bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Goodbye pollen analysis? Not yet!

A report on testing honey sources using photonics:
FTIR (Fourier Infrared Transform Spectrometer) identifies the nonvolatile components of honey via the vibration of molecular bonds. Surface acoustic wave sensing, on the other hand, ferrets out information related to the volatile flavor compounds.

... Tewari said that a fused sensor capable of both FTIR and surface acoustic wave measurements would be needed for industrial and on-site honey grading. Such a tool might save overhead expenses and time while increasing product quality and reliability. However, he added, such a device does not yet exist.

The scientists are not working to produce such an instrument because their current focus is on extending the technique to other applications. The technology can spot adulteration in petroleum products as well as identify food contaminants. It also can be used to detect biological and chemical weapons as well as for other security applications.


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