New “packaging” for enzymes will simplify the search for poisons in food and the environment

Scientists from the Siberian Federal University (SFU) and the Institute of Biophysics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBP) have simplified the technology of searching for poisons in food.

The new technology makes it possible to extend the shelf life of enzymes-indicators of poisons by several times. In turn, this significantly reduces storage costs. Details of the new development have been published in Catalysts magazine.

Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts in all living organisms. It should be noted that even a small amount of toxins significantly reduces the activity of enzymes. It is this property that scientists use when they need indicators to monitor the pollution of food and the environment – water, soil and air.

By observing the reaction of, for example, the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase with apple juice, scientists determine how much poisonous pesticides are contained in the sample, which enter the fruit from the soil.

Unfortunately, enzymes are extremely sensitive to storage conditions. The fact is that they are very easily destroyed due to temperature changes or, for example, humidity. This is why high quality laboratory analysis is not cheap.

A solution of natural polymers saves the enzyme from losing the desired properties. In such a “package” it can be stored for at least one and a half years without worrying about the conditions. Now laboratory enzymes “live” on average from several days to several months. The new method has no analogues in terms of simplicity and efficiency, the authors of the development note.

The finished product is dried “droplets” of gel with a dose of enzyme, they look like tiny circles of rice paper. Moreover, one analysis on laboratory equipment with such a drug will cost a maximum of 100 rubles.

Recall that a pesticide is a substance (or a mixture of substances) of chemical or biological origin, designed to destroy harmful insects, rodents, weeds, pathogens of plants and animals, and also used as a defoliant, desiccant and growth regulator.

Previously, pesticides were called pesticides.

Pesticides are used to destroy or stop the development of insects, ticks, mammals (rodents), bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, harmful vegetation and other living organisms that damage crop and livestock production and cause deterioration in the quality of agricultural products, materials and products. They are also used to combat parasitic organisms and vectors of dangerous human diseases.

As pesticides, chemicals have been used since the days of the most ancient civilizations: in Greece and Rome. In the Odyssey, in Canto 22, Homer uses the modern concept of fumigation (fumigation) in connection with the use of sulfur for treating buildings and the surrounding area, and calls sulfur “cleansing” (disinfection). 400 years BC. e. Democritus recommended spraying plants with a pure infusion of olives (olives) without salt to prevent rotting and insect damage. He also suggested treating the seeds with hare cabbage juice: this plant is rich in tannins and organic acids, which have a negative effect on pathogens.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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