Iranian researchers from Tabriz University succeeded in the production of a sensor that sensitively, selectively and simultaneously determines Sunset Yellow and Tartrazine in food and beverage samples.
The sensor is made of carbon ceramic, and its surface was modified with multi-walled carbon nanotube. The sensor can be used in foodstuff and beverage quality control laboratories and in laboratories of Standard Organization to control and evaluate the allowed amount of dyes in food and beverage products.
The synthetic dyes are potential threats to human safety and they should be consumed in a controlled manner. Therefore, the researchers tried in this research to produce a sensor made of carbon ceramic modified with multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which is able to sensitively, selectively and simultaneously determine Sunset Yellow and Tartrazine in the desired food samples.
To this end, a sensor of carbon ceramic was produced firstly through sol-gel method. Next, the researchers employed cyclic voltammery method to compare electrochemical behavior of Sunset Yellow and Tartrazine food dyes on the modified and non-modified sensors. At the end, the measurement results were compared to those obtained from liquid chromatography standard method with high performance.
Taking into consideration the fact that natural dyes are more expensive than food dyes and some cheaters use these dyes illegally in the production of foodstuff and beverage, it can be hoped that this method can be used in the laboratories of Standard Organization to determine and control the allowed amount of dyes in foodstuff and beverage, based on statistical data that confirm the high accuracy of the proposed method.
Results of the research have been published in Food Analytical Methods, vol. 6, issue 5, December 2013, pp. 1388-1397.