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How fresh is your food?
07 November 2006
A material that changes colour when exposed to oxygen could be used to indicate whether packaged food is still fresh, its inventors claim.
Scientists from Canada have developed a new, smart oxygen sensor that could indicate food freshness in packaging. J C Scaiano and colleagues from the University of Ottawa developed their sensor using a liquid reagent, 2-(hydroxymethyl) anthraquinone, whose reaction with oxygen showed a short lived colour change in solution. To make the colour change more permanent, the team trapped the sensor molecule in a zeolite - a porous inorganic solid. Using the zeolite (the faujasite NaY) produced a solid matrix that could be easily manipulated and developed into a sensor.
ReferencesK L McGilvray, M N Chretien, M Lukeman and J C Scaiano, Chem. Commun., 2006, 4401