The Researchers of the University of Massachusetts Amherst invented a rapid and low-cost method to detect the bacteria in the food and water. They published it through the online issue "Food Microbiology" and the Royal Societies Chemistry Journal "Analytical Methods". Microbial Contamination was a major research topic for the scientists it has been a problem for a long time. And the researchers believe that the new method will be a great solace to the people all over the world who ate raw vegetables and fruits and will be helpful for the food safety of the nations.
The new method includes the two-step verification of the sample, one is optical and the other is chemical. In the optical detection method, the chip is used with a light microscope which relies on 'capture molecule', 3- mercapto phenyl boron(3- MBPA) that attract the bacterias in the sample and binds it. In the Chemical detection, based on the Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy(SERS) relies on nanoparticles and place in the sample. The chip attracts the bacterias only not sugar, fat, and proteins in the food. The food content can be washed away with a high pH buffer and can count the bacteria with the smartphone microscope.
The new low-cost method was supported by the U.S National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The standard method for detecting bacteria from the food sample is known as Aerobic Plate Count(APC) takes two days to detect and other faster methods were not very reliable because ingredients in the food interfere with them. But the new method detects the bacterial population within 2 hours with sensitive and reliability. It can be done at home by anyone. The method is now in the process of the patent. If the method gets a patent it will create a big market all over the world. Because the new generation is more conscious of the health. Thus it will be a milestone in the food security and we can have our food and water without contamination.