Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated


Image: Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated

In response to all of the fake honey that have been infiltrating the market for the longest time, Spanish researchers have come up with an electronic tongue that can tell the difference. An article in Alpha Galileo reported that the device is inexpensive, is quick to pick up on the presence of adulterated honey, and can even tell you how much fake sweetener is present.

Current methods of determining the authenticity of a honey product requires days of thoroughly analyzing the sample. In comparison, the new device takes just an hour to figure out if the honey is truly pure or has been diluted by scammers.

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) researchers demonstrated the capability of their new device in a test. Their results showed that the electronic tongue can tell between pure honey and the syrups and sugar molasses that are commonly used to dilute the profitable product.

“This leads to noticeable losses for the honey bee sector,” remarked Lara Sobrino. A researcher who works at UPV’s Developmental Food Engineering Institute, she added that the scam not only violates EU laws, it also causes consumers to lose faith in the honey bee sector, which will hurt the industry in the long run. (Related: Understanding the differences between sugars: white, brown, raw, molasses, honey, agave.)

This electronic tongue can tell genuine honey from watered-down fakes

The official name of the device is the “electronic voltammetric tongue.” Its creators described it as an effective and affordable alternative to the bulkier gear used by most scam hunters. It will not only spot the presence of syrups in real honey, but will also determine the percentage of the product that has been compromised.

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In the test, the device compared pure honey from heather, orange blossom, and sunflower with dietary syrups made from barley, brown rice, and corn. It successfully differentiated the true honey from the syrups used to fake them.

The electronic tongue is able to clean itself very thoroughly. This reduces the chances of erroneous analysis caused by leftovers from the previous sample.

Finally, it enables statistical analysis of the resulting information. The combination allowed the device to detect any symptoms of fraud in a product.

“Out work offers a pioneering analytical technique that makes it possible to find out quickly and reliably the honey’s authenticity,” said Juan Soto, another UPV researcher from the university’s Molecular Recognition and Technological Development Institute who worked alongside Sobrino. He believed that the electronic tongue offers an answer to suspicions about the purity of honey products.

New device can improve the efficiency of existing methods for hunting fake honey

Members of the honey bee sector can use the UPV detector to ensure the quality of their products, thereby restoring the faith of their customers. They will also be able to catch scammers who are taking advantage of the confusion to make big bucks off gullible consumers.

“If there is the suspicion that a honey could be adulterated, our system detects the symptoms reliably,” Soto said. He also noted that their electronic tongue will work best alongside other detectors as a first line of defense against fakes.

Magnetic resonance detectors are slower and much more expensive than the UPV device. But they can perform in-depth analyses of samples that are beyond the specialized capabilities of the electronic tongue.

Soto believes that his team’s device can screen suspicious samples first. If it catches any fake honey, it can pass the offender over to another identification technique for confirmation.

Developed a taste for the latest news about honey? You can satisfy your craving for more stories at Bees.news.

Sources include:

AlphaGalileo.org

ScienceDirect.com

Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated


Image: Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated

In response to all of the fake honey that have been infiltrating the market for the longest time, Spanish researchers have come up with an electronic tongue that can tell the difference. An article in Alpha Galileo reported that the device is inexpensive, is quick to pick up on the presence of adulterated honey, and can even tell you how much fake sweetener is present.

Current methods of determining the authenticity of a honey product requires days of thoroughly analyzing the sample. In comparison, the new device takes just an hour to figure out if the honey is truly pure or has been diluted by scammers.

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) researchers demonstrated the capability of their new device in a test. Their results showed that the electronic tongue can tell between pure honey and the syrups and sugar molasses that are commonly used to dilute the profitable product.

“This leads to noticeable losses for the honey bee sector,” remarked Lara Sobrino. A researcher who works at UPV’s Developmental Food Engineering Institute, she added that the scam not only violates EU laws, it also causes consumers to lose faith in the honey bee sector, which will hurt the industry in the long run. (Related: Understanding the differences between sugars: white, brown, raw, molasses, honey, agave.)

This electronic tongue can tell genuine honey from watered-down fakes

The official name of the device is the “electronic voltammetric tongue.” Its creators described it as an effective and affordable alternative to the bulkier gear used by most scam hunters. It will not only spot the presence of syrups in real honey, but will also determine the percentage of the product that has been compromised.

Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret: Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary “sulforaphane” and “glucosinolate” nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here.

In the test, the device compared pure honey from heather, orange blossom, and sunflower with dietary syrups made from barley, brown rice, and corn. It successfully differentiated the true honey from the syrups used to fake them.

The electronic tongue is able to clean itself very thoroughly. This reduces the chances of erroneous analysis caused by leftovers from the previous sample.

Finally, it enables statistical analysis of the resulting information. The combination allowed the device to detect any symptoms of fraud in a product.

“Out work offers a pioneering analytical technique that makes it possible to find out quickly and reliably the honey’s authenticity,” said Juan Soto, another UPV researcher from the university’s Molecular Recognition and Technological Development Institute who worked alongside Sobrino. He believed that the electronic tongue offers an answer to suspicions about the purity of honey products.

New device can improve the efficiency of existing methods for hunting fake honey

Members of the honey bee sector can use the UPV detector to ensure the quality of their products, thereby restoring the faith of their customers. They will also be able to catch scammers who are taking advantage of the confusion to make big bucks off gullible consumers.

“If there is the suspicion that a honey could be adulterated, our system detects the symptoms reliably,” Soto said. He also noted that their electronic tongue will work best alongside other detectors as a first line of defense against fakes.

Magnetic resonance detectors are slower and much more expensive than the UPV device. But they can perform in-depth analyses of samples that are beyond the specialized capabilities of the electronic tongue.

Soto believes that his team’s device can screen suspicious samples first. If it catches any fake honey, it can pass the offender over to another identification technique for confirmation.

Developed a taste for the latest news about honey? You can satisfy your craving for more stories at Bees.news.

Sources include:

AlphaGalileo.org

ScienceDirect.com

OZONE NANO-BUBBLE WATER: POTENTIAL TREATMENT FOR SEVERE GUM INFECTIONS


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The study published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, by Shinichi Arakawa and colleagues at Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, evaluated the bactericidal activities of ozone nano-bubble water – also known as NBW3 – against the two main bacterial agents that cause periodontitis as well as its toxicity to human oral tissue cells.

Their results showed that NBW3 can kill periodontal pathogens within 30 seconds of exposure, yet has only a minor impact on the viability of oral tissue cells after 24 hours of exposure.

Based on their in vitro results, the researchers conclude that NBW3 could become a valuable tool for treating periodontitis. However, since in vitro models cannot be directly compared to real-life clinical situations in which oral antiseptics are diluted with saliva, the authors recommend further research to determine the extent to which NBW3′s potency may be reduced by the saliva of dental patients.

Periodontitis is an inflammation of the oral tissues that surround and support our teeth – it is caused by bacteria residing in “biofilms” or dental plaque.

The traditional first step of periodontal treatment involves “mechanical debridement” (i.e. scraping away the dental plaque and dental calculus). Various antiseptics and antibiotics have been used to supplement mechanical debridement.

But antibiotic therapies have several significant drawbacks, such as the selectivity of antimicrobial action, possible development of resistant bacteria, and risk for adverse host reactions. For these reasons, the topical use of a low-cost, broad-spectrum antiseptic agent with low potential for adverse reactions is preferable.

One possible alternative is ozone (O3), which has strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses, and does not induce microbial resistance. Aqueous ozone is highly biocompatible with oral tissue cells. However, ozonated water must be used within the first 5 to 10 minutes after production to assure its potency.

Is the STEM skills shortage overblown or even non-existent?


With the rising emphasis on tech across the business landscape, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills appear to be in high demand. Yet, one analysis finds the alleged shortfall of these skills isn’t all it appears to be.

Robert Charette, writing in IEEE Spectrum,  says that despite the handwringing, “there are more STEM workers than suitable jobs.” He points to a study by the Economic Policy Institute that found that wages for U.S. IT and mathematics-related professionals have not grown appreciably over the past decade, and that they, too, have had difficulty finding jobs in the past five years. He lists a number of studies that refute the presence of a global STEM skills shortage. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for one, estimates that there was a net loss of  370 000 science and engineering jobs in the U.S. in 2011.

There isn’t even agreement on what STEM jobs are, Charette points out. Even agencies of the U.S. government don’t agree. The U.S. Department of Commerce puts the number of STEM jobs at7.6 million, which “includes professional and technical support occupations in the fields of computer science and mathematics, engineering, and life and physical sciences as well as management,” he relates. The National Science Foundation, on the other hand, estimates there are 12.4 million STEM jobs, taking in health-care workers,  psychologists and social scientists. Other data from Georgetown University finds that a majority of STEM graduates actually leave the STEM field altogether after ten years.

Perhaps what is needed is more polymath skills — blending STEM with other disciplines such as business, law, or even the arts — to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. Building a software company takes more than programming abilities — it takes business savvy and vision.

STEM skills do have an important role in economic growth, Charette opines. “There is indeed a shortage — a STEM knowledge shortage.” While a STEM-based university degree isn’t necessary, “improving everyone’s STEM skills would clearly be good for the workforce and for people’s employment prospects, for public policy debates, and for everyday tasks like balancing checkbooks and calculating risks.”

Ironically, while many non-STEM jobs require some level of STEM skills, many STEM jobs themselves are being displaced. Many of the skills needed in today’s marketplace — from auto repair to graphic arts to accounting — call for computer proficiency, as they now entail work built on software. At the same time, many functions that may have required engineers and mathematicians are being automated — algorithms have replaced many high-level mental tasks and processes. Even computer programmers and operators are finding their jobs are being automated. Perhaps non-STEM professionals need more STEM, but STEM professionals need more liberal arts.

Mesenchymal stem cells.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells that have regenerative capability and exert paracrine actions on damaged tissues. Since peritoneal fibrosis is a serious complication of peritoneal dialysis, we tested whether MSCs suppress this using a chlorhexidine gluconate model in rats. Although MSCs isolated from green fluorescent protein–positive rats were detected for only 3 days following their injection, immunohistochemical staining showed that MSCs suppressed the expression of mesenchymal cells, their effects on the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins, and the infiltration of macrophages for 14 days. Moreover, MSCs reduced the functional impairment of the peritoneal membrane. Cocultures of MSCs and human peritoneal mesothelial cells using a Transwell system indicated that the beneficial effects of MSCs on the glucose-induced upregulation of transforming growth factor-β1(TGF-β1) and fibronectin mRNA expression in the human cells were likely due to paracrine actions. Preincubation in MSC-conditioned medium suppressed TGF-β1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, α-smooth muscle actin, and the decrease in zonula occludens-1 in cultured human peritoneal mesothelial cells. Although bone morphogenic protein 7 was not detected, MSCs secreted hepatocyte growth factor and a neutralizing antibody to this inhibited TGF-β1 signaling. Thus, our findings imply that MSCs ameliorate experimental peritoneal fibrosis by suppressing inflammation and TGF-β1 signaling in a paracrine manner.

Source: Nature.