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Omani researcher develops portable device for analysis of pesticides in food

27 Feb 2022 Omani researcher develops portable device for analysis of pesticides in food

Muscat – An Omani researcher has developed a portable device for analysis of pesticides in food and environmental samples.

The research, titled ‘A novel and selective multi-emission chemiluminescence system for the quantification of deltamethrin in food samples’, by principal investigator Iman al Yahyai from Sultan Qaboos University was among the 13 winning projects of the eighth edition of the National Research Award organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The project was awarded in the Cultural, Social and Basic Sciences category for Young Researchers.

Iman and her team developed a portable device for on-site testing of pesticides in environmental and food samples by creating a chemiluminescence (CL) system for selective determination of deltamethrin (DM). The system is based on the enhancing effect of polyphosphate (PP) on graphene quantum dots (GQDs) – potassium permanganate (KMnO4) CL reaction.

According to Iman, the novelty of this system is its ability to emit light from more than one emitting source at different wavelengths under the same experimental conditions. A paper cutting fabrication technique was used to make the simple square shaped device. Several experimental parameters were thoroughly optimised, including the paper size, the order of injecting the analyte and CL reagents, and concentration and volume of reagents.

Elaborating further, Iman said DM analysis can be carried out at a minimal cost as a result of using small volumes of reagents and inexpensive materials. The CL system was fully optimised and applied successfully in determining DM concentrations in fruit juices. This method is a new analytical detection system for on-site screening purposes and can be extended to other analytes.

Iman noted that much effort has been devoted to food analysis, and that both government institutions and citizens, especially farmers, face several challenges in the analysis of different food samples either for monitoring purposes or for certification.

Iman informed that the portable analytical device has been introduced to reduce the burden on citizens, as well as the government, in analysis of pesticides in food and environmental samples.
The device can also facilitate the government in monitoring food quality by performing on-site analysis at low cost and faster, while decreasing pressure on laboratories.

The device was applied successfully on different fruit juice samples collected from local markets. Results were promising and all samples were free from DM, increasing the confidence of customers in the quality of products in local markets.

The research was conducted Dr Haider al Lawati and Dr Javad Hassanzadeh, besides Iman, and published in the Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical journal which has an impact factor of 7.460.

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