Korean researchers figure out a way to sniff E-coli in food

The technique even works when the food is packed with a cellophane.

In order to scientifically determine the amount of creepy crawlies strolling around your leftovers, scientists have developed a sniff test that will tell you exactly that.

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institutes of Science and Technology are using lasers to determine the quantum of bacteria that is crawling over our leftover food in the fridge.

As per an article in MIT Technology Review by shooting a shooting a red coherent laser at a chicken breast coated with Bacillus and E. coli bacteria, Korean researchers were able to measure changes in the laser’s refractions, which is indicative of the bacteria’s presence.

Using a camera operating at 30Hz, the researchers were able to clearly pin point contaminated meat with one that isn’t contaminated, however they weren’t able to separate one contamination from the other.

The article in the MIT Technology Review reports that this technology could be put to use on food production lines, or even in a regular household refrigerator. The process requires absolutely no physical contact and even works with food that is sealed with a cellophane.

However, readers should note that this isn’t a silver bullet for food poisoning since it cant yet distinguish different strains of viral contamination or the toxins produced by the bacteria which linger on despite the death of the bacteria.

Even if you are not equipped with a red coherent laser or a camera that fires 30 times a second, do use the low tech thumb rule: when in doubt, throw it out.

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