The BioMim project aims to design and manufacture an interferometric biosensor for the detection of copper and lead in milk. If successful, this project would be the first step towards a disruptive approach to real-time monitoring of food safety. Although the current methods available are effective, they are expensive and complex and require samples to be sent for laboratory analysis.
The whole dairy value chain from farmers to consumers will benefit from the results. Farmers will gain information about contaminants in milk and the presence of micronutrients. Dairy companies will be able to detect toxic metals in their product, ensuring they deliver safe milk to consumers.
Final report summary
The outcome of this project constitutes a great step forward in the development of optical biosensors for detecting heavy metals in milk. It also lays the foundations for the future development of sensors that are capable of detecting proteins or bacteria, for example.
Several prototypes were produced and tested in a laboratory environment and a demonstrator used to verify the possibility for taking in–line measurements.
Several aspects still need to be improved. This includes making the optical probes more robust, continuing the automation of the interrogator and checking for factors that may influence measurements. Above all, there is a need to improve the process of regenerating the sensors to eliminate the ions stuck to the optical probe and restore the sensor’s initial functionality.
During the project, we hired a technician to develop the biosensor. She will continue to work on the next phases of the biosensor development. If we succeed, we will ultimately be able to offer a great tool for detecting the presence of toxic metals in milk, ensuring its safety.