Fresh and sustainable : Scientists develop food sensors based on paper and graphene

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of Korean scientists have developed new food freshness and temperature sensors. They are based on laser-induced graphene on environmentally friendly, biodegradable paper.

According to data from last year, about 78 percent of the plastic entering the environment is food packaging.

Thus, the development of biodegradable bags, boxes and glasses for our food is the primary concern of people who are not indifferent to the problem of plastic pollution of the planet.

Although several large companies have already released their lines of biodegradable packaging, including utensils and drinking straws, there is still the problem of monitoring the quality of food in such packages, that is, tracking the temperature and freshness of food.

Most of the food health sensors in existence today are non-biodegradable, so even when attached to eco-friendly packaging, they eventually become part of the plastic that pollutes the planet.

However, now scientists from Seoul National University (South Korea) have found a way to solve this problem by developing a completely biodegradable food control sensor based on laser-induced graphene.

This sensor is able to monitor the temperature and freshness of food (it captures gases emanating from it), so that using a mobile application, anyone can assess the quality of meat products or the temperature of a cup of coffee.

To obtain sensors, the research team has developed a technology for the synthesis of graphene through a local thermal reaction by laser irradiation of an environmentally friendly carbon-based paper substrate.

As a result, the sensor was fabricated directly on a food grade cellulose substrate, with no additional processing that would compromise the packaging’s sustainability.

Fresh and sustainable scientists develop food sensors based on paper and graphene 2
Paper food packaging is increasingly appearing on supermarket shelves, and new ways of determining the freshness of the products offered are required

Scientists hope that the sensors they have developed will further reduce the plastic pollution of the planet and make it easier for people who buy food in paper packages to control food quality.

In the future, such sensors can be used not only in the food industry, but also in any other industry where environmentally friendly temperature and gas sensors are required.


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