Sodium benzoate (SBA) is a widely-used additive for preventing food spoilage and deterioration and extending the shelf life. However, the concentration of SBA must be controlled under safe regulations to avoid damaging human health. Accordingly, this study proposes a microfluidic colorimetric analysis (MCA) system composing of a wax-printed paper-microchip and a self-made smart analysis equipment for the concentration detection of SBA in common foods and beverages. In the presented method, the distilled SBA sample is mixed with NaOH to obtain a nitro compound and the compound is then dripped onto the reaction area of the paper-microchip, which is embedded with two layers of reagents (namely acetophenone and acetone). The paper-microchip is heated at 120 °C for 20 min to cause a colorimetric reaction and the reaction image is then obtained through a CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) device and transmitted to a cell-phone over a WiFi connection. Finally, use the self-developed RGB analysis software installed on the cell-phone to obtain the SBA concentration. A calibration curve is constructed using SBA samples with known concentrations ranging from 50 ppm (0.35 mM) to 5000 ppm (35 mM). It is shown that the R + G + B value (Y) of the reaction image and SBA concentration (X) are related via Y = −0.034 X +737.40, with a determination coefficient of R2 = 0.9970. By measuring the SBA concentration of 15 commercially available food and beverage products, the actual feasibility of the current MCA system can be demonstrated. The results show that the difference from the measurement results obtained using the macroscale HPLC method does not exceed 6.0%. Overall, the current system provides a reliable and low-cost technique for quantifying the SBA concentration in food and drink products.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Food Science