Revolutionizing Food Analysis: LIBS Shines at SciX 2023

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At SciX 2023, Ismail Boyaci from The Ohio State University unveiled the transformative potential of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in food analysis, offering rapid and precise solutions to enhance food safety and quality. LIBS emerges as a game-changing tool, poised to reshape how we scrutinize and safeguard our food supply.

At SciX 2023 at the Golden Nugget Resort in Sparks, Nevada, conference attendees had the opportunity to attend a talk about using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in food analysis. Ismail Boyaci of The Ohio State University delivered a presentation on this topic titled "Potential of LIBS in Food Analysis" in the Southern Pacific A/G meeting room.

Food, a cornerstone of human sustenance, relies on the delicate balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals. The accurate determination of these components is pivotal for ensuring food safety and quality. With the demand for comprehensive information on food products, the industry is in need of rapid and precise analytical techniques capable of detecting both major and trace components. Producers are increasingly turning to eco-friendly technologies for monitoring food processes and ensuring the integrity of their final products (1).

In parallel, consumers are becoming more discerning, seeking detailed information about the composition, origin, and quality of the food they consume. The globalization of food markets has amplified the concern for food authenticity to prevent safety hazards and combat fraud related to origin and quality (1). Various analytical methods have been developed to address these challenges, with many relying on DNA, proteomics, and isotopic analysis (1). However, these approaches are often time-consuming, laboratory-based, and entail the use of hazardous chemicals, extensive pre-processing, and specialized expertise.

Boyaci's presentation showcased the promise of LIBS in identifying meat species, detecting whey-adulterated milk powder, quantifying ash and protein content in cereals, and analyzing sodium chloride levels in bakery products (1). LIBS offers a swift and practical on-line analysis method that is gaining popularity within the food industry, thanks to its ability to provide elemental composition data with remarkable precision and speed (1).


As Boyaci’s talk showed, with ongoing studies and continuous advancements in this field, the future looks promising for LIBS to be used in more applications that ensure the safety, quality, and authenticity of our food supply.

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(1) Boyaci, I. Potential of LIBS in Food Analysis. Presented at SciX 2023 in Sparks, Nevada, October 9, 2023.