Technology is about to help the conscientious food consumer find out whether the food they are about to buy is filled with toxins often found in genetically modified foods (GMOs). According to RealFarmacy, the “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app that uses a phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.”
The cradle consists of a series of optical components that use filters and lenses, like that of a smaller laboratory device, to send information to a photonic crystal. The photonic crystal is unique since it much like a mirror only allows one wavelength of light to be reflected while the rest of the spectrum passes through. When a biological agent attaches to the photonic crystal the wavelength will shift from a long wavelength to a short wavelength. This is the nitty gritty of how the device can manage to detect GMOs in food products.
The app that is designed to go with the cradle walks users through the process in a step by step manner in just a few minutes. When toxic substances are detected the protective glove (part of the device) uses sensors that change colors. There is no change in color if no toxic substances are detected. The team that created the toxic purity analyzer are working on the manufacturing process for iPhones and are working on a way to make the device compatible with Android phones. The team is also working on biosensing tests that can be used in the field to detect pathogens in food and water and toxins in harvested fields such as corn and soybean crops.
GMO detection is not currently consumer friendly. There are many lab kits on the market that can be purchased. Those kits are mostly in scientific language, take many days to weeks to process and analyze, and are not affordable. The toxic purity analyzer, if affordable, will be much easier for consumers to use and provide faster results.
Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.