Scientific pubblications

Colorimetric Sensor Array for Monitoring, Modelling and Comparing Spoilage Processes of Different Meat and Fish Foods

Authors

Lisa Rita Magnaghi, Federica Capone, Camilla Zanoni, Giancarla Alberti,
Paolo Quadrelli and Raffaela Biesuz

Pubblication

Foods, 9 (2020), 684

Abstract

Meat spoilage is a very complex combination of processes related to bacterial activities. Numerous efforts are underway to develop automated techniques for monitoring this process. We selected a panel of pH indicators and a colourimetric dye, selective for thiols. Embedding these
dyes into an anion exchange cellulose sheets, i.e., the commercial paper sheet known as “Colour Catcher®” commonly used in the washing machine to prevent colour run problems, we obtained an array made of six coloured spots (here named Dye name-CC@). The array, placed over the tray containing a sample of meat or fish (not enriched at any extend with spoilage products), progressively shows a colour change in the six spots. Photos of the array were acquired as a function of time, RGB indices were used to follow the spoilage, Principal Component Analysis to model the data set. We demonstrate that the array allows for the monitoring the overall spoilage process of chicken, beef, pork and fish, obtaining different models that mimic the degradation pathway. The spoilage processes for each kind of food, followed by the array colour evolution, were eventually compared using three-way PCA, which clearly shows same degradation pattern of protein foods, altered only according to the different substrates.

Development of a Dye-Based Device to Assess Poultry Meat Spoilage. Part I: Building and Testing the Sensitive Array

Authors

Lisa Rita Magnaghi, Giancarla Alberti, Paolo Quadrelli and Raffaela Biesuz

Pubblication

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68 (2020), 45, 12702–12709

Abstract

The rationale behind the material and dye selection and the investigation of the properties of a solid-phase sensor array designed for following chicken meat spoilage is presented, having in mind that the final target must be the naked eye identification of the degradation steps. The device is obtained by fixing five acid−base indicators, m-cresol purple (1), o-cresol red (2), bromothymol blue (3), thymol blue (4), and chlorophenol red (5), and a sensing molecule specific for thiols, 5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrodibenzoic acid), called Ellman’s reagent, (6) on a commercial cellulose-based support. The dimensions of the sensor and the amount of dye sorbed on the solid are carefully studied. The preparation protocol to get reproducible sensing materials is established, based on the kinetic study and the color change investigation. The material stability and the capacity of changing color, according to the acid−base properties of the dyes, are tested. The sources of uncertainty, coming from the technique employed for signal data acquisition and treatment and from the intrinsic variability of the spots based on the commercial support, are established.
The highest variability does not come from photo acquisition by a mobile phone, the effect of the illumination equipment, the partial least-squares (PLS) model employed to assess the amount of dye sorbed into the solid but from the variability of different spots and was found equal to 10%. The uncertainty is adequate for final employment since it is referred to as replicates under different conditions that are definitively judged almost always identical by naked eye evaluation, which is our last target for assessing a change of the colors associated with spoilage.

Development of a Dye-Based Device to Assess the Poultry Meat Spoilage. Part II: Array on Act

Authors

Lisa Rita Magnaghi, Giancarla Alberti, Federica Capone, Camilla Zanoni, Barbara Mannucci, Paolo Quadrelli and Raffaela Biesuz

Pubblication

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68 (2020), 45, 12710–12718

Abstract

This work presents a colorimetric dye-based array for naked-eye detection of chicken meat spoilage. The array is obtained by fixing five acid−base indicators, m-cresol purple (1), o-cresol red (2), bromothymol blue (3), thymol blue (4), and chlorophenol red (5), and a sensing molecule specific for thiols, 5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrodibenzoic acid), called Ellman’s reagent (6), on a cellulose-based support. The dyes, being permanently charged, are fixed on the support via ion-exchange. The entire degradation process of beast poultry meat, at ambient temperature and in a domestic fridge, is followed by the change of the color of the array, placed in the headspace over the meat samples. The device is set after selection of the most suitable starting form, which could be the acidic or the basic color of indicators, being the proper dye concentration and the dimension of the spots already established. Basing on sensors colors, we identified three levels of the degradation process of chicken meat, named SAFE, WARNING, and HAZARD.
By instrumental analysis, we demonstrated that sensors response was correlated to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) composition in the headspace and, thus, to meat spoilage progress. We demonstrated that biogenic amines (BAs), commonly considered a critical spoilage marker, are indeed produced into the samples but never present in the headspace, even in traces, during the investigated time-lapse. The VOC evolution nevertheless allows one to assign the sample as WARNING and further HAZARD. Some indicators turned out to be more informative than others, and the best candidates for a future industrial application resulted in a bromothymol blue (3)-, chlorophenol red (5)-, and Ellman’s reagent (6)-based array.