Food safety fans have new cause to rejoice, a collaboration between industry and universities in Taiwan has developed a biochip that could detect multiple viruses in both bananas and potatoes.
As bananas and potatoes are substantial crops that are prone to filterable viruses, the chip will be able to filter viruses, enhancing testing efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Professor Chang Chin-An from Chaoyang University of Technology, reportedly stated “Our edge lies in being able to test for several viruses simultaneously.”
According to Focus Taiwan:
A conventional test checks for one virus at a time and takes at least five hours, which is time-consuming and not very economical, Chang said.
In contrast, the newly developed chip can simultaneously check for three viruses found in bananas and five in potatoes, he said.
He noted that around US$200 million is spent worldwide annually to test bananas and potatoes for viruses by conventional means. A test for three viruses costs around NT$360, but the biochip could reduce that by half, Chang added.
This seems ripe for use in China’s fruit market (pardon the pun) to prevent further fruit scandals, like that time earlier in the year when rotten produce was used to make fruit juice.
By Maea Lenei Buhre