoring in crustaceans and water.

It has also been applied to the analysis of malic acid in grapes, musts and wines.

Work was coordinated by Biolan, a biotechnology-based company.


The biosensor consists of a disposable screen-printed electrode (SPE) modified with a specific enzyme, sulfite oxidase (SOx), for sulfite recognition and quantification.

Sulfites are food additives with antioxidant and preservative properties but can be allergens.

Large-scale producers used the biosensor to analyse sulfite levels in the water of bins where shrimps are collected. Crustaceans are then mixed with water, ice and sulfite to prevent discolouration (melanosis).

Examination of water from the pools where shrimps are cultured was not done previously because a suitable methodology was not available.

Monitoring early in the supply chain will help avoid failures in the control of melanosis and prevent excessive amounts of sulfite in the final product.

VIVALDI project

Meanwhile, equipment for rapid on-site detection of zoonotic pathogens in the food and animal production chains will be validated as part of another project that starts next year until the end of 2020.

The VETPOD platform is based on Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology and optical read-out to a user interface, with disposable plastic cartridges (Lab-on-Chip, LOC).

Project coordinator, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), has a portable LOC system with optical detection: a system with a polymeric chip made by injection moulding with multiple (eight-32) chambers suitable for rapid online or on site detection of pathogens.

The polymer chip with multiple chambers is able to perform LAMP to detect different pathogens at species level from multiple (eight-30) samples within 30-60 minutes.

VETPOD will be validated for pathogens including Salmonella serovars S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium and S. Dublin and Campylobacter species C. jejuni and C. coli.

Validation will be by national reference laboratories in Denmark, Sweden, Italy and France. Each NRL will involve 10 external labs for ring trials and end-user validation will be at private labs (SMEs) in Germany and Italy.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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