Discovery of biodegradable commercial paper for sensing food temperature and freshness

Food safety and the environment are issues in the food industry around the world. In 2021, 80% of domestic plastic waste originated from food-filled packages. There has been an increase in the environmental problem due to the excessive use of plastic.

A variety of applications in the food industry have been made possible by the recent advances in food storage and monitoring technology.

However, for most current food condition detection platforms, an additional sensor must be attached to the food storage container, and the sensor used is usually a non-biodegradable material, which also has a problem in terms of eco-friendliness.

A research group led by Professor Seung Hwan Ko from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Korea has developed a new technology for detecting food temperature and freshness.

How this research was conducted?

The research team has created a technique for detecting the gas that comes from food by using a laser-irradiated graphene sensor on milk cartoons.

To enable real-time monitoring of the freshness of meat over time with a mobile phone, a paper-based laser-induced graphene sensor was created on the back of a barcode.

It is possible to provide a user with thermal information about food by manufacturing a sensor on a general paper cup, detecting the temperature of the liquid.

The research group is headed by professor. Ko was interested in laser-generated Graphene. The research team irradiated a laser on a carbon-based eco-friendly paper to create a local thermal reaction that resulted in the synthesis of Graphene.

The platform that can detect the state of food in continuous real-time was established due to the fact that the sensor was produced directly on a substrate made of cellulose used for food packaging without additional processing.

How this research will help food industry?

We believe that this research can help address the need for safe, healthy food production while improving people’s quality of life by reducing the food industry’s waste. It is expected to be used in various industrial fields as a material-based temperature and gas sensor.

Read Further

Yeongju Jung et al, Smart paper electronics by laser-induced graphene for biodegradable real-time food spoilage monitoring, Applied Materials Today (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.apmt.2022.101589