UP Researchers Developed A Paper-based Beverage Quality Control Device

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The paper-based device can be an alternative to the costlier conventional TPC instruments. DOST photo.

[Cebu City] June 14, 2022— Researchers at the University of the Philippines (UP) have developed a paper-based device that can be used as an alternative for measuring beverage quality control.

This cheap, user-friendly, and robust paper-based device will be useful to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

This UP paper-based device was developed by Riann Martin O. Sarza, Casiana Blanca J. Villarino, and Cynthia Grace C. Gregorio of the Institute of Chemistry in the College of Science Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

It can be used to determine the total polyphenol content (TPC) of tea beverage products using sweet potato leaf extract (SPLE). It can give analysis while also providing the benefits of ease of manufacturing and usage, cost-effectiveness, and user accessibility.

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In their research “Paper-based Device for the Detection and Quantification of Total Polyphenols in Plant-based Beverages for Potential Use in Quality Assurance Purposes,” the state university team of researchers saw the need for local manufacturers to assess the polyphenol content of their products to ensure food quality.

“Without proper quality control, these enterprises are unable to export their products. That’s why there is a need to develop an inexpensive, robust, and easy-to-use quantification technique that SMEs may use to ascertain TPC in their products,” researcher Riann Martin Sarza said.

Polyphenols are compounds that have been linked to a variety of health advantages, including protection against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. It also helps to maintain proper digestion.

In addition, because polyphenols are often found in plants, market demand is rising, as is the constant expansion in the production of polyphenol-rich, plant-based food products, particularly beverages.

The SSMEs and certain big business sectors in the Philippines are frequently deterred from undertaking rigorous quality control of their food items because the instruments used to evaluate TPC may be expensive, complex, time-consuming, and need the expertise of a professional analyst.

According to this research, the PBD not only equals the performance of its equivalent instrumental device, but is also resistant to interferences generated by sugars and ascorbic acid. Furthermore, under refrigerated storage circumstances, the PBD’s integrity is preserved and it stays effective for up to 57 days.

“While the features of the PBD may still be improved, given its current performance, it can already be used in the quality control process of SMEs,” researcher Cynthia Gregorio said.


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