Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electronic Nose Knows When Seafood Is Safe

Date:
March 18, 1998
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
To combat the rise in food-borne illnesses, University of Florida scientists are the first in the nation to begin testing highly accurate electronic noses that sniff out fishy seafood before it gets to the consumer.

By Chris Eversole

GAINESVILLE---To combat the rise in food-borne illnesses, University ofFlorida scientists are the first in the nation to begin testing highlyaccurate electronic noses that sniff out fishy seafood before it gets tothe consumer.

"The electronic nose gives us nearly 100 percent accuracy and could bejust what we need to help seafood inspectors handle their growingworkload," said Murat Balaban, a food processing engineer with UF'sInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It could be a major stepforward in ensuring seafood quality if the federal government and theseafood industry accepts it.

"More than 70 percent of our seafood is now imported, but the number ofexperienced inspectors has not increased. We need some help," he said.

The electronic devices have a big advantage over conventional testingmethods in detecting pathogens that could cause disease, Balaban'scolleague Maurice Marshall said. "In just a few minutes, we can tell whatis good product and what is bad," said Marshall, a professor of seafoodchemistry. "You don't have to do bacteria counts, which can take days."

The noses, now widely used in Europe, are computerized tabletop units with sensors that detect odor molecules. They are also being used to findbacteria in wounds, inspect toxic waste sites and check the quality of wineand coffee.

Balaban and graduate student Diego Luzuriaga programmed or "trained" anose to mimic judgments that inspectors make. In 43 tests on good and badshrimp last month, the electronic nose was in perfect agreement with Foodand Drug Administration inspectors who visited the UF campus.

We call the odor of some spoiled shrimp wet dog, but my wet dog may smell different than someone else's wet dog, and that is where this device can help us most," he said.

"Once an electronic nose has learned enough seafood odors, it can be more objective than human inspectors," Balaban said. "And we don't have to worryabout it catching a cold or retiring.

Walter Staruskiewicz, research chemist with FDA's seafood inspectionprogram, said his agency has only three seafood inspectors with more than20 years experience at the "top national level", and they are all nearingretirement.

"We never have close to enough inspectors, and that's why I'm glad UF is doing this work," he said.

However, more testing is needed before electronic noses can replacefederal seafood inspectors, Staruskiewicz said. "When I make a findingagainst a company, I have to be ready to go to trial."

Balaban said federal inspectors should find it easy to defend electronicnoses as the databases of various seafood odors become standardized. "Onceyou've trained a nose, it's objective and highly reliable.

Although federal inspections may not use the electronic noses right away,Balaban said seafood companies could use them to decide which catches toreject and when to process seafood instead of selling it fresh.

British manufacturers Neotronics Scientific Inc. and Aromascan Inc. areassisting in the UF research on the electronic noses, which now cost about$40,000. Balaban expects the devices will become the standard forinspecting seafood when prices drop.

Research at UF’s Aquatic Food Products Laboratory includes tests on otherdevices to help seafood companies and grocery chains maintain quality. Theyinclude computerized units the size of a matchbox that record temperaturechanges during shipping and packets that change color when seafood gets toohot.

Balaban also is developing a digital camera system to replace visualinspection of seafood, now the second most popular line of defense againstspoilage.

"We're excited about cloning the eyes as well as the noses of inspectors, Balaban said. "We don't want to replace them, just help them do their job.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "Electronic Nose Knows When Seafood Is Safe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980318080222.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1998, March 18). Electronic Nose Knows When Seafood Is Safe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980318080222.htm
University Of Florida. "Electronic Nose Knows When Seafood Is Safe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980318080222.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins