Biosensors as a rapid method for detection of non-halal ingredients in food products

Document Type : Review


Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Background and objective: Market of halal products has been growing in last decades due to the increasing demand for halal foods by the consumers. Indeed, insertion of halal sign on labeling of food products is a requirement for export of the products to some countries. There are several approaches to identify non-halal ingredients in the matrices such as polymerase chain reaction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, and high performance liquid chromatography, but their complexity and/or high cost of the experiments has led to more attention to biological-based approaches. In this review, we studied biosensors for authentication of halal food products.

Results and conclusion: More than two billion Muslims live around the world that are halal food consumers. Biosensors are biological-based detectors used in food control purposes to identify minor elements. They have advantages such as fast detection of the target agent, portability, cost-effectiveness, and high sensitivity. Biosensors act by converting the chemical reactions to measurable signals. For example, some biosensors contain enzymes able to react with ethanol and diagnose it in the formula followed by a detectable response. Therefore, presence of ethanol which is now allowed in foods by Islam can be monitored by the biosensors within the least time. Moreover, tracing non-permitted meats such as pork meat in the food mixtures, which is commonly determined by gene sequencing techniques such as polymerase chain reaction, can also be detected by biosensors. In conclusion, well-designed biosensors are in-place diagnostic tools which can be considered as alternative to the other time-consuming and expensive tracing methods. 


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