Start Applications


The current state-of-the-art for the detection of pesticide residues in food and feed involves the sampling of the material and the testing for the presence of pesticide residues in a dedicated testing laboratory, often located away from the site of production.

The techniques used in the testing laboratory involve the use of pesticide residue extraction techniques followed by the use of extremely expensive techniques like gas chromatography (GC), mass spectrometry (MS) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The transport of samples to remote testing laboratories and the labour intensive nature of the laboratory testing often means that results are not obtained until the food or feed has been shipped for further processing or for sale to the public.

The novel BERA-based FOODSCAN biosensor system for pesticide residue detection offers a number of significant advantages, such as high speed, lower cost and the ability to monitor, in real-time, the presence or otherwise of pesticide residues on food products. It also replicates the characteristics of the laboratory-based systems in that it retains the reproducibility, accuracy, selectivity and sensitivity,

The FOODSCAN product developed during this project will improve the state of the art by providing a fast, easy to use and cheap alternative to conventional laboratory assays.

Table 1: Comparison of quality features before and after FOODSCAN



In addition to the detection of single analytes, the novel biosensor developed during this project will include the capacity to test a range of related or unrelated pesticides.
The FOODSCAN prototype will be a fully functional, user-friendly and attractive device, incorporating leading edge electronic and software components.


Fig. 1: The FOODSCAN device

Clear advantages:

-    a new, integrated, real-time and portable system for on-site pesticide residue detection
-    no need for qualified, laboratory personnel
-    up to 10 times lower analysis costs
-    up to several thousand more samples analyzed daily
-    high speed, excellent quality and selectivity throughput

Perfectly suitable, quick and reliable tool for agricultural and industrial producers of:

-    wine and cork
-    cereals and flours
-    fruits, vegetables and nuts
-    baked goods, snacks

The product will be able to be integrated in Quality Assurance Systems (like HACCP, IFS-FOOD, ISO, BRCA and SQMS).

FOODSCAN biosensor platform will become a powerful control-tool for:

-    importers
-    wholesalers
-    food quality controlling authorities