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Adulteration in various consumable items and fuel has subsequently increased health hazards and illegal monetary gains associated with it. A real time solution with vendors and consumers has therefore become the need of the hour. The probable carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic effects of adulteration as well as their wide existence in consumables; rapid, high-throughput and portable methods for sensitive detection are immediately required. Microfluidics is an emerging field which can detect adulteration in food and fuel taking microscopic sample and resulting in high resolution result. Microfluidic lab on chip solutions will offer the consumers highly sensitive detection of hazardous adulteration in any commodity.
Keywords Adulteration, Microfluidics, Microscopic, Lab on Chip
Adulteration is illegitimate or unlicensed introduction of an inferior external material into a superior quality commodity, due to which the commodity fails to hold its original constitution and properties. These external materials or adulterants added thereby degrade the quality of the product. Major fluid adulteration cases have been witnessed in past few years which cause several health hazards as well as economical hazards. Milk, edible oil, fuel etc. are some of the fluids which are adulterated on a regular basis to generate easy and fast monetary gains. Similarly, food items are prone to mycotoxin adulteration, bestowing health hazards. Though Fuel adulteration does not pose direct impact on human health, it affects human health indirectly through pollution. Also, adulterated fuel is a threat on engine life of the vehicle. Hence, it can be concluded that adulteration in any form causes direct or indirect effect on human health and economy. Mycotoxins, the secondary metabolites of fungi and the major fungal genera producing them include Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. Numerous mycotoxins are produced by these molds including aflatoxins (AFs), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisin B1 (FB1), ochratoxin A (OTA) and citrinin (CIT), nearly all of these are venomous for humans . Conservative methods for the identifying toxins in agricultural products are techniques that are chromatographic-based, including thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GCeMS) . Due to high time consumption and extensive sample preparation procedures these conventional methods are not suitable for long run. Moreover, detection requires trained personnel to operate such set- ups. The ease of operation and small sample sizes has made microfluidics the choice that needs to be explored. The adulterated food item needs to be converted into fluid form to determine adulteration through microfluidics.
This study provides an effective and efficient method of determining adulteration by calculating viscosity of micro-test samples on a microfluidic structured device to carry out real-time adulteration detection and monitoring it in consumable and usable commodities. According to the width taken by the test sample in the viscometer one can easily calculate its respective viscosity by putting the width value in the standard equation. The device designed is re-usable, can be easily recalibrated and easy to handle. It does not require skilled personnel for its handling. The batch fabrication will also make this device readily available with low cost of production.
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