South Korea; Pusan National University research

Portable electronic nose system able to detect fruit freshness

South Korean researchers have been able to develop a portable electronic nose system that can determine the level of freshness of fruit at agricultural wholesale markets, simply by smell. Pusan National University sources say researchers had developed a nano-bioelectronic nose system that can detect the level of freshness of fruits without physical contact.

The electronic nose is designed to distinguish smell by imitating the olfactory organ of detection dogs, which are known for their sense of smell. The problem, however, is that it’s not easy to realize such an olfactory organ since detection dogs typically have more than 2.2 million olfactory receptors.

The core of the research is the use of the genetic engineering-based eco-friendly biomaterial (M13 bacteriophage) instead of existing odorant receptors to discern the level of freshness of fruits. The nano-bioelectronic nose can identify the level of freshness of fruit that deteriorate as time goes by.

According to, the research team said that the electronic nose, developed through a convergence study, was realized beyond the level of lab verification and can be applied in the field.

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