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Scientists Develop Sensor to Detect Presence of Carcinogenic Substance in Fish

© Photo : Mikhail GavrilenkoGeneral View of Sensors on Different Toxicants
General View of Sensors on Different Toxicants - Sputnik International
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Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Tomsk State University (TSU) have recently come up with a simple and cheap way to determine the presence of malachite green in seafood.

Their findings were published in the Food Chemistry journal

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Malachite green is widely used in fish farming to prevent and treat fungal, parasitic and bacterial infections in fish, caviar, shellfish and molluscs. However, once this substance accumulates in sea organisms, they become unsafe to eat, as malachite green has a carcinogenic effect and causes birth defects.

To reduce the risk of poisoning, Tomsk scientists developed a cheap optical sensor that changes its colour on detecting the presence of malachite green. Its colour intensity is proportionate to the quantity of this substance in seafood.

"In our research, we apply and develop the principles of green chemistry, namely, the device-free express testing of food products for the presence of toxic substances", said Mikhail Gavrilenko, Professor at the Division for Chemical Engineering, TPU School of Earth Sciences & Engineering. "We developed a polymethylmethacrylate matrix to enable visual and spectrophotometric determination of the presence of malachite green".

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This cheap disposable sensor can be used for both household and specialized express monitoring of toxicity in food products, which is way more convenient than traditional laboratory-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA), Gavrilenko said.

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