How clean are the cooking oils we use in our homes? What about cooking oils used in restaurants? Recently, a team of POSTECH researchers – often called “fluorescent alchemists” – developed a simple and highly sensitive technology that detects bad cooking oils.
A research team led by Professor Young-Tae Chang of the Chemistry Department of POSTECH (Associate Director of the Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity of the Institute of Basic Sciences (IBS)) and Dr. Xiao Liu of the IBS has developed the fluorescent molecule probe, BOS (Bad Oil Sensor), for the highly sensitive detection of bad cooking oils for the first time in the world. Fluorescent sensors are photoluminescent sensors that indicate whether a specific ion or substance is detected by a light signal.
The research results of this study were recently published in the international journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.
When cooking oil is used for an extended period of time, harmful chemicals are generated. Unfortunately, some of this adulterated oil is used to make food and sold to consumers. However, the classical detection method is not easily accessible to the public because it requires expensive equipment and professional skills. Moreover, it is simply an indirect method that only measures the acidity of bad cooking oils or detects impurities added during cooking, which makes it difficult to apply to all types of oils.
To improve the detection method, the research team fabricated a fluorescent molecular sensor that anyone can easily use to accurately measure the extent of cooking. This sensor uses a dual ignition method that detects both viscosity and acidity which inevitably change during the cooking process. It is able to accurately measure how long cooking oil has been used for any ingredient, and even detects a small amount of bad oil mixed with fresh oil.
The research team has also developed a portable platform called Bad Oil Sensing System (BOSS) for immediate use, which is expected to be a widely applicable tool for monitoring cooking oil quality by consumers and industry. eating.
This study was conducted with the support of IBS and a patent for the technology was recently filed.
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Material provided by Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.