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New Non-Invasive Formaldehyde Sensor

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Researchers have developed a new, cost-effective formalin sensor designed to detect the presence of formaldehyde in adulterated fish.

·       Formaldehyde is a colourless, pungent gas used in various industrial processes, including as a preservative in some foods, notably in fish in developing countries.

·       Banned in many countries due to its carcinogenic nature.


Present Techniques for Detection

  • Commercial formalin sensors for fish traditionally rely on either electrochemical or colorimetric principles.
  • Electrochemical sensors are effective but often expensive, while colorimetric sensors are more budget-friendly.
  • Both methods are invasive and face challenges in achieving precise and selective detection, especially at low levels.


Characteristics of the New Non-Invasive Formaldehyde Sensor

  • Developed using tin oxide-reduced graphene oxide composite (rGO-SnO2).
  • Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is known for detecting toxic gases, while tin oxide (SnO2) is recognized for its ability to detect formaldehyde.


  • The sensor employs a non-invasive technique for detecting formalin in adulterated fish.
  • Exhibits prolonged stability, ensuring consistent performance.
  • Has a low-level detection limit, enabling the identification of formaldehyde even at low concentrations.
  • The development is relatively cost-effective, making it a practical solution for widespread use.
  • Regarded as a breakthrough in the field of food adulteration, addressing issues associated with traditional detection methods.

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