Nanotechnology Sensors Detect Salmonella in Food

Salmonella Bacteria

Scientists are using nanotechnology to develop new ways of detecting pathogens such as salmonella in our foods.

Public health experts estimate that each year, more than 11 million Canadians suffer from food-borne illnesses such as salmonella or, more rarely, listeriosis. Some cases are mild, but for the very young or old, or pregnant women, the effects can be severe.

The emerging field of nanotechnology — the science of using particles tens of thousands of times smaller than the width of a strand of hair — could help improve food safety.

Nanoparticles are being used to build devices that sense the DNA of microbes such as salmonella or listeria, said Dutch biotechnology researcher Frans Kampers of the Biotechnology Centre for Food and Health Innovation at the Wageningen Research Centre.

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