BIOFOS is an EU-funded FP7 project, which has managed to produce an innovative portable, multi-analytic bio-sensing device, combining 4 different technologies to monitor the quality and detect contaminants in olive-oil, nuts and milk, usually performed in specialised laboratories demanding time, effort and money.

Image of BIOFOS portable detection unit

BIOFOS was established in 2013, as an initiative funded, with 2.75 million euros, by the European Union, under the 7th Framework Programme, aiming to provide a commercial outlet to existing technology on food quality control.

BIOFOS goal was to develop a simple, fast, sensitive and reliable screening tool for in-situ detection of food contaminations in the three different food samples of nuts, olive oil and milk. In order to achieve this, the most promising concepts from novel photonic, biological, nanochemical and fluidic platforms are combined and integrated into a device.

Advanced Technology

BIOFOS relied on the ultra-low loss TriPleX photonic platform in order to integrate, on a miniature chip consisting of micro-ring resonators, VCSEL and Si photodiodes and achieve multianalyte detection of mycotoxins, heavy metals and other food contaminants. The sensitivity and high specificity of the system was supported by the use of aptamers as biorecognition elements, which are regenerated several times. Advanced surface functionalization techniques have been developed and used for the reliable immobilization of the aptamers on the sensor surface. The built-in pre-treatment unit allowed the user to clean and concentrate the samples (filter/SPE) and to precisely dispense a defined sample volume onto the detection platform using the controlled pressure driven dispensing (cPDD). The new microfluidic structures and simple pre-treatment protocols resulted in an easy-to-use device.

Promising results

Validation experiments on real food samples, showed promising results on the capability of BIOFOS to be used as a monitoring device for the detection of contaminants such as Phosmet in olive oil, AFB1 and Ochratoxin A mycotoxins in nuts samples at concentrations at ppb levels or for determining Lactose levels in milk samples within a short time period (within 30 min).

BIOFOS Result In Brief on CORDIS

The team

The successful outcome of the BIOFOS project was achieved through the constructive collaboration of 10 partners from European Universities, the Institute of Computer and Communication Science of the National Technical University of Athens-ICCS/NTUA (Greece), the University of Perpignan-UPVD (France), the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands), the SAXION University (the Netherlands), two research institutes, the research institute IRTA (Spain), the biomedical research foundation Bioacademy of Athens-BRFAA (Greece), and four industrial partners including the private CSEM research center (Switzerland), the LioniX BV company (the Netherlands), SurfiX (the Netherlands) and COVAP (Spain). The consortium coordinated by ICCS/NTUA.

Micro-ring resonator-based biophotonic system for food analysis
Project coordinator
Prof. Ioanna Zergioti
Project Acronym