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Detecting pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables with smartphone pics

With the improvement of living standards, people's demand for food has grown from being full to eating well and safely. For fruits, vegetables, and tea leaves, some people will worry about pesticide residues on them, but in the near future, the ability to self-check pesticide residues at home will become a reality.

On June 8, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) announced that the team of Wang Jing of the Institute of Agricultural Quality Standards and Testing Technology of the Academy, after years of research and development, have achieved new breakthroughs in the rapid detection of agricultural pollutants. Taking pictures through WeChat can complete the detection of multiple chemical pesticide residues in 5 minutes, and the detection results are directly displayed on the mobile phone.

Normally, pesticide residue testing is done by professionals in the laboratory, the testing equipment is expensive, and the testing results usually take one to two days to be issued. However, this higher-cost detection method is not suitable for the needs of rapid detection on the spot.

Professor Wang Jing of the Institute of Quality and Standards of CAAS said that after harvesting many fresh agricultural products, it is difficult to wait for the test results to come out and then go to market. In many cases, "the relevant agricultural products have already been consumed" before the test results come out. Therefore, from government departments to enterprises and consumers, there is an urgent need to quickly and accurately detect pesticide residues.

First of all, the government can use these rapid testing technologies and products in the process of market supervision. Especially in the field of commodity circulation, some quick means are needed to inspect these fresh agricultural products on-site. If rapid screening reveals pesticide residues, they can then be sent to the laboratory for further confirmation.

Second, production bases and large companies must have a check before entering the market, and they also need such self-examination.

In addition, consumers are also concerned about the safety of eating these vegetables and fruits, so consumers also have a need for self-inspection.

After years of research, Wang Jing's team has developed a detection technology for pesticide residues, which is suitable for rapid screening by government supervisors, self-checks by producers and by consumers for home use. Just buy a test package containing test strips and a small tray, take pictures through the WeChat mini-program, and the test can be completed in 5 minutes.

At present, the team has developed colloidal gold rapid detection test strips for pesticides such as imidacloprid, carbofuran, tebuconazole, acetamiprid, procymidone, chlorpyrifos, carbendazim.

According to Wang Jing, if all the ready-made test strips on the market are standardized in the future and mounted on this platform, contaminants, viruses, and pathogens can be detected through this platform. In her opinion, if COVID-19 test strips, as well as a series of developed test strips such as influenza A and influenza B, are mounted on this, then they can all be tested at the same time.


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