Superfund Research Program
Researchers at the University of California, Davis SRP Center developed a DNA-based sensor that can detect trace amounts of organophosphate pesticides in food products.
The sensor incorporates a fluorescent immunoassay, which is a type of test that uses antibodies to identify pesticide residues. The team used the sensor to measure traces of triazophos, parathion, and chlorpyrifos in samples from contaminated fruit, vegetables, and grain and compared their results to findings from traditional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. They found that their DNA-based sensor detected the three pesticides in the mixtures as accurately as the mass spectrometry method.
The tool could address the limitations of traditional detection methods, such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, which are expensive, time-consuming, and require extensive training, the authors wrote.
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