Researchers develop affordable biosensors to detect soft rot in potato tubers

Reducing food loss and waste is a growing concern in the global fight against hunger and food security. In fact, half of the world’s food harvest, which is approximately 1.3 billion tons per year, is lost, with microbial spoilage being the primary cause.

Potatoes, which are the fifth largest food crop in the world after sugarcane, corn, rice, and wheat, are essential to the global diet. However, post-harvest contamination by pathogens remains a significant challenge, affecting the quality of seed, ware, processing, marketing, storage, and shipping tubers.

Detecting latent infections in their early stages is a challenging task, as they do not exhibit any external visual symptoms, which makes diagnosis, tracking, and control difficult. The current detection methods are time-consuming, destructive, and have limited sensitivity for identifying early-stage infections. Thus, there is an urgent need for an improved solution to detect decaying potatoes in the post-harvest supply chain.



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