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Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 29;9(1):906. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37556-w.

Detecting and Mapping Harmful Chemicals in Fruit and Vegetables Using Nanoparticle-Enhanced Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy.

Zhao X1,2, Zhao C1,2, Du X1,2, Dong D3,4.

Author information

1
Beijing Research Center of Intelligent Equipment for Agriculture, Beijing, 100097, China.
2
Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, China.
3
Beijing Research Center of Intelligent Equipment for Agriculture, Beijing, 100097, China. dongdm@nercita.org.cn.
4
Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, China. dongdm@nercita.org.cn.

Abstract

Residues of harmful chemicals in fruit and vegetables pose risks to human health. Ordinary laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) techniques are unsatisfactory for detecting harmful chemicals in fruit and vegetables. In this study, we applied metal nanoparticles to fruit and vegetables samples to improve the ability of LIBS to detect trace pesticide and heavy metal residues in the samples. The nanoparticle-enhanced LIBS technique gave pesticide residue detection limits for fruit and vegetables two orders of magnitude lower than achieved using standard LIBS and heavy metal detection limits markedly better than achieved using standard LIBS. We used the nanoparticle-enhanced LIBS technique to study the distributions of harmful chemicals in vegetable leaves. We found that heavy metals are distributed unevenly in edible plant leaves, the heavy metal concentrations being higher in the veins than in the mesophyll.

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