Population growth and increased production demands on fruit and vegetables have driven agricultural production to new heights. Nevertheless, agriculture remains one of the least optimized industries, with laboratory tests that take days to provide a clear result on the chemical level of produce. To address this problem, we developed a tailor-made solution for the industry that can allow multiple field tests on key pesticides, based on a bioelectric cell biosensor and the measurement of the cell membrane potential changes, according to the principle of the Bioelectric Recognition Assay (BERA). We developed a fully functional system that operates using a newly developed hardware for multiple data sources and an Android application to provide results within 3 min. The presence of acetamiprid residues caused a cell membrane hyperpolarization, which was distinguishable from the control samples. A database that classified samples Below or Above Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) was then created, based on a newly developed algorithm. Additionally, lettuce samples were analyzed with the conventional and the newly developed method, in parallel, revealing a high correlation on sample classification. Thus, it was demonstrated that the novel biosensor system could be used in the food supply chain to increase the number of tested products before they reach the market.
Keywords: acetamiprid; bioelectric recognition assay, membrane−engineering; cell based biosensor.