Need for high-performance and cheap sensors for quick detection of chemical and biological targets in real-life agrofood matrices

To make the agrofood chain, and more specifically the production of fresh produce, operationally more intelligent, in order to deliver safe, high-quality products, the underlying processes must be monitored and adjusted with sensors. Recent developments of new (bio-)sensors allow fast detection of chemical and biological targets (ranging from small molecules to micro-organisms). This enables point of care monitoring or even real time/on-line/in-line monitoring with or without integrated process control.

Biosensors are based on combinations of specific marker structures (e.g., chips, imprints of biological marker molecules like aptamers) with transducer technology (e.g., nano- or micro-balances, heat conductivity, impedance spectroscopy) to convert detection of a target into an electrical signal. A lot of knowledge building in the area is still necessary, but specific developments (aimed ad clinical targets) follow the same technological steps, which can also be used for agrofood matrices.