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Food safety and quality has become increasingly important in our society. At the World of Technology and Science (WOTS) fair, researcher Lien Smeesters highlights the impact of photonics technologies to increase food safety while reducing food waste.
Lien has won several awards for her research contributing to food safety, such as European Student Innovation award from Photonics21 and Belgian Industrial Research & Development (BiR&D) award . During her talk at WOTS 2018, she demonstrates the use of spectroscopic sensing technologies to detect carcinogens in a non-destructive, accurate and in-line way. The interaction of laser light with food products enables to sense the presence of harmful elements, without affecting the products themselves.
As an example, she shows the monitoring of the acrylamide formation during French fries production and on the detection of mycotoxins in cereals. The integration of the optical sensing technologies in laser-based scanning systems, lab-on-a-chip configurations and robotics paves the way to an industrial implementation, contributing to an increased food safety.