OPTICAL NANOSTRUCTURES FOR FOOD CONTROL APPLICATIONS WITH SURFACE-ENHANCED RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY (SERS)

Research summary

This work focuses on design, synthesis and optimization of optical nanostructures for SERS substrate for easy characterization of edible oils and subsequent detection of adulteration. Also a SERS-based model will be developed for easy and simple authentication and adulteration detection analysis.

Description

Edible oils, a basic component of our food system, continues to be adulterated in recent times. These adulterations take the form of dilution, addition of unauthorized admixtures and others. These practices pose health and economic risks to consumers and countries as a whole. Different methods have been used in the authentication and detection of adulteration of these oils, but Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) promises a quick and less laborious analytical tool for their authentication and detection. SERS is a sensitive vibrational spectroscopic technique that is based on Raman scattering and the interactions between molecules absorbed on or in close proximity of plasmonic nanostructures. Raman scattering provides specific structural information on the constituents of a sample. Although different substrates have been synthesized in recent years, there is always a challenge such as interference of larger molecules, misinterpretation of signals, amongst others in measuring complex liquids like oils. There is therefore the need for a novel approach to synthesis and optimization of these SERS substrate in this regard. Preliminary study was conducted on the use of SERS for detection of Sudan dye adulteration of palm oil from Ghana for my master thesis. However, the preliminary studies provided and insight into the menace, there was work still needed to be done in the optimization of the method and extension to other edible oils.

Research info

Research title
OPTICAL NANOSTRUCTURES FOR FOOD CONTROL APPLICATIONS WITH SURFACE-ENHANCED RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY (SERS)

Research timeline
1.10.2016 -

Keywords
SERS Food safety Raman spectroscopy Food adulteration Edible oil Sudan dyes

Region
Africa

Countries
Angola, Finland, Ghana, Nigeria

Institution
University of Eastern Finland
Institute of Photonics
Joensuu, Finland

Funding instrument
Other

Head of research
Pasi Vahimaa, Prof

Research team
Prof Pasi Vahimaa, Prof Jyrki Saarinen, Dr. Tarmo Nuutinen, MSc Sampson Saj Andoh

Contact information
Sampson Saj Andoh
+358 465 719 089
sampson.andoh@uef.fi

Record last updated
9.3.2017