A smart “nose” to combat the risks of food poisoning – Le Journal de Montréal

An Israeli start-up has developed a new technology using artificial intelligence to detect the presence of dangerous bacteria in food. Used on a large scale, it could help reduce the risk of food poisoning. And more.

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Sensifi has managed to develop a type of artificial nose that uses various chemical sensors capable of identifying volatile compounds emitted by pathogenic bacteria present in food, such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli, even in very low concentrations. When compounds released by these types of bacteria are detected a priori, an alert is sent to a computer responsible for analyzing this data to identify exactly what type of bacteria it is.

Currently this technology is only at an embryonic stage, but its applications could be numerous, starting in the food industry. It could actually detect the presence of dangerous bacteria in the food storage, manufacturing and distribution chain. As a reminder, salmonella is a bacteria found in raw or undercooked foods such as poultry, eggs and dairy products. Listeria, in turn, is sometimes found in cold cuts, seafood, cheese or vegetables. The same applies to E. coli. Such a device could help reduce the risk of food poisoning in the population.

In absolute terms, this process could also be extended to the medical field, with the possibility of ultimately identifying bacteria responsible for nosocomial infections, blood or urinary tract infections, but also pneumonia, etc. This would allow doctors to treat infections more quickly and effectively.

At the city level, this type of technology could one day be used to monitor air and water quality.