Food manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of medical supplies and instruments.


The new technology has the potential to replace the traditional “best before” date on food and drinks with a definitive indication that it’s time to discard the product. The Sentinel Wrap is a transparent, durable, and flexible sensing surface that generates a fluorescence signal in the presence of a specific target bacterium. The material can be used in packaging, and is capable of monitoring microbial contamination in various types of food products in real time without having to remove the sample or sensor from the package. The surface is stable for at least 14 days under various pH conditions. The sensor can detect bacteria while still attached to the food package, eliminating the need to manipulate the sample. The biosensors are stable for at least the shelf life of perishable packaged food products, and provide a packaging solution for real-time monitoring of pathogens.

(Photo Credit: JD Howell)


McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


The researchers are seeking a commercial partner to assist in getting the invention to market.


According to the World Health Organization, foodborne pathogens result in approximately 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths each year. The patch would instantly indicate on the package if the food or drink contains harmful pathogens. In addition, the sensors hold the potential to make a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts to mitigate the negative public-health-related impacts of foodborne illnesses.