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Project objectives:

The intention from this proposal is to institute an academic laboratory complex for design and validation of modern, fast, selective, and sensitive bioelectrochemical methods applicable in the food control. The overall complexity of the problem requires joint interdisciplinary research efforts in the development of each particular method. In this connection, establishing an effective network of experts with background in food chemistry, electrochemistry, biotechnology, and material sciences is one of the highly desired benefits from the proposed project. A considerable educational impact is also expected due to the involvement of students and young researchers (with or without doctoral degree) in most of the planned research activities.

In fulfilment of the overall goal of the project the following objectives could be distinguished:

  1. Design of novel materials, applicable in food quality control:
    • Development of highly efficient and cost effective materials with pre-designed electrocatalytic characteristics for use in electrochemical biosensors, capable to effectively reduce electrochemically hydrogen peroxide at near zero potentials, which aims further application of such electrocatalysts as transducing elements in highly selective amperometric biosensors;
    • Elaboration of perm-selective membranes bearing immobilized glucose oxidase enzyme which aims their further use in flow glucose biosensing systems.
  2. Design, optimisation and validation of fast, sensitive, selective biosensor prototypes for quantitative assay of food components:
    • Glucose (blood sugar) content is an important parameter of food safety, especially in view of the constantly increasing number of diabetic patients and people with metabolic disorders;
    • Xanthine/hypoxanthine – are important indicators for assessment of freshness/rancidity of meat and fish samples;
    • Antioxidant L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and its derivatives that are normally added as food stabilizers.
    • Comparison and validation of the biosensing methods using chromatographic and other analytical techniques as references;
    • Elaboration of simple, reproducible and environmentally safe procedures for sample processing.
  3. Exploring the possibilities for bio-electrochemical analysis of lipid components in foodstuff, which are not soluble in water:
    • Probing the effect of the solvent (solvent mixtures) on the biosensing of cholesterol and elucidation of the principle for its electrochemical detection;
    • Screening for bio-electrochemical methods for monitoring of complex organic peroxides produced upon peroxidation of vegetable oils with prospective application in flow systems for direct on-line assay of peroxide number.