Journal article Open Access

Non-Invasive Oxygen Determination in Intelligent Packaging Using a Smartphone

Escobedo Araque, Pablo; Perez de Vargas Sansalvador, Isabel M.; Lopez Ruiz, Nuria; Erenas Rodriguez, Miguel M.; Carvajal Rodriguez, Miguel A.; Martinez Olmos, Antonio

Here, we present a technique for the determination of the gaseous oxygen concentration inside packed food. It is based on the use of a luminescent membrane sensitive to O2 that is optically excited and read by a smartphone. The flash of the smartphone along with an optical filter is used as the light source for the optical stimulation of the membrane. The luminescence generated, which is quenched by the surrounding gaseous oxygen, is registered by the rear camera of the same device. The response parameter is defined by combining the registered intensities at two different wavelength ranges corresponding to the emission and the absorption peaks of the sensitive membrane. Thanks to this novel response parameter, the sensitivity is increased and, more importantly, the thermal dependence of the membrane is significantly reduced. This approach allows the use of a luminescent O2-sensitive membrane for intelligent packaging with no need of any associated electronics for its excitation and reading. This means that an oxygen sensor is developed, where a luminescent compound acts as an indicator, therefore combining the advantages of both schemes, that is, the simplicity and reduced cost of indicators with the high sensitivity and accuracy of selective sensors.
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