Coordinated by researchers from REQUIMTE-LAQV the CECs (Bio)Sensing project is developing portable sensor and biosensor platforms to quantify 'in loco' and at low cost the emerging contaminants in fishery products and waters.
"As Portugal is one of the countries of the European Union that has the highest consumption of fish, it is imperative to control the quality and safety of fishery products, especially the most appreciated species in our country, such as sardines, mackerel and salmon”, noting that the bioaccumulation of contaminants by aquatic organisms is increasingly "a threat to public health".
"The common medications that we use in our day-to-day and that are excreted through the urine end up contaminating rivers and seas, without there being any control methods or technologies to eliminate these compounds"
Quoted in the statement, Simone Morais, the project's principal Investigator, points out that currently "there are no routine analysis methods for most compounds", since the methodologies are "very expensive and time consuming".
"This project represents high socio-economic and environmental benefits. The fast and reliable results, coming from the platforms, support key decisions regarding the management of fish products, resulting in greener and more efficient production processes", assures the researcher.
In addition to the detection of emerging contaminants, the project can bring about "great savings", as it allows evaluating the quality of the product and deciding whether or not to proceed with marketing.
The developed platforms, which respond to consumer trends and preferences such as quality, safety and social responsibility, may be used by producers, processors, distributors and regulatory authorities.
"The knowledge acquired in this project can be applied to other food sectors", guarantees Simone Morais.
The CECs (Bio)Sensing project started in July 2018 and should be completed in July next year.
The project has as partners the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Federal University of Ceará, in Brazil.
The project is co-financed by the Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization (POCI) and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and the component of the Federal University of Ceará is financed by the Cearense Foundation for Support to Scientific and Technological Development (FUNCAP) .
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