Biosensors and Food Industry

Biosensors have extensive applications in the food and agriculture industries. The devices contain a transducer and a biological element, which may be an enzyme, antibody, microbe, or organelle. The biological element (bioelement) interacts with the analyte being tested and the biological response is converted into an electrical signal by the transducer.

Some of the uses of biosensors in the agricultural and food industry include:

  • Enzyme biosensors based on the inhibition of cholinesterase enzymes are used to detect traces of organophosphates and carbamates from pesticides that may be present as poisonous and harmful residues on farm produce.
  • Some microbial sensors are selective and sensitive in the detection of ammonia and methane.
  • Biological oxygen demand (BOD) analyzers use a bacteria such as Rhodococcus erythropolis immobilized in collagen or polyacrylamide. These devices are widely used to test the quality of waste water. BOD biosensors can analyze 2 to 20 samples every hour.
  • Biosensors may be used to measure carbohydrates, alcohols, and acids in fermented foods. The devices are mainly used for quality control processes in food production. The devices, however, need to be kept sterile, frequently calibrated and require analyte dilution. Enzyme-based biosensors can be used in food quality control to measure amino acids, amides, amines, carbohydrates, heterocyclic compounds, carboxylic acids, gases, inorganic ions, cofactors, alcohols and phenols. Biosensors can also be used in the assessment and analysis of produce such as wine, beer and yoghurt.
  • In food quality assessment, antibodies or immunosensors may be used in assays to detect small molecules such as water-soluble vitamins and chemical contaminants. They may also be used to detect any pathogenic organisms present in meat, poultry, eggs, and fish.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Biosensors and Food Industry. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 01, 2023 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Biosensors and Food Industry". News-Medical. 01 April 2023. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Biosensors and Food Industry". News-Medical. (accessed April 01, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Biosensors and Food Industry. News-Medical, viewed 01 April 2023,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
Emerging DNA-based sensors are promising tools for food safety