As I’ve started living in Israel over the past few months I’ve put down the stick of butter and picked up the bottle of olive oil. At first it wasn't a choice at certain restaurants, then it was to fit in and now I’ve slowly started to prefer olive oil.
Just kidding I will always like butter better I’m not that crazy, but anyways now people who really like olive oil will be able to make sure their bottle of golden nectar is actually delicious without finding out the hard way thanks to scientists at UC Davis. The biosensor evaluates taste by detecting whether or not the oil is rancid or fresh and was inspired by glucose meters that measure blood sugar levels in diabetics. More amazing is that this development was part of the iGEM competition and was designed by undergraduates at UC Davis. The device they created only needs a single drop of the oil and evaluates the oil electrochemically. This device is also industry relevant according to Selina Wong, the research director for the UCD Olive Center.
“The existing methods are 50 to 100 years old…we are developing new chemical methods to basically analyze the quality of olive oil in a faster, cheaper way, so this iGEM project fits perfectly with our research goals." – Wong
As an undergraduate, working in a lab can sometimes be daunting because of the long hours and uncertainties in the work, but this cool project goes to show that it can really pay off! This device is efficient with its oil usage and will save us from that never ending fear of what could possibly be inside of my bottle of olive oil. But in all seriousness this project helps find a solution to managing consumption and waste with this novel creation. This must be the new way of thinking as we continue to advance technology, how can we be less wasteful and better manage our limited resources.